Editor’s Column: The politics of fear

Fear is a terrible—and terribly effective—way to manipulate people. If you can make a people group afraid, you can make them react, and if you can make them react, you can control them.

If there’s a divisive or contentious topic on the table for public debate, it’s sure to be accompanied by fear-based campaigns from all sides. 

I’d like to think there was a time when we were more logical, when we made decisions based on well-documented and verified facts, but that’s probably wishful thinking. A brief glance at history would indicate humanity has always been subject to the politics of fear.

Fear is insidious. No one is immune. It attacks our sense of security. We all share common fears of losing our livelihood, our health, our family or our future.

Here’s a thought… if something you read or see or hear invokes fear in you, step back and ask yourself who benefits if you react, then determine if you should react at all.

Growing up I walked a half-mile from the bus stop that took me past a pair of unleashed Dobermans. Every day those dogs raced out, snarling and snapping. At first I panicked and ran, which fed their fury. Then I started picking up rocks and sticks and attempting to threaten them, which accomplished nothing. Eventually I realized those dogs were feeding off my fear, and if I kept walking, they’d go back to their porch to await their next victim.

It seems like humanity is in the rocks and sticks phase of that life lesson. Perhaps as social media matures we’ll reach the “just keep walking” phase.

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Sunday, March 10 kicks off Sunshine Week 2019, an annual reminder that governance should not be conducted in the dark.

We’ll be sharing information on our website and social media pages next week as part of that celebration.

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By the time most of you read this, we’ll know whether the lady Cowboys have progressed to the next level of competition at the Colorado State Basketball Championships. We wish them the very best in their quest for a state title!

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A few months back I mentioned that we were planning a “Write Your Own Obituary” event. I’ve procrastinated long enough. We’ll be hosting that event on Thursday, March 14 at the Meeker Coworking Center at 6:30 p.m. For $10, learn how to write your own (or someone else’s) obituary, manage your digital footprint, prepare your will, and ask the difficult questions we all need to answer before it’s too late.

We’ve debated what to call this event… death prepping, prepare to die, responsible death… none of those worked well, so we settled on “Own Your Story.” We anticipate a fun (because if you can’t laugh about death when you’re still alive, you’re already in trouble) and informative event.

Death and taxes are inevitable. We should prepare responsibly for both.

By Niki Turner | niki@theheraldtimes.com

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