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For our children yes. For us maybe no.

We are all products of the sources of information we choose to absorb, and those sources have latched on to what every other species on earth has always known — fear sells.

The basic difference is that no other species would ever think of screaming fire in a theater if there were not an actual fire.

Pick your source for information, doesn’t much matter which one, watch for a bit and see if they do not tell you to be worried about stuff, often with who to blame or even hate. That is what sells. That is what builds audience and cash. We are all simply wired to pay attention, to tune in when someone says, “WATCH OUT!”

Hell, information sources have become so fear mongering that Americans can no longer agree on what is right and what is wrong.

Institutions that could only have been created by a free people for protection and justice, like the Congress, the FBI and Justice Department, are now seen as enemies by millions of Americans. If abandoned, replaced by what, by whom?

A leader of the French revolution famously said, “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.” In today’s vernacular it might be put: “I cultivated a mob and will follow no matter where they go.”

No, there is not much fun in it, but as in all past American epochs, and I believe with this one, someone in the mob will eventually stop, then someone else, then others and a sense of common commitment to each other will win the day. It is then that sensible leaders both conservative and liberal will be exposed and politically survive, stand on solid common ground, and turn us back to reason.

Richard Kimball

Vote Smart Founder

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