Paul: The Fear Factor

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. KenH

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    The Fear Factor

    by Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

    July 30, 2007

    While fear itself is not always the product of irrationality, once experienced it tends to lead away from reason, especially if the experience is extreme in duration or intensity. When people are fearful they tend to be willing to irrationally surrender their rights.

    Thus, fear is a threat to rational liberty. The psychology of fear is an essential component of those who would have us believe we must increasingly rely on the elite who manage the apparatus of the central government.

    The statement “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin. It is clear, people seek out safety and security when they are in a state of fear, and it is the result of this psychological state that often leads to the surrender of liberty.

    As Washington moves towards it summer legislative recess, indications of fear are apparent. Things seem similar to the days before the war in Iraq. Prior to the beginning of the war, several government officials began using phrases like “we don’t want the smoking gun to come in the form of a mushroom cloud,” and they spoke of drone airplanes being sent to our country to do us great harm.

    It is hard to overstate the damage this approach does psychologically, especially to younger people. Of course, we now know there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, let alone any capacity to put them to successful use.

    To calm fears, Americans accepted the Patriot Act and the doctrine of pre-emptive war. We tolerated new laws that allow the government to snoop on us, listen to our phone calls, track our financial dealings, make us strip down at airports and even limited the rights of habeas corpus and trial by jury. Like some dysfunctional episode of the twilight zone, we allowed the summit of our imagination to be linked up with the pit of our fears.

    Paranoia can be treated, but the loss of liberty resulting from the social psychology to which we continue to subject ourselves is not easily reversed. People who would have previously battled against encroachments on civil liberties now explain the “necessity” of those “temporary security measures” Franklin is said to have railed against.

    Americans must reflect on their irrational fears if we are to turn the tide against the steady erosion of our freedoms. Fear is the enemy. The logically confusing admonition to “fear only fear” does not help, instead we must battle against irrational fear and the fear-mongers who promote it.

    It is incumbent on a great nation to remain confident, if it wishes to remain free. We need not be ignorant to real threats to our safety, against which we must remain vigilant. We need only to banish to the ash heap of history the notion that we ought to be ruled by our fears and those who use them to enhance their own power.

    - www.house.gov:80/paul/tst/tst2007/tst073007.htm
     
  2. Filmproducer

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    This is probably one of the best things I have heard from a politician in a long time, and I am not even a Ron Paul supporter. :thumbs:
     
  3. Pastor Larry

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    Everyone quotes Franklin that "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." (No one ever seems to mind asking (requiring) their children to give up a little liberty for their temporary safety when it comes to things like not playing in the street ... In other words, the whole concept is fundamentally flawed.)

    Why doesn't anyone quote the Franklin saying that Liberty is possible only for virtuous people?
     
  4. KenH

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    Your example is fundamentally flawed. Minors do not have the full rights nor the full responsibilities of adults.
     
  5. carpro

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    Once again, someone who admits no fear is concerned that the things he thinks he is smart enough to know not to be afraid of, may cause fear in all us lesser human beings. :rolleyes:

    Makes Paul a fearmonger, as well. Just of a different type.
     
    #5 carpro, Jul 31, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2007
  6. saturneptune

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    If Liberty is possible for only virtuous people, then it is certainly absent from the White House and Congress.
     
  7. KenH

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    A good point.
     
  8. Ps104_33

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    So being fearful in a plane with Muslim extremists is irrational? When the entire house and senate, and all of Europe told us that there were WMD, my fear was irrational? It is easy for Ron Paul to sit there after the fact and accuse every one of fearmongering but I would like every one to go back to 9/12/01 and tell me that they didnt feel fear.
     
  9. KenH

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    Ron Paul didn't say that and you know it.

    What part of "We need not be ignorant to real threats to our safety, against which we must remain vigilant" do you not understand?
     
  10. James_Newman

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    He says let there be guns on the plane, problem solved. Try taking out an angry captain with a .45 with your box cutter.
     
  11. Pastor Larry

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    So far as I can tell, that is not a constitutional issue. I thought you were a constitutionalist.

    But pretend it is not children. No one seems to mind giving up their right to drive on the left side of the road, or their right to blow through stop lights at intersections. The fact is, as you well know in spite of your comments, that there are no unfettered rights.

    But that wasn't really my point. My point was about the selective invoking of Franklin.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    This is true, as well as for most citizens.
     
  13. KenH

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    There is no right to drive on the left side of the road. There is no right to blow through a stop light. There is no right to drive. Driving is a privilege granted by the government, not a right.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    I think we are witnessing an evolution of convenience. Since when is driving a privilege granted? I think that is pure and utter nonsense, and I think you do too. I don't know why you bring that up. I am not sure you have any idea what rights and privileges are, and how they are determined. It seems your whole system here is based on convenience, perhaps namely, supporting Ron Paul. But I would like to see some reasonable defense of your idea of rights vs privileges.
     
  15. James_Newman

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    Well driving became a privilege granted when the American people consented to allow the government to license it.
     
  16. KenH

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    A right does not require a license to use it. You don't have to have a license from the government to exercise free speech or to worship. You do have to have a license from the government to operate a motorized vehicle.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    Not true. We are all flawed. However, most American citizens are hard working, honest, and live by the rules. Most want to help others in need. There will always be a minority who are out for themselves and accomplish nothing, but this is a minority.

    The pinnacle of the unvirtuous are those in the White House and Congress. They are self centered, power hungry leeches on the American people.

    It seems odd that a rare good politician like Ron Paul is raked over the coals here, and those in power are praised. What does that say? Have we reached the point where self centered, power hungry politicians are virtuous over those who have integrity?
     
    #17 saturneptune, Jul 31, 2007
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  18. poncho

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    But a very very powerful minority. And they have accomplished more than most people are willing to admit. Or so it would seem.

    Indeed they are an unvirtuous lot but in the global scheme of things they are just mid level management working to, in thier own words "anticipate, manage and constrain our reactions" for their elite one worlder overlords.


    Not to me. It's taken the global elite (the absolute pinnacle of unvirtuousness) alot of small steps in the decades old process of conditioing Americans into yielding their liberties and soveriegnty bit by bit to their beloved one world government.


    It says we've gotten to comfortable and cozy with the "big lie".
     
    #18 poncho, Jul 31, 2007
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  19. Pastor Larry

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    I think you have an overinflated view of depraved humanity. Most citizens will (and do) cheat whenever they can get away with it. I bet tax fraud in this country is participated in by way more than half the citizens. Not to mention the ones who engage in immoral behavior (everything from open manifestations of depravity to secret lust). We are not a "vast majority" virituous citizenry when abortion is approved and homosexuality is condoned. These things are incompatible with virtue. Man is a sinner and that means without virtue, and it shows in every arena of life.

    The Bible defines virtuous for us by comparing it to the character of God. That is the only reasonable definition, and if someone disagrees, I would argue that they are not reasonable, meaning rational. Sin has so affected humanity that we don't think right, and we don't even notice that things are askance. God has set the standard for virtue.

    I am not sure that they are any worse than teh drug dealers, corrupt cops, adulterers, or anyone else that lives within a few miles of all of us. That's not a high bar, granted, but there's not much difference.

    I am not sure how virtuous Ron Paul is yet. I don't know enough about it. I am not greatly impressed by what I have seen, but the jury is still out for me. I think some of his positions are thoughtless and inconsistent based on what I have read. What I have seen has been fairly poorly argued. I hope he does better. He seems better than many, which again, isn't a high bar. The current administration and Congress is grossly immoral and without defense in the vast majority of areas.
     
  20. poncho

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    But in spite of all that gross immorality we're still supposed to forget what our founding documents say and be in submission to our public servants according to Romans 13 right?
     

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