We have become a nation governed not by truth, vision, science or even majority vote -- but by fear.
Fear in social interaction.
Fear in the media.
Fear in politics.
Social media has become a tool for screaming at, shaming and, in extreme cases, silencing all views with which certain preferred groups disagree.
Take the transgender movement as one example.
I will go out on a limb and suggest that the majority of Americans do not believe it is possible for a biological male to become a woman, or vice versa, notwithstanding a legal change of name, rewriting a birth certificate, taking medications or even undergoing surgeries to remove or restructure body parts. That's not to say that most people care whether or not anyone else chooses to do those things, only that they do not necessarily accept as truth the conclusion that they are told follows those acts. But most prefer to remain silent about their views, rather than invoke the outrage of the social media mobs (as author J.K. Rowling has discovered).
That said, when authors, social scientists and medical experts want to study the physical, psychological, behavioral or sociological implications of this relatively recent phenomenon, the attack of the outrage mobs is not just disturbing; it is dangerous. Physicians' credentials are put at risk. Scholars have seen their scholarly research denounced or denied publication or denounced thereafter. Authors' books are pulled from shelves. The truth -- whatever it may be -- is not just irrelevant; it is forbidden, because a small segment of the population has declared that anyone who will not validate its worldview is guilty of "hate," "bigotry" and "transphobia."
That is not science. It is propaganda of fear.
Nor is it science when physicians, pharmacologists and epidemiologists across the country are slammed as kooks, quacks or political hacks for daring to suggest COVID-19 treatment methodologies that differ from the pronouncements of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Politically, we find ourselves in the middle of a post-presidential-election cataclysm, and a climate so thick with fear you can smell it.
As each day goes by, there is more and more evidence that fraudulent and unlawful actions were deliberately taken in multiple swing states (Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia) to suppress, destroy or switch votes for President Donald Trump; and to confect, import, create or artificially multiply votes for Joe Biden. These allegations include steps taken to deny legal poll watchers -- at least Republican poll watchers -- access to the vote-counting process in Detroit, Milwaukee, Atlanta and Philadelphia.
Hearings have taken place in several of these states, and hundreds of eyewitnesses and voters have come forward to state under oath -- in person or via affidavit -- things they saw or that happened to them, all of which strongly suggest fraud.
With each new allegation, our leaders -- politicians and law enforcement -- are terrified. You can see it on the faces and hear it in the voices of the legislators who are listening to statement after statement after statement of witnesses and experts: Oh, God. At this rate, we're going to be expected to do something.
And they don't want to do anything, not because they're all on the take (although it's possible that some are) but because real leadership takes courage, especially when that means standing up to the mobs and the media.
While we're talking about mobs, let's be honest about some other relevant recent events, shall we?
The Democratic mayors and governors did not allow the looting and burning and vandalism and destruction during all of summer and fall because they "stand in solidarity" with the "protesters." They allowed it to happen because they are afraid of them.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee were -- and continue to be -- afraid of the mobs that took over blocks of downtown Seattle and declared it an "autonomous zone."
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown have let antifa and other violent groups run roughshod over the citizens of Portland because they are afraid to confront those groups. Even Wheeler's abasement of the mobs did not protect him from attacks on his own condo building that forced him to move.
The mayors of Kenosha, Wisconsin; Atlanta; Chicago; and Minneapolis let throngs of rioters burn and destroy because they are afraid of them.
By contrast, look at whom these politicians do enforce the laws against.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo goes after the Jews but does nothing about the rioters because he is afraid of the rioters but not of the Jews. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot praises huge crowds of protesters but would not call out the police to protect the owners of Michigan Avenue shops when thieves arrived to smash, steal and destroy. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer shuts down bars and restaurants and barber shops because she is not afraid of restaurant owners or barbers.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed violate the mask laws they impose on everyone else. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock paid no attention to the travel bans they insisted other citizens had to follow.
And now, with elections clearly capable of having been rigged, these same hypocritical politicians don't even have to be afraid of being voted out of office. Masked, muted, shamed, silenced, emasculated and disenfranchised, the overwhelming majority of Americans are being left with nothing -- no business, no voice, no vote.
No doubt, those playing this game applaud themselves for their win-at-any-cost tactics. This is dangerously childlike thinking, characteristic of a country that has come to worship youth and pooh-pooh impulse control: "I want what I want right now, and I don't care what the future holds."
They'd better start caring, and fast.
When a country abandons truth, the only winners are the biggest liars. When it abandons basic justice -- the protection of private property, the rule of law and the integrity of elections -- then the only way to get what you want, whether it's stereos or political power, is to steal it. And when a country's politicians are cowed by fear rather than motivated by principle, those who win will instill the most fear.
This is a dangerous prospect indeed.