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Fear Not
Fear is the mind-killer, they say, and these days the brain-dead are everywhere. You see them at Trump rallies, you hear about them getting armed to the teeth, you read the polls. People are not only kinked up with fear and anger and cynicism, but it seems to have gone viral.

The fact that so many people are so scared is now starting to frighten me. I really prefer to have fellow citizens who are not brain-dead. The more of them there are, I figure, the more uncertain my own future is and the more likely that I’ll be infected. So, in the spirit of community, the common good, and of protecting my own butt, let me share a few personal pointers about keeping the terrors at bay.

Get a grip. Okay, I admit that this is probably not very useful advice when you’re crazy with fear. It’s like telling a bald man to just grow some damn hair, ferchrissake! It doesn’t help, but it does make me feel powerful and in command to say it.

There’s always Hope, of course. And faith, and courage, and prudence, and patience, and blah blah blah. These are certainly all fine personal qualities that could, in theory, overcome whatever fear is plaguing me, but let’s be honest here. If I really possessed any of those noble traits in sufficient quantities, I’d already be fine. Infortunately, I’m afraid (see?) that I don’t.

Que sera, sera, or, whatever will be, will be. This attitudinal mind trick, which was popularized in the West by Doris Day (and won an Academy Award!), is a longtime philosophical staple in the Middle East. It’s really nothing more than good, old-fashioned fatalism. There’s nothing you can do about it, say the fatalists, so don’t sweat it. Similar, related mottos include: whatever, so be it, so it goes, and whatcha gonna do?

It is what it is. This is not so much fatalism as an absurd tautological loop that paralyzes the mind and keeps it from focusing on the object of fear. The idea here is that paralysis is a lot better than death. It should be noted, however, that this mantra protects us from all kinds of fear, even the ones we ought to pay attention to. For instance, we really should watch for falling rocks.

Laugh in the face of fear. Here, it is important that the laughter not sound phony or forced. It’s like whistling past the graveyard. If you’re off-key or don’t know the tune, the dead will surely drag you down into the pits of Hell to burn forever. So, to make this approach work, you need to find something genuinely amusing about being scared to death. Fear is certainly ugly, so you could start there (although making fun of appearances is a very shallow form of humor). Fear also has especially foul breath, however, and its fashion choices are notoriously ludicrous. As of this writing, it’s still okay to make fun of those things.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. While not exactly true, FDR’s buck-up at the beginning of WWII still stands as one of the great pep-talk aphorisms. That was before the H-bomb came along, though.

Face up to your fear and vanquish it. I’m sorry, but I can’t sincerely recommend this method, even though I hear others confidently promoting it all the time. All that bravery and strength of character certainly sounds good, and who doesn’t like to do a little vanquishing once in awhile? Just remember, though, that Fear will be merciless if you are the vanquishee. Even so, don't let me stop you.

I can only hope that some of this has helped. If you’re already brain-dead, I’m sorry for your loss. Go ahead and vote for Trump if it makes you feel better.
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Trump supporters are people who know what they believe.
~ JC, Bonny Doon