There’s a world of worry and fear out there

Forrest Johnson

The motto “Learning more can’t hurt,” coined by the good folks at the North Shore Neighbors, sure is appropriate in these days of myopia, ignorance, and foolishness.
North Shore Neighbors is another of the fine organizations in our area wholly endorsed by the National Union of Friendly Americans (NUFA).
All North Shore Neighbors members have now been duly initiated into the NUFA family. We are taking in more good-natured folks every day at Camp Shack headquarters, offering a handshake and a fresh glass of rum to you all. Matter of fact, all open-minded folks who dare to open their minds to the notion of “Learning more can’t hurt” are now and forever NUFA members in good standing. The initiation is painless and has happened as you read these words. It is done. You’re in. Stop by and receive your complimentary handshake and fresh glass of rum. You will be assigned your personal bartender at that time. Personalized Cards of Compassion will arrive in the mail soon.
It’s so simple to have an open mind and a sense of compassion, though it seems some folks in this world just don’t have that in their genetic makeup.
Those are the folks we must invite into our homes. Offer the handshake and fresh glass of rum. Ask them why they fear like they do. They seem afraid of immigrants, people of color, and the gay/lesbian community. They fear folks who choose to worship in their own ways. They fear union labor, even though it appears as though fully 92 percent of the workplace toils without such brotherly protections. They fear the boogeyman and terrorists even though we have all the bombs. They fear the natural environment. Boy, do they fear socialists and communists, though it seems as though the 1.4 billion Chinese living under authoritarian rule halfway across the world get a pass because we do business with them in such a hale and hearty fashion. Who wouldn’t mind big profits on the backs of cheap labor?
Those folks harbor fears that I can’t quite comprehend. They fear universal health care. Somehow the notion of providing health care to all citizens is a fateful step toward a socialist state in their view, even though universal health care in the industrialized world is delivered by private physicians, dentists and specialists, private nurses. The perception that government medical personnel will deliver health care is a delusion. The perception that socialist states exist in Europe is also delusional, even as the New Conservative Neanderthal Party (NCNP) faithful fret that the good old USA will morph into a European model.
I ask people, what is Sweden?
Socialist, people respond, even as I tell them the Swedes govern themselves through a parlimentary democracy.
What kind of economy do the Swedes have, I ask?
Socialist, people respond, even as I mention that the Swedes live within a free market economy.
Delusional perceptions are hard to erase in the minds of the uniformed, in the minds of those who seem to think that learning more can hurt, can hurt bad, if what you learn challenges a mindset cultivated by fear of the unknown.
Don’t worry, folks, is all I can say to the worrywarts. Our economocracy won’t be going away anytime soon. The haves will rule the have-nots and the mom and apple pie version of our history and cultural myths will not go away without a fight. There is always more fear to deliver to the uninformed faithful of the NCNP.
These are the people we have to invite into our homes. They are so worried.
I was dialing around on the AM radio last week in search of state high school hockey tournament play-by-play. Before I arrived at my listening destination, I stopped at a very religious station full of worry and fear that God has been forgotten by our ever more secular and left-leaning nation. One Senator Tom Imhofe of Oklahoma, a fearful and very Christian man, it seems, was sputtering on about the hoax of climate change and how that’s just not part of God’s plan. He couldn’t believe that human beings could be so conceited as to think that mankind could actually intrude on God’s purpose for this earth, that our meager influence in the face of the Almighty could actually change the systems of God’s earth. He found a convenient verse in the Bible to confirm his belief. The radio host mewed faithfully.
Yes, all of our wars and oil spills and the toxic pollution we produce for the enjoyment of all, the nuclear accidents, the dirty air, the industrial solvents and agricultural chemicals that seep into and contaminate our groundwater—yes, none of that can impact God’s earthly kingdom. God’s plan is greater than anything we can conceive and muster. Fear the people who tell you that’s not true! Fear the athiests and the scientists and the non-believers who challenge God’s rule! Fear those who will take your guns and your free market!
Fear that your religious beliefs will be kept separate from your political beliefs!
NUFA understands that such fear exists.
In an effort to assuage the mounting fears of a certain segment of the population—still our brothers, mind you—NUFA will be hosting a Fear Mongerers Convention in the Great Hall of Camp Shack in April. Seminars will be hosted by the Camp Shack Ecumenical Advisory Board, the Camp Shack Philosophers Union, and the Irritable Households of America. There will be demonstrations of the Machine That Runs the World. All meals will be prepared by Chef Leinenkugel and staff. Personal bartenders will be assigned all attendees, sponsored in part by a grant from the Brotherhood of Bartenders for a Worry-Free America.