More from the fear industry
The business of the media is making people pay attention. One of the best ways to get attention is to make people afraid. The media made lots of money making some people afraid of Trump and some other afraid of Clinton. But now Clinton is gone. Trump is going to be president, and there there's nothing to fear from her. So it's about making people fear Trump.
To be clear: I don't like Trump. I didn't vote for him. I wouldn't vote for him if the election was held again. But I'm also not going to do what the media wants and be afraid of him.
A friend of ours forwarded an article from the New Yorker: "The Frankfurt School Knew Trump Was Coming." It made someone I knew afraid.
Who are the Frankfurt school? According to the article, it's an "intellectual enclave originally based at the Institute for Social Research, in Frankfurt." In other words, a bunch of people that you never heard of before. And they never heard of Donald Trump. But they knew he was coming! Be afraid!
Because they predicted that McCarthyism was about to destroy American democracy. The article suggests that they may have influenced Thomas Mann, who had emigrated to the US to escape fascism, to leave this country to avoid the coming American holocaust.
The article continues:
The fears of Mann, Adorno, and other émigrés came to naught—or so it seemed. The McCarthyite danger passed; civil rights advanced; free speech triumphed; liberal democracy spread around the world.
Actually, "it didn't come to naught--or so it seemed." It came to naught, period. They were 100% dead wrong. Totally wrong. Completely wrong. Things didn't get worse. They got better. Which the article admits. But wait...
Maybe their fears didn't come to naught. Because their fears can be recycled! They can be resurrected to support a new campaign of fear-mongering. Point to them. Point to Trump. Say "they might be right, this time" And their work, which incorrectly predicted what would happen in America, but did manage to frighten some people, can be turned into this article, and make another group of people afraid.
When someone makes a prediction and the prediction turns out to be wrong, they lose credibility. I distrust their next prediction. Look at the predictions made about Trump. (Predictions, not facts). Yes, he said what he said. Yes, he did what he did. Yes, he's a weird guy. But few of the predictions about him have been right. (And many of the "facts" were wrong, too.)
I don't trust Trump. I don't understand him. I can't predict him. But I don't fear him.
And Alex Ross, the author of this fear-inducing essay? Who is he? Well, he's the New Yorker's music critic.
He writes about classical music, covering the field from the Metropolitan Opera to the downtown avant-garde, and has also contributed essays on pop music, literature, twentieth-century history, and gay life.
So, yeah, when that guy tells me I how I should be afraid of Donald Trump, of course I'm going to fear Trump.
FDR got it right. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Not Muslims. Not immigrants. Not Republicans. And not Trump.
Please stop doing what the media wants, and being afraid.
Please stop doing the media's job and making other people afraid.
When Trump does something wrong, fine! Expose. Oppose. Resist, and fight.
But in the meantime, organize. Make yourself known.
As Scott Alexander (who also doesn't like Trump) concludes in this fact-filled essay, "You are still crying wolf," which details many things that people are saying to make other people afraid of Trump, and resorts to documented facts, not the theories of an enclave of intellectuals to support his view:
Stop making people suicidal. Stop telling people they’re going to be killed. Stop terrifying children. Stop giving racism free advertising. Stop trying to convince Americans that all the other Americans hate them. Stop. Stop. Stop.
And remember FDR. There's nothing to fear but fear itself.