Fear Fear Fear…And very little truth

Hopefully you have read my last blog in which I analyze how small business friendly our candidates for Governor might be based upon their response to a questionnaire, their voting records and past experience with The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. If you haven’t, read it before you read today’s post.

On Monday, I sent out a press release containing essentially what is in Tuesday’s blog. Almost immediately I received an e-mail from a publisher of one of our state’s fine weekly papers.

Here are our 3 e-mails unedited:

August 30, 2010 12:17PM
If this is not an endorsement of Sheheen, then I have never seen an endorsement. I also take issue with you for endorsing Obama’s health care fiasco. It all looks like your political bias is showing. We’ll never save this country if we let the Democrats run it.

August 30, 2010 12:34PM
You mean that your paper has never printed a negative op.ed about a candidate yet did not endorse the opponent? We have every responsibility to educate small businesses about the candidates. To the degree that Haley chose not to participate or even respond is a red flag. I would be happy to debate the new health care law with you whenever you would like. However, your bias on that is clearly showing in calling it “Obamacare”.

August 30, 2010 12:34 PM
You are right. I am biased against Obama. Scares the hell out of me that now I am old enough for Social Security and Medicare, which I have paid for all these years, Obama and his cohorts want to cut benefits. I saw your ad on TV and yes, guess what, they do plan death panels. We can support people who have never tried to work and cut back on the people who have worked, saved and paid their taxes. We can cut Social Security and give the savings to illegal aliens. Why did I waste my time working? Why did I spend 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, working to establish a small business when government is going to take everything away from me? Yes, I am biased and very afraid.

First, neither my comments in the press release or in the questionnaire do I “endorse” the new health care law. The questionnaire only asks about the candidate’s intentions regarding implementing the law.

Second, there was no endorsement of a candidate, only an analysis of the candidates.

Third, what does the Governor of South Carolina have to do with Medicare or Social Security or even the new health care law (when it is ruled Constitutional by the courts)?

I could go on about how the publisher is incorrect about cuts in Social Security, Medicare and especially “death panels.” And no, the publisher’s Social Security benefits will not be cut to give benefits to illegal aliens.

But here is what is important for us to understand.

Once you peel away the knee-jerk, politically conservative rhetoric that has been drilled into the publisher’s head from years of right-wing radio and TV talk show entertainers, the real emotion escapes—FEAR.

Fear of not having the nation’s “socialism” programs, Social Security and Medicare, available for the publisher’s own use. Fear that those less deserving of our social safety net will take away the publisher’s benefits.

Like millions of Americans, the publisher has been fed political fear day in and day out for years. Fear of Democrats (even though Social Security and Medicare were the creation of Democratics over strong Republican oppostion). Fear of any change even though what has been in place has failed so badly. The publisher is “very afraid.”

The reality of this entrenched and pervasive fear is not healthy for our country. We cannot be a nation of “afraids”. We must be optimists, not people who vote based on fear because we are told that new ways to solve problems are scary.

By definition an entrepreneur who starts a small business is an optimist believing that they can change their economic environment. They don’t know fear and they don’t like the word “no”.

That is why my publisher’s fear makes me afraid. Afraid that we’ve lost what has made our country great–a “can do” spirit and a sense of national community working together to move the country forward.

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