Fears And What Lies Behind Them

     If a man should tell you that he’s “extremely fearful” of some possibility, it immediately has you inquiring for his reasons. In some cases, some of those reasons will be (damn it all) “obvious.” You might have known about them before he expressed his fear. But in others, the more important of his reasons will be, in Ayn Rand’s words, “reasons they do not wish to tell.”

     Probe delicately but as closely as you dare. Often you can open a window into his character.

     Today’s screed arises from this Epoch Times article:

     Democrats are more likely to feel fearful and angry if former President Donald Trump is elected in November than Republicans are about President Joe Biden winning a reelection, a recent poll found.
     According to a recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the majority of Democrats are both extremely fearful (66 percent) and very angry (60 percent) if the former president wins another term in the 2024 White House race.
     In contrast, 49 percent of Republicans feel very fearful, and 45 percent are angry about President Biden’s victory.

     “Extreme fear” must be grounded in an expectation of extreme consequences. What possible consequences might those fearful Democrats have in mind?

     One that comes to mind readily enough is impact to their livelihoods. A far higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans work for a government. Trump is candid about his intention to reduce the size and scope of the federal Leviathan. He demonstrated it during his first term. Also, persons on the Left are more likely than those in the Right to partake of some government benefit, which might also be affected by a second Trump Administration.

     Another is the Left’s fondness for sexual license without consequences. It’s been a while since any of the old laws against such things as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, sodomy, et cetera had force, even though many are still formally “on the books.” Trump himself is not a bluenose and would have no interest in returning to that regime, but his most conservative supporters might. There remains an undercurrent of anger about sexual profligacy in certain parts of the electorate that gets more column-inches than it seriously deserves. Also, there’s the Big Unmentionable: abortion on demand.

     But the third reason that comes to mind is the most striking of all: fear of legal and political retribution for what’s been done to American conservatives, and to Donald Trump himself, these past four years.

     As I’ve written before – sorry, it’s too early for me to go searching for the reference – in our attempts to determine the reasons for others’ actions, we tend to project our motivations onto them. It’s a near-to-universal tendency that arises from our inability to escape our own reasons for doing things. It takes a lot of effort to suppress it. That’s highly relevant here.

     For decades previously and for the last four years quite openly, the Left has striven to use its bastions in the federal government to harass and hobble its political opponents. The two impeachments and ninety-plus indictments of President Trump are only the most blatant examples. The brutal treatment of the January 6 protestors, the legal harassment of conservative activists, the use of “lawfare” to impede conservative candidates for public office, and the many attacks on companies that refuse to toe the Left’s ideological line are from the same motives. A person of a certain character will leap to the conclusion that “they’ll do to us what we did to them” – for he projects his motivations onto us.

     Vindictiveness and the desire for revenge are not unknown among persons in the Right. I believe they’re far weaker and rarer. But those on the Left see their own savage desires as equally likely to move us.

     I don’t know if this insight is particularly useful. Generally, persons in the Right strive to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. What more we could do beyond that, I cannot say. But it’s worth a few moments’ thought, and perhaps a bit of light conversation with one’s fearful left-leaning neighbors, if that’s possible. (NB: Leave your guns at home. Yes, all of them.)