Why Obama may be wrong about freedom being more powerful than fear


“It may be very unlikely that any one of us will be impacted by a terrorist threat,” he said. “It may be likely that it will happen on American soil, but it’s very unlikely that it will happen to any one of us. But we are hardwired to false alarms over misses.

“Terrorism works because it capitalizes on our tendency to favor false alarms. It leads populations to be fearfully to those situations … even though you’re only victimizing a tiny fraction because we have a tendency to take improbable threats seriously.”

A recent Public Religion Research Institute/Religion News Service poll found that nearly half of Americans surveyed are concerned that they or someone in their family will be a victim of terrorism.

According to the new Times/CBS poll, 44 percent of respondents believe another terror attack is “very likely” to happen in the United States within the next few months. Nearly 80 percent of the public thinks another attack is “very likely” or “somewhat likely,” according to the poll.

And a survey on fear from Chapman University showed that terrorism was already a top concern in the United States, even before the recent attacks. Out of a random sample of more than 1,500 adults, 44 percent said they feared terrorist attacks.

Research shows that when terror strikes and fear takes hold, emotions can lead people to cling to their cultures, beliefs and values to protect themselves from the things they fear the most — mainly death. Likewise, this defense mechanism can also lead people to become hostile toward people or ideas that threaten their way of thinking.



Fear is a great motivator. We do things when we are afraid. When we are not we tend to rest.

WWII is a good example of what Americans can do when they are afraid.


As long as the danger of terror in America is limited to shoot-ups in San Bernardino, or Fort Hood, or the odd explosion here and there on a Boston Marathon, it is quite correct to note that this is a low-impact crime.
Americans can quite easily absorb a handful of people here and there. The question is, do Americans want to shrug such stuff off as little nothings?

The second, more serious threat of Islamic jihad is the success that the jihad is having in taking over territories in the ME and North Africa. With territory and functioning states dedicated to the jihad of political Islam, biological warfare, dirty nuclear bombs, and other weapons of mass destruction become more possible and more available to the terrorist cells tucked away in all western societies.

Fear will be a great motivator here in clearing out major cities, if ever such a weapon as anthrax is widely released in a major urban center.

Other than that, that kind of fear is insufficient to motivate Americans to ensure such states do not become a reality.


I think WW2 is a good example of what Americans can do when they’re mad.


Americans have already gone the neo-con route of carving out a ‘safe space’ for civil society to grow.

There will be no safe spaces provided if and when the next major attack against Americans occur.


Anger comes from our natural reaction to fight or flee. It actually has roots in our brains and can be traced physically by our mind and body chemicals. When you sense a threat your mind generates fear and anger. The fear you generate is the flight response. Anger is the emotion generated for the fight against that perceived threat. This can happen even when the threat is just imagined; as we can see with the current perceived terrorism threat. Even though there is much more of a likelihood we will be killed or injured crossing a street, many are spending a lot of flight or fight energy on the perceived threat of terrorism hurting them or their families.

Freedom doesn’t elicit such emotions. Freedom makes you comfortable and sedate.


Just a pity they took so long to get mad


I agree with his statement. If the world is run by fear then fear wins. And this is the aim of terrorism.

However, considering that NSA have been exposed as spying on people for years then this statement might be considered a little contradictory. So the depth of that comment rests in whether the current President did anything to increase spying powers over and above what would’ve been expected of him. If citizen’s rights of personal freedom were on the decrease before anyway and he didn’t do much to increase spying powers then I’d say his statement is possibly the first I’ve ever agreed with or the first I can remember in a long while that is worth remembering stretching back to before U.S troops were pulled out of Afghanistan. Wait, I think he was quite respectful towards the Pope. That’s two times.


Al-Q are gone. Not sure ‘Radical’ Islam will be the next big threat. I think this largely depends on how Russia turns out to really view its own position in world affairs.

  • to add:

…although, as someone just pointed out to me, if people aren’t to give in to fear, and terrorism, then why hasn’t more been done on the ground in Syria…


Which mean that the terrorists have already won. Everything else is icing on the cake.


That would be complacency you speak of. True freedom keeps us on our toes, busy and renewed.

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