Fear and loathing in America


Everyone should be familiar with Aesop’s fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf. If you are not, the brief synopsis is that a boy kept (falsely) claiming that he saw a wolf while tending his flock of sheep. The villagers, fed up with the boy’s antics, did not come to chase the predator off when a real wolf appeared. The final sentences of the fable are

An old man tried to comfort the boy as they walked back to the village. “We’ll help you look for the lost sheep in the morning,” he said, putting his arm around the youth, “Nobody believes a liar … even when he is telling the truth!”

It is clear that Individual 1’s parents never read Aesop’s fables to him. They never taught him morality and ethics. Every word out Donald Trump’s mouth is a lie. He is utterly incapable of telling the truth. It is not just him: Everyone in his administration plays fast and loose with the truth. This has trickled down (the only time trickle-down has actually worked) to his followers, who defend him with cries of “fake news” whenever they hear or read something about him they either disagree with or he has lied to them about.

It is not just that he lies, but that he lies to make people afraid. He leads through fear. He said as much in an interview in 2016, when he was running for office.

In an interview as a presidential candidate in 2016 with the author Bob Woodward, Mr. Trump said, “Real power is — I don’t even want to use the word — fear.”

This is the opposite of what one of our greatest leaders, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had to say on the subject during his first inaugural address, when our nation was in the grips of the Great Depression.

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