“Anxiety and fear cannot be a counsel for political action,” she said in making clear that a recent spate of violent attacks would not alter her government’s generous treatment of Middle East migrants and refugees. Her statement echoed a similar warning by Franklin D. Roosevelt at his first inauguration in 1933. “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” Roosevelt said as he took office at the absolute rock-bottom of the Great Depression.
America might be down, but it was far from out, he maintained at the time. “This great nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper.”
Whether deliberately emulating Roosevelt or not, Merkel’s comment was apt, timely and courageous. Compare it to the frenzied fear-mongering of the recent Republican party convention, and it doesn’t require much reflection to conclude Germany has the more admirable leader.In the paper paper, McParland's thoughts appear with this headline: "The only thing we have to fear is still fear itself." Au contraire, said I in the letter I sent in response:
In sum, fear only fear itself (and not the relentless, bloodthirsty "Allahu Akbbar" boychicks) and you're pretty much signing Western civilization's death warrant."The only thing we have to fear is still fear itself"? Tell that to the elderly Catholic priest in Normandy who was decapitated in his own church by a jihadi terrorist wearing an electronic ankle monitor (which had been disabled so as to not alert authorities that he was on the loose). Or to the children mowed down en masse in an act of vehicular jihad in Nice. Or to those who happened to be in the wrong places at the wrong times in Munich or Brussels or Istanbul or Florida.Oh, wait, you can't tell them. They're dead.And that, I suggest, is the litmus test to determine whether FDR's Depression-era assurance is applicable to our time. If "fear itself" were all there was to fear--in other words, were there no jihadis wreaking bloody mayhem on the unsuspecting as they go about their daily lives--then the above-mentioned individuals, whether or not they were wracked by fear, would still be very much alive.
Sorry if that sounds scary and un-Rooseveltian, but that's the God's honest truth.
Update: Dear Angela and Kelly--please watch this: