Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

I've been thinking, in this election season, about the above from Franklin Delano Roosevelt's First Inaugural address. It's from the very beginning:
I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our people impel. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
 I was glad to see Mayor Petty tackle this with some strong words on Friday. I'm going to go a step farther and point out that it isn't just something that's happening in the mayor's race. We have people running for public office who want our community to be afraid, and who are exploiting that fear for political gain.
And that's wrong.
It makes me particularly angry as a parent. I send my three kids off to three different Worcester Public Schools every morning (in three different quadrants). So, yes, I have a vested interest at a personal level in safety in this city and in the schools. I know my kids are safe there. So to hear some who are elected or would like to be elected toss around rhetoric about "gang-infested" or "powder-kegs" or talk about how kids used to be motivated..it infuriates me. It's completely inaccurate.
Using my kids--using all of our kids--for political power is sickening.
It also doesn't fix anything or solve anything.
So, for those who are doing this: my kids, our kids, are not here for your little power trip. Knock it off.
And for those who are voters? Don't reward this behavior.

No comments: