Monday, 29 October 2007

Fearing Fear Itself

In today's New York Times, Paul Krugman writes:

In America’s darkest hour, Franklin Delano Roosevelt urged the nation not to succumb to “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror.” But that was then.

Today, many of the men who hope to be the next president — including all of the candidates with a significant chance of receiving the Republican nomination — have made unreasoning, unjustified terror the centerpiece of their campaigns.

Do we need need to add to this a reference to the measured, calm beauty of Winston Churchill's rhetoric, when his nation was in more danger, and in darker an hour, than America has never seen?

It is a sad reflection that in our times, steadfastness and courage seem to be exemplified more by scaremongering high-pitched rhetoric than by the kind of leadership which inspires citizens to face up to their fears as they want their military to face up to their enemies. Krugman's article makes this point well...