What do history's most notorious despots have in common with many of the flag-waving, patriotic politicians of our day? Both groups rise to power through the exploitation of fear, which has become a societal plague. There have been widespread casualties. We need an antidote. Feardom offers its readers a much-needed immunization.
photo credit: a35mmlife
Barack Obama has been seen of late as an eloquent speaker, passionate politician, and a uniter. To be sure, his speeches are inspiring and motivational—one comes away from hearing him speak with an upbeat attitude and optimistic outlook on life and politics.
However, those who become enamored with Obama are often those who fall victim of the fallacy of misplaced hope.
Hope is a wonderful virtue when the object of its attention is true and proper. However, when one’s hope revolves around falsehoods, inefficiency, and immorality, it is misplaced and thus ineffective.
It is in this latter scenario that hope becomes a diversionary tool, leading the recipient to focus more on their feelings than on axioms and logic. While a proper pursuit of truth relies upon both methods of inquiry, those who become enthralled with political feel-goodery often cast aside any attempt to scrutinize principles, details, and historical analysis.
Ask the average Obama supporter, for example, what exactly his platform entails. They’ll repeat his common mantras of change, hope, unity, and equality. But what does that mean? I have met very few Obama supporters that can name specifics and defend the underlying principles of each proposed action.
Why is this? I believe it is because on the campaign trail, Senator Obama focuses more on fluff than features. He capitalizes on his way with words, pumping the political rhetoric so full of misplaced virtue that his supporters become whipped up in a frenzy and fail to investigate the issues.
Were they to do so, they might see a full-blown statist in their midst. Wrapped up in the banner of hope and unity is one seeking to expand the size of government drastically, promising programs and initiatives that would almost always require more bureaucracy, more centralized control, and more reduction of liberty.
This misplaced (and misinformed) hope is akin to a doctor telling his patient that he has cancer, giving him a lollipop and a smile, and telling him that it’ll all be okay. While it may be difficult to hear, the patient would much rather be informed about specific options on what can and should be done to remedy the festering problem. Beating around the bush and feeding him with fluff will not solve the problem.
Unless it is grounded upon true principles, hope is misplaced. Unless it is supported with logic and reason, it is misinformed.
In saying all of this, I mean no disrespect to Senator Obama nor to those who have been passionately invigorated by his loquacious speeches. I’m sure that Mr. Obama truly believes that the values he promotes are ones that will better America as a whole. My problem lies with those who falsely place their hope in individuals based on their character and words, rather than their fruits.
Hope will naturally come as a byproduct to actions and pursuits that are grounded upon true and established principles. Any person who falsely generates a contrived sense of hope without providing the necessary underlying foundation of established principles will quickly see that illusory hope dwindle and be exposed for the fallacy that it was.