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Mar 26

American Fear

by Don Cooper

Whether they realize it or not Americans live in a constant state of fear every day. I’m not referring to the fears of everyday life like losing a job or having an accident of some kind, but rather a more sinister and devious fear; a fear that Americans only dare talk about around the water cooler or at cocktail parties so as not to be taken seriously; a fear they try to mask with a with a whimsical tone of sarcasm or indifference. Whether Americans want to admit it or not, it’s the single greatest fear in their lives: fear of the government.

Right about now there are those reading this thinking: Don Cooper is a drunk. To which I reply: what’s that got to do with it? Maybe more people should drink if that’s what it takes to sober up and confront what they are really afraid of.

In their defense, I’ll admit that reality is scary. No argument that living in delusion is warmer, safer, cozier, and easier. Pretending is always more fun than reality, that’s why we go to the movies. But fear of the government is a fear that invades a person’s soul and – since the government intervenes in every aspect of our lives – it affects every move we make every day.

Fear of the government is hard to recognize and acknowledge. It’s a fear that we are taught early on in life and to which we become accustomed. We inevitably end up tucking it away in the far reaches of our minds in order to function “normally” every day and live our lives. But just as a car backfiring will trigger a sense of fear from a shell-shocked veteran, so too can the State trigger that sense of fear they’ve instilled in us.

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