Somewhere along the way some folks with a lot more wisdom than myself taught me what the real meaning of fear is, false expectations appearing real. I sense something in this country that I haven't experienced since the early 1980's and before that in the late 1960's.
The fear in the 1980's was the very real threat of nuclear war. President Reagan was upping the ante in the Cold War. Reagan pushed us to the edge of war with his rhetoric and his defense spending to let the Soviet Union know in no uncertain terms, we were ready. The ploy paid off as the arms race bankrupted the Soviets.
In the 1960's the fear intertwined with the Vietnam War and race. Racism was a major problem. Civil unrest in our largest cities was nothing new starting in 1966 by the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. seemed to push everything over the edge. I can remember walking into a restroom at K.U.'s Memorial Stadium during the Kansas Relays in 1969 and seeing a black man in an army jacket with a handgun stuck in his belt. It made me catch my breath.
We've come a long way. But even with the election of a black President we've got so much further to go. What happened last week in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Professor Gates aside, there are other signs of this simmering problem of race in this great country of ours.
I believe this whole squabble over President Obama's citizenship is purely race driven. It's being pushed by people who simply don't want a black man in the White House. These people fear what they don't understand.
The same is true with the whole Tea Bag movement. It's not about taxes. It's not about out of control government spending. It's about race. The people I saw out manning the picket lines in Clearwater, Florida on the 4th of July were by and large rednecks. These are the same kind of people you would have found at a Klan rally 50 years ago. Fear has convinced them that President Obama is the Manchurian candidate sent here by the socialists to destroy the United States.
These same folks need to reflect deeply upon the man they put in the White House for the eight years prior Obama's election. George W. Bush and his Vice President Dick Cheney nearly destroyed our constitution. They started a war that never needed to be fought. They nearly bankrupted the greatest nation on earth. You want something to fear, chew on that for awhile.