JIM CREES: A suggestion for the New Year
I have a suggestion for the New Year. You might want to call it a “Resolution” and adopt it as your own. You might want to simply ignore my advice.
That’s OK as well.
My suggestion is that we stop being afraid of ... everything.
How? you may ask. How can we stop worrying about ... um ... everything?
The world, after all, is going to Hell around us. The Jihadists are banging at the back door. The gays are gonna force us to marry some guy. The president is taking our guns away from us. We’re all gonna end up Socialists. The Feds are stealing our land.
OH. MY. GOSH!
Except ... they’re not.
The Jihadists aren’t at your backdoor. Nobody says you have to be gay. Nobody is taking anybody’s guns away from them. And if you don’t want to be a Socialist ... don’t be.
Oh, and by the way, nobody stole Christmas this year ... again.
So, we can all stop being so afraid.
Here’s the cure for fear.
Stop listening to GOP presidential candidates and stop watching FOX News.
If you continue to listen to GOP presidential candidates, you will continue to be left with the impression ISIS has already opened shop down the street, and you will soon need learn Spanish in order to get a driver’s license.
The world is about to end, and only (fill in your favorite candidate) stands between the Heartland and total destruction.
Fear is a great election tool and the Cruz, Trump, Hucklebee, et al team have learned to use that tool ever so well.
Muslims — whether foreign or American born — have become the new threat.
Until a short while ago, the Big Threat was from Mexico. Once upon a time, the Big Threat was the Irish. Then the Chinese. Then the Italians.
There always is a Big Threat.
For a while the biggest threat was same-sex marriage. It was supposed to totally tear apart the very fabric of American society.
Um ... well ... not yet. Although according to some pastors, same-sex marriage is the cause of various hurricanes and tornadoes!
Fear is big deal during an election cycle. Sure terrorism is a concern, but do politicians and other talking heads offer even a hint of the real picture?
Fact is, there is absolutely no rational reason Americans should be so afraid. But they are afraid.
A recent article in the International Business Times discusses a New York Times/CBS News poll saying “ ... Americans were surveyed in the wake of attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, as both are thought to have had ties to the Islamic State group.
“The survey found that about 79 percent of respondents believe a terrorist attack is somewhat likely or very likely in the next few months. Around 19 percent of respondents said they believe terrorism is the most important national issue — up from the 4 percent last month.”
Almost one in five Americans believe terrorism is the “most important national issue.”
This does make sense, however, if you look at terrorism in context of the GOP debates and campaigning strategies, and FOX News coverage of world events.
The truth, however, is very different.
Since the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, a total of 93 people have been killed in what have been officially determined “terror attacks” in these United States. What is stunning is most of those killed died at the hands of white conservative Christian terrorists - such as those killed in various Planned Parenthood shootings or in similar attacks.
But these terrorists simply don’t look like terrorists. They looked like grandpa.
Over the past 14 years (and then some) 93 people have been killed in terror attacks. More people die from obesity-related disease in one month, but nobody is suggesting we shut down fast food establishments.
More people were killed last year by lightning strikes in these United States (26) than from terror attacks in that same period of time.
According to Center for Disease Control data, “ ... between 2,000 and 3,000 older adults die from malnutrition each year.”
That’s each year! So in the time period that 93 people have died from domestic terror attacks from 28,000 to 42,000 Americans died from malnutrition — most of them elderly.
But we’re afraid of ISIS??!!??
C’mon folks. Let’s get serious.
Heck, last year more than 105 flu-related deaths in children were reported to CDC from 30 states.
So why are people so terrified of the boogeyman all the time?
‘Cause they are being constantly told they should be.
My suggestion for this New Year?
For Heaven’s sake, you have a better chance of dying from the flu than you do of ever being hurt in a terror attack.
So go get your flu vaccine!
If we didn’t have a political system and at least one 24-hour news producer wholly and solely dedicated to making sure people were constantly scared silly, we would all be way, Way, WAY better off.
It’s high time we simply stopped being afraid of all the silliness.