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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fear Factor

** Vietnam War protests, mid 1960s

We've spent the past few weeks doing an informal poll.  Collectively, we've asked friends, family, colleagues and everyday people on the street one basic question:  If you say 'Yes' that you are upset with the way things stand economically and with the system, what factor or factors would scare you into inactivity?  I received many different responses, some unique and others pretty common though from multiple sources.

So listed below in no particular order are reasons and reasonings I've gathered from those young & old, male & female and representing every microcosm of life why a person would hesitate to fight the system during this Great Recession:

~  Fear that 'change' could/would be worse than the present

~  Fear of loss of gov't entitlement- Soc. Sec check, food stamps, welfare, etc

~  Fear of loss of freedom i.e. imprisonment

~  Fear of loss of livelihood

~  Fear of economic reprisal by gov't- home or bank acct's seized; credit frozen,etc'

~  Fear of physical harm by gov't i.e. the police

~  Fear that to protest & disrupt would be playing into terrorists' hands

~  Fear it would not matter or change anything, yet they'd suffer

** Iraq war protests- 2003

Here were some selected quotes from this informal poll...

~  "I'm doing well personally.. why would I want to risk it?  For whom?"

~  "I love my country. I'm not going to do anything to make it look bad"

~  "I won't risk losing what I have.. besides, we have elections here"

~  "If you only knew how busy I am as it is!"

~  "I'm no anarchist like those people in Greece throwing rocks"

~  "Things are bad but they'll get better.. they always do..."

~  "I'm not going to jail for Anyone!!"

~  "I would never protest while our boys are out there in harm's way.."

~  "I don't want to do anything to help those damn Republicans win.."

~  "Life is short and I just want some peace.  I won't get a stroke over it"

Whatever one wishes to take from this informal poll, that's up to you.  But overall, that's where we are at as a nation in terms of activism and protest.

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