Nearly 83 years later, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s inaugural address in which he said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” is as relevant as it was in the midst of the Great Depression.
Presidential candidates such as Donald Trump are fanning the flames of fear and threatening to turn it into an epidemic. Americans under the influence of these fearmongers are beginning to view all immigrants as either terrorists or job thieves as well as being hostile to certain minorities sharing their neighborhoods.
Somehow, with all the fear-inducing rhetoric, we forget that the majority of Muslim, Latino, African-American and gay Americans are loyal and productive citizens, or that most immigrants come here to breathe the air of liberty and opportunity just as our own ancestors did.
Fear is contrary to our nature as Americans and against the values we hold so dear. Fear also breeds hatred, as it did in Nazi Germany or France during the Reign of Terror. We cannot tolerate solutions that include building walls, mass deportations, profiling citizens, closing mosques, arming our citizens or turning away those fleeing the horrors of war. We do not confront internal or external threats with hatred and vengeance. We seek rational and humane solutions.
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Tom Bauer, Morro Bay