In a recent post in my covid blog I pointed out the absurdity of many new age teachers and Evangelical preachers who tell us that we need only let go of our anxieties in order to be safe from this deadly killer. Their message for us is that anxiety produces vulnerability to the virus. And that by staying relaxed and confident we survive.
This sounds like that inspiring message from FDR during the dark days right after Pearl Harbor when Americans were paralysed by terror:
"We have nothing to fear but fear itself!"
According to historians our country was motivated by these inspiring words to build its armaments and win two wars against powerful and dangerous empires.
Well aren't we inspired by those words even today? And isn't that the message of our beloved president today? “Nothing to fear. Just 5 cases!” It will go away...a miracle...don't let the fake news scare you. We have nothing to fear but...the fear mongering of the Democrats!
Well some of you may have noticed that the constant reassurances from the president and his FOX “News friends that everything is under control has not actually made us safer. Instead our country is hurtling toward an unprecedented disaster completely unprepared.
In contrast, President Obama was smart enough to be afraid. Very afraid. He knew that a pandemic like this was coming because he listened...unlike our current clown in chief...to the science. He put together a pandemic response team that could respond quickly to this crisis even before it hit our shores. And stop it. The way South Korea and Taiwan and other Asian nations are doing now.
Then Trump arrived and dismantled it completely.
Now our country is the center of the global pandemic with fatalities spiraling out of control. And now, since we are a fearless nation, we are coming off our experiment in social distancing and ratcheting up the deaths.
Because Americans are fearless we will accelerate the transmission of this deadly virus until we leave every other country in the dust!
Oh sorry. Not quite. It is in fact up to 2 million Americans who will wind up in the dust. Our nation's economy in the dust. Our military might, our industry in the dust.
That is the result of fearless warriors going to battle ill prepared.
Well...it sure worked out great for America in World War Two when Roosevelt said those inspiring words to America: " Nothing to fear but fear itself."
Well I'm a historian. So let's see how that worked out, America.
The US military was as usual poorly prepared for the demands of a World War. After all who would ever bother to attack the greatest country in the world, right? We had nothing to fear. Our armed forces therefore were ill prepared.
So when the newly invented radar installation at Pearl Harbor showed massive flocks of planes approaching from the west( Yes that's the direction of Japan) on December 7, 1941, the commanding admiral dismissed the reports as errors. Those must be the escort planes coming from San Francisco, he insisted, against the loud cries of his technicians. "East! There are far too many! From the west!"
Well he obviously had nothing to fear. So pearl harbor goes down as a “surprise attack”.
For the first year of the war America's vaunted war industry prepared our troops with the superior military technology needed to win the war.
But in our blissful overconfidence we built a new torpedo that simply didn't work. Destroyer and submarine crews discovered to their horror that one torpedo after another would hit the Japanese ships and fizzle. And their steering mechanisms were so poorly engineered that one of these tributes to American engineering even circled around to assault the sub that launched it!
And when reams of complaints began to pour, in the good old boys in the industry at first dismissed these reports as incompetent sailors with bad aim.
It was over a year before this gross error was corrected.
The much applauded Sherman tank was the workhorse of the American invasion of Europe. Made by the fearless American industry. We knew that there was no tank ever built that could beat American ingenuity.
Except when it could. The Sherman tank had a gun so weak it could not penetrate the armor of any of the German tanks it met on the battlefield. It's shells would simply bounce off the much heavier German armor.
And the Sherman's own armor was so weak that a single shot from any German tank would destroy it, setting the tank on fire and incinerating everyone in it. They earned the nickname "bic lighter" from the troops because they lit up reliably every time.
These are just two examples of the results of America's fearless attitude in WWII.
Now we launch ourselves fearlessly into a war with another terrible enemy.
And of course we have nothing to fear but fear itself?
Be afraid people. Do what FDR and FOX news and Donald Trump failed to do. PREPARE.
.When Covid comes after your family...will you be shooting blanks? Like America's Sherman tanks? Like America's current leadership?
Or will you be prepared?
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