Fear Can Be Good, Bad, And Very Ugly

“…thought it was a nightmare,  Lord it was so true/They told me don’t go walking slow the devil’s on the loose/ Better run through the jungle…Whoa don’t look back/ Thought I heard a rumblin’ calling to my name two hundred million guns are loaded Satan cries ‘take aim’                                    by  John Fogerty                                  Run Through The Jungle    

The trouble with fear is that we often don’t know what is good fear or bad fear. Out of fear I stayed closeted for most of my life. It is still hard for me to discern weather that was good or bad.  Many times we just guess what to do in a

ROTC Building
May 1970. Student unrest on the campus of the University of Kentucky.

situation or even in our life choices and we are right sometimes and wrong sometimes. Right now I am fearful to go out in public with my kids. I don’t know if that is reasonable or not. I know there have been times in my life because of having fear of something it has probably saved my life. Especially when my gender dysphoria was running rampant and I pushed myself to my limits.  

I’ve heard it so often, “don’t live in fear, don’t let fear control your life.” Also I remember, “Be brave, stand strong, or don’t be scared,” my dad told me over and over. Fear is one our basic instincts and is seems to be pretty universal with all animals. We know that most people’s experience fear from childhood on through their adulthood. A lot of brave people will tell you that they were scared at one time or another. The reaction to fear is normally  fight or flight.  Fear can also manifest itself as worry, jealousy, envy, suspicion, insecurity, and a host of other emotions. Fear can also save our lives. Which is which?

Many historical events were just plain “fight or flight” in some form or another.  See Syrian refugees and all those today who seek political asylum for the flight part of the fear equation. Here in the US all you have to do is look at the record gun sales as an indicator of those who are scared and want to fight. Currently, also look at the Donald Trump supporters who were manipulated for their fear of non-white and non-hetro people. People, as a whole tend to respond to fear if nothing else. I heard a lot of people say that if Trump was elected that they would move out of the country because of fear. But, instead of people moving out of the country, I believe what you will see is the another American Revolution or the second Civil War if you wish to call it that, as a ever growing oppressed population decides to fight back against fear.

The first part of the revolution against the upcoming government is already taking place right before our eyes with the signs that say, “Not Our President.” Many have started calling themselves the Resistance. The new Resistance is in no mood to compromise with an oppressive government. This is the non-violent part of the reaction. That will soon change I believe as the new government gets further and further into its “Make America Great Again” campaign.

Make no mistake the Trump supporters were looking for a fight against with what they saw as the “liberal agenda” in America. The  Trump supporters are hard to distinguish from most other hate groups out there right now like the KKK or any white supremacy type of groups. They used fear talk as a means to get people on board with their agenda. This is not a passive group. They are not innocent by-standers. How many times have we already heard of confrontations?   We hear, “Trump is president now, you are going to get what’s coming to you.” Weather that means deportation for some, becoming second class citizens for many,  or deliberate government sponsored extinction for people like me. This year’s election was anything but politics as usual. Fear manifest itself as hate and fueled  most of the Republican victories around the country. Is everyone who voted for the Republicans a hater?  No, but it doesn’t really matter why they voted the way they did because they chose the side of the oppressors and the oppressed will not forgive when all is said.

I’ve heard people say that identity politics and political correctness cost the Democrats the election. Which is the same as saying you lost the election because you stood up for marginalized groups instead of feeding the Hetro-Christian-White Voter sugar coated slogans and sound bites of how you were going to stomp on anyone who was not them. I think Republicans played the fear card and now they will have to fulfill that fear and hate to their supporters.

So how do I see this particular revolution playing out?  From history we know that revolutions have begun when either small or large groups of people feel as if the government over them does not care for their well being. It seems we have that group of people here in the US well in place to be oppressed.  Kingdoms, Strong-arm dictatorships, powerful foreign governments, and every once in a while a democracy that has lost touch with it’s citizens have toppled from revolutions. Some revolutions had been peaceful and some not.

For the United States we’ve had several times in our history that you could call peaceful revolutions that have been mostly without bloodshed. The Women’s Suffrage Movement was mostly peaceful.  The Civil War was a very un-peaceful revolution. The last violent revolution was in the 1960’s over civil rights and a war that was horribly unpopular and a draft system that was unfair. On both fronts you had people who were willing to fight to make an uncaring government and a population of people who wanted to keep the status quo sit up and listen. The 60’s could have taken a much uglier path than it did with violence but the government finally listened and changed policies on civil rights and the war. The government defused a powder keg.  So if the 60’s was a revolution and we made it through intact why will this one be so different? Because this time we have someone just like in the 60’s when we had Johnson first and then Nixon who is an egotistical narcissist who has surrounded himself with yes men, our nation is more evenly divided, and there are a lot more weapons in the hands of citizens which makes it have much more potential  to get very ugly.

First let me say that I think we were going to a have a great civil unrest soon no matter who was elected president, but I believe it will now be much bloodier and violent in nature because of the results of this election. The very nature of an oppressive government is to not negotiate with any form of sincerity. Rhetoric from Politian’s will keep some at bay at first but it will not last long. What many don’t understand is that revolutions are started  by pissed off 19 year olds not white haired old men in congress. The 19 year olds do not have the same trust and faith in our democracy that many of us older people have had.

So yes, I lived though the 60’s. I was there when the  National Guard was on the University of Kentucky Campus a few days after the Kent State shooting. I remember looking a the National Guardsmen with their fixed bayonets and we who were standing on the lawn in front of the Administration building down hill near Limestone were told that they had live ammunition(see  student-protest-may-1970) and yes I was scared. I was 16 and I remember thinking that here is a government that is ready to kill its own people for no reason and right at that moment I hated the government. I wasn’t thinking about the next election. I was thinking, “well this is a hell of a way to die.”  Right now I am fearful of what is going to happen to myself and my country when the new regime begins in January.   I am just not sure how fear will manifest itself in me this time around. Most of my life my  instinct has been to run from danger, but fear is a strange thing.


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