Green Room

The Fear Machine

posted at 12:35 am on August 9, 2009 by

Ken Gladney, the man beaten by union thugs at a town hall meeting, is the latest victim of the Fear Machine: an old horror from the early twentieth century, still in service after many upgrades. It is crucial piece of hardware for collectivists of all stripes, because the success of their grand designs requires a frightened populace – now more than ever. It isn’t easy to persuade an Information Age society to forget all the lessons of the past century, and hand their money, freedom, and lives over to the same rancid ideology that bathed the world in blood and poverty. There aren’t enough suckers willing to believe that this time, the collectivists will manage to construct utopia. There aren’t enough people stupid enough to think the architects of the three trillion dollar deficit, stagnant economy, and runaway unemployment just need another fifteen or twenty percent of the economy under their control, and decades of miserable failure will suddenly turn into dazzling success. Ignorance is not a potent enough fuel to get socialism where it wants to go. It needs fear added to the mixture.

Brave and confident citizens are of little use to the socialist, because they have little appetite for government control of their daily lives. People who retain a measure of faith in their own abilities, and their ability to succeed in a free marketplace, are not looking for saviors. When a politician jumps in front of them and declares himself to be their messiah, they’re likely to respond with laughter. People like Barack Obama, and the leadership of the Democrat Party, do not like being laughed at. They are even less willing to tolerate questions about their wisdom or good intentions. Their predecessors left them the keys to a well-tuned machine that suppresses laughter, and questions, with apprehension and dread.

The Fear Machine has claws and cudgels, but it’s also wired into televisions and computers. It knows that chaos is more intimidating than raw violence. The purpose of dispatching the thugs who beat Mr. Gladney was not merely to silence him, or make other protestors feel physically threatened. The purpose is to make everyone who might attend a town hall feel as if they could be walking into a mob scene. Most Americans are decent people who don’t want to become part of a riot. Notice how quickly the Left’s media auxiliaries acted to muddy the waters, spinning tales of frightened Democrats hiding from imposing, probably racist mobs.

It’s interesting how swiftly, and frequently, these weird allegations of racism were pumped into the media smog, even as Obama’s minions left a black man bleeding on the pavement. Wild allegations of racism are the toxic exhaust of the Fear Machine. Upstanding citizens don’t want to be accused of racism, or associated with groups that might have dark racial motivations. Few possibilities frighten them more. Notice how swiftly the President moved to inject racial themes into the arrest of his friend Henry Gates: another gallon of gas for the machinery Obama knew he would soon need to deploy, to suppress mounting opposition to his agenda.

Uncertainty nourishes fear. It’s no accident that the biggest socialist power grab in American history is directed against the medical industry. Health care is complex and ever-changing. Most people don’t understand the science of medicine, or the complex way their health care has been married to “insurance” programs that have little to do with insuring against catastrophic events. Because medical care is expensive, people incorrectly assume that poor folks must be dropping dead all over the place, for want of proper care. Because health insurance is tied to employment, people are as nervous about losing their health care as they are about losing their jobs. The vast majority of Americans tell pollsters they’re happy with their own medical care… but they don’t understand how it works, it could disappear tomorrow, and they’re selfish for being happy with something denied to the least fortunate among us.

Economics is also an area where the public can be manipulated through terror. Few people understand how markets work. No one felt like they had time to master the intricacies of the subprime market when the financial collapse of 2008 hit. They had been conditioned to fear and hate the shadowy “fat cats” who run “the system” for their own personal gain, so they were ready to believe those same old hobgoblins were at fault once again. The Fear Machine is large and distracting, so it takes some effort to notice the people holding its remote control. The Republicans did little to shine the spotlight on them in the first, crucial days of the financial crisis. Unwilling to fight the nightmarish contraption towering over him on the evening news, McCain collapsed wearily on the side of the campaign trail, and crumbled into dust.

The Obama Administration expects Americans to live every day in fear. We’re supposed to be afraid of the health insurance, energy, and banking industries. We’re supposed to be so frightened of the damage our prosperity inflicts on the Earth that we’ll pay literally any price to make it stop. We’re told that everyone who speaks out against Obama’s agenda is a well-dressed tool of sinister corporations, or the demonic servant of people who hate the President because of his skin color, or the storm troopers of a powerful new Nazi party coalescing from thin air. The Democrats believe they don’t have to win debates, if they can make the public too afraid to listen to their opponents. They insist that their agenda must be implemented in haste, with no time for debate… and what makes people more nervous than being repeatedly told there is no time to lose?

Choice is frightening. The responsibilities of freedom are frightening. Freedom necessarily implies the possibility of failure, because not every action available to free men and women can be guaranteed to succeed. The Democrats present themselves as saviors who wish to liberate you from the burden of choice, and the duties that come with freedom. All they require is your blind faith, for just a little bit longer… until all the choices are made for you, forever, and you become the child of a maternal State that will protect you from harm, and punish you for disobedience.

There is a way to break the Fear Machine, and make it backfire on those who control it: courage. Brave men and women don’t do anything blindly. Courage brings confidence, and confident people never stop asking questions. Confidence brings the wisdom to understand that a prosperous, happy future can be found through the creativity and spirit of millions of your fellow citizens, rather than the tortured and dishonest schemes of a few hundred politicians in Washington. Never forget that people who frantically point out “enemies” for you to fear and hate are usually the people you should be afraid of.

Above all, remember that you are not alone. The Democrats will desperately try to make you feel alone, in the coming weeks. It’s a lie. You don’t have to look over your shoulder to see the great body of Americans who share your values and beliefs, and your determination to remain in control of your health, wealth, and destiny. We’re here. We always have been, and always will be. Be brave, and be of good cheer, because nothing frustrates those who demand fear more than laughter.

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“Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating? It is the exact opposite of the stupid hedonistic Utopias that the old reformers imagined. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. Progress in our world will be progress toward more pain.”

-George Orwell (1984)

bigjack on August 9, 2009 at 1:46 AM

Doc Zero always makes sense and can’t seem to compose a sentence that isn’t quotable.

Jim Treacher on August 9, 2009 at 2:04 AM

Fan-freakin’-tastic.

Advocate For Change on August 9, 2009 at 2:09 AM

Awesome.

Mr. Wednesday Night on August 9, 2009 at 3:16 AM

Yes – good points, but over the other shoulder…

Man is inherently weak. We also must keep our allies from slipping across ideological lines. We must also educate the Democrats and independents that governmental interference, disguised as a ambulance, brings all progress to a halt, and in reality is the hearse.

ericdijon on August 9, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Ok. I commented. Next stop for this post is the front page. It’s a curse I seem to have.

ericdijon on August 9, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Whatever you are paying this gentleman – triple it. He has yet to do anything but hit the nail right smack on the head. Would someone please tell him to get an exclusive interview with Sarah Palin – that would be very nice indeed………..

Cinday Blackburn on August 9, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Ok. I commented. Next stop for this post is the front page. It’s a curse I seem to have.

ericdijon on August 9, 2009 at 8:52 AM

That happens a lot with Dr Zero’s posts and deservedly so.

casel21 on August 9, 2009 at 12:43 PM

I think it’s a great post too Doc. It’s a conservatives “fireside chat.” My favorite part:

Above all, remember that you are not alone. The Democrats will desperately try to make you feel alone, in the coming weeks. It’s a lie. You don’t have to look over your shoulder to see the great body of Americans who share your values and beliefs, and your determination to remain in control of your health, wealth, and destiny. We’re here. We always have been, and always will be. Be brave, and be of good cheer, because nothing frustrates those who demand fear more than laughter.

JiangxiDad on August 9, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Thank you Dr. Zero. Once again you have nailed it. My offer still stands, if you’re ever in Central Oregon I will buy you some of the best beer in the country and enjoy talking with you.

Agent of the Cross on August 9, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Excellent as always, Dr. Z. Another keeper. And one to pass along.

Cody1991 on August 9, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Sir, this is TWO columns completely hit out of the park in the last 3-4 days.

Strong work–absolutely strong work.

ted c on August 9, 2009 at 12:59 PM

This needs wide circulation.

jeff_from_mpls on August 9, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Doc-
I think you give too much credit to the American public.
It was ignorance or even worse, willful ignorance that got BHO elected.
It’s willful ignorance that keeps CNN, MSNBC, et al on the air.
Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Al Franken, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters are in Congress and keep getting returned.
WAY too much credit, Doc.

Amendment X on August 9, 2009 at 1:04 PM

ericdijon on August 9, 2009 at 8:50 AM

The abdication of journalism so that one can be popular has shown these tools to be absolute lowlifes. They may look pretty and smell good, but they are nothing but low rent whores who have sold out the American people. The blogs are where the real journalists reside. Thank you for an excellent essay.

tessa on August 9, 2009 at 1:08 PM

There is a way to break the Fear Machine, and make it backfire on those who control it: courage. Brave men and women don’t do anything blindly. Courage brings confidence, and confident people never stop asking questions.

Of the many valuable ideas in the essay, this one caught my attention first.

Our side did not lead with courage. When congress first put our business executives through the humiliation of a kangaroo court, everyone failed. The Democrat party, be definition, exhibited no courage there. But the executives failed by cowering to the demeaning questions, and by forfeiting their bonuses like criminals, and letting busloads of thugs intimidate them.

And we, the ordinary people were not courageous either, because we failed to recognize that episode as our defining moment. We should have gone for the heavy artillery right then and there. That was not the time to be “moderate” and “bipartisan.” It was exactly the time when we should have hit hardest.

They say the most critical moments in a violent crime are the first minute or two. That’s when the perpetrator figures out whether you’re going to fight or be led to slaughter.

It’s not too late.

Brilliant essay, Doctor Z.

jeff_from_mpls on August 9, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Jim Treacher on August 9, 2009 at 2:04 AM

I agree, whenever I see Green Room and Doc Zero, I go grab a fresh beer and a cigarette and mute the TV. I know its going to be good.

Wish Doc could be a guest blogger over at AoSHQ.

broker1 on August 9, 2009 at 1:14 PM

Hopeful and timely words, Doc. Thanks.

clorensen on August 9, 2009 at 1:15 PM

The Doctor is in right again.

LibTired on August 9, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Doc, if you don’t run for president in ’12, you should at least be writing speeches for the conservative candidate.

FloatingRock on August 9, 2009 at 1:50 PM

A marvelous post, Doc. Thank you.

Be brave, and be of good cheer, because nothing frustrates those who demand fear more than laughter.

Enter Glenn Beck. Making more people laugh at leftism is his next target, he said last week.

petefrt on August 9, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Once again I had to copy your entire post and send it to [email protected]. You are a dangerous man to the great Lord Obama and you need to be watched ever so closely.

SKYFOX on August 9, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Me too.

Only difference is, you told our President that Doctor Zero is a dangerous man, I merely said his writings are fishy.

jeff_from_mpls on August 9, 2009 at 1:59 PM

Doc, if you don’t run for president in ‘12, you should at least be writing speeches for the conservative candidate.

FloatingRock on August 9, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Absolutely. Doc is gifted.

petefrt on August 9, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Doc you are the best writer on this website in my opinion.(no offense to anyone else!) I read your last front pager out loud to the rest of my family and they were very impressed and thoughtful after it was finished. (it was the “who we are” essay) we all loved it.

Please keep it up!

Mord on August 9, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Above all, remember that you are not alone.

I know. Mr. Glock accompnies me wherever I go.

bill30097 on August 9, 2009 at 2:50 PM

two words

Tammany

Hall

blatantblue on August 9, 2009 at 2:51 PM

Sometimes I can Write Good, but never this Good: I have ‘word envy’ and it hurts so bad

excellent essay which both informs and advocates, Doc Z.

Not to invoke that ‘law’ about Nazi references, but the goose-steppers were masters of creating and maintaining an insidious fear among a largely cowed and partially supportive German population which had seen the horrors of the blockade during and after WWI ( which caused widespread starvation ) and then the mind-boggling currency inflation & collapse which wiped out the life savings of most Germans

“Nacht und Nebel ( night and fog ) was a slogan creating by the National SOCIALIST regime meant to sustain just the sense of amorphous fear you mention: Most Germans knew they were unlikely to be snatched up by the GeStaPo, but if Hans or Gretel stepped out of line………..

Janos Hunyadi on August 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM

Those of you who haven’t seen this Hanna Barbera cartoon from 1948, please watch.

We’ve see what’s happening before, mostly from a distance. This should be seen by everyone. Especially the press. They might wake up.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nolcHeQspVk

r keller on August 9, 2009 at 3:20 PM

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that Dr. Zero is the reincarnation of John Locke.

applebutter on August 9, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Brilliant.

Never forget that people who frantically point out “enemies” for you to fear and hate are usually the people you should be afraid of.

Exactly. I don’t think I’m alone in disliking this business of holding up different groups – doctors, businessmen, police, insurance people, etc. – different groups of US whom we’re supposed to hate and fear.

They want us to hate US. I refuse to. I think there are a lot of people like me.

Alana on August 9, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Many a comedian was born in the bomb shelters when England was engaged in The Battle of Britain. Me Mum told me so , because she lived through it!

sonnyspats1 on August 9, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Be brave, and be of good cheer, because nothing frustrates those who demand fear more than laughter.

That and keep your powder dry.

The goons in power and merry old King Hussein of the South Side are about to toss gasoline onto a long smoldering ember. And they will be the ones who get burned.

J.J. Sefton on August 9, 2009 at 3:33 PM

I love this guy.

A-Freakin’-men!

Lemme hearya say hallelujah!

Typhoon on August 9, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Dr Zero…it seems to me that we are going therough this every 50 years…my FEAR is this is the year the socialist succeed… I’m worried that the ignornat among us, and there are so many now, and the class warfare being pushed will tip this whole thing to them…

CCRWM on August 9, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Fight the machine

CWforFreedom on August 9, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Doctor Zero stands accused of repeatedly using the unholy combination of meticulous logic and reason to try to convince the uppity unwashed peasants that they have the right and ability to stand up to their royalist betters. This is completely unacceptable as with malice of forethought it is molesting, tormenting, and otherwise greatly annoying our beloved Dear Leader and all his Royalist Forces and loyal subjects. Now, Doctor Zero, His Royal Majesty, Obama the Magnificent, ruler of all that he surveys, has instructed me to again give you fair warning, either you or your head must be off, and that in about half no time! Take your choice!

Cheshire Cat on August 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM

Well done, sir! I LOVE your posts, Doc.

TeeDee on August 9, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Thank you Doctor for putting into writing what I and many other feel but were unable to express as clearly and as eloquently as you have.

Yakko77 on August 9, 2009 at 5:39 PM

Seems to me the democrats and muslin obama forgot that a democrat they love told America how to defeat them.

” THE ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR ITSELF”

F.D.R.

rone5847 on August 9, 2009 at 6:20 PM

Been working in Healthcare for 33 years. Nobody gets turned away. Dr. Zero has it exactly right, it is about economics. My biggest fear is the breakout of how “not for profit” community medical centers get paid.

Most expensive care is billed to those with no insurance, but nearly to no one pays those rates. PPO gets the highest return for the medical center, followed by HMO, then Medicare, lastly Medicaid (MediCal in California). When the government starts promoting themselves as the payor of choice for all healthcare, then we will be have a larger percentage paid by the lowest payor. Ultimately we won’t be able to offer the same services, leading to rationing and delays.

You can read about all of the real issues of rationing and delays from countries with single payor. France, Canada, England, they are all rationed by the government. Like any business if the medical center can’t turn a profit, they go out of business. Leading to more delays and rationing.

Dog bites on August 9, 2009 at 6:42 PM

This is, indeed, living in interesting times.

Mew

acat on August 10, 2009 at 9:06 AM