My earliest childhood memory is based on fear.
Never raise that blanket over the window because the Japanese submarine in Puget Sound will get me. In primary school I was taught to hide under a little wooden desk to survive the Russian A-bomb blast. Then commies were everywhere, and like dominoes we were going down.
Remember the Cuban missiles flying overhead? And recently don’t forget the WMDs which introduced us to the unique properties of duct tape. Let us not also forget al-Qaida, Mexican immigrants, Syrians and ebola.
And now we have ISIS, ISIL, Daesh. The 24-hour media is telling me a ragtag group of thugs who have perverted a rich and compassionate religion for their obscene aims is trying to annihilate me. The politics of fear redux.
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To quote Walter Lippmann, “public opinion” is a fiction created by political elites to suit and advance their interests.
When the media are driven by special interests, sales numbers and noise alone, we lose our moral compass and drift towards the society we see today; violent, xenophobic and intolerant. Unfortunately, we give no thought to how our media are perceived by others in the world. Thus the cycle evolves.