Beneath the anti-Trump Rage is an Irrational Fear of Freedom

Why do so many people on the left side of political matters express “fear” whenever you disagree with them?

A reader told me “[A girl] I was friends with in high school (who ended up getting a PhD from Berkeley and going from free-thinking atheist to Catholic lawyer for the EPA) used to say that:  ‘The idea of people deciding things on their own terrifies me.’  Direct quote.  Swear to god.”

I have heard the same thing for years. “You scare me,” whenever I say I support something like a free market for health care, lower taxes for everyone, or a private market for education. I understand why concentration camps or racial supremacy are scary, but nobody I have ever met on the right has ever advocated such a thing. I would have nothing to do with them, if they did. It seems like what really scares progressives are a strong military and a strong assertion that your life belongs to you.

An irrational fear of individual liberty is widespread among progressives, and it’s consistent with their view that government must have a hand in just about every single thing we do: health care, education, highways, the amount of water we use, the amount of fuel we use, how our offices look, how our homes are constructed … just about everything. They might claim to celebrate “diversity,” but left unchecked, the progressive point-of-view would leave us thinking alike, sounding alike, looking alike and generally living in a one-size-fits-all society where, yes, abortion and gay marriage are legal, but just about everything else we do is based on some kind of government regulation or edict.

The woman in the example who’s scared of people deciding things for themselves has a problem. On the one side, she has an irrational fear of leaving people alone. To people like her, it’s not enough to have laws against theft, rape, assault or fraud, which are crimes  that should certainly be prosecuted and punished. To people on the progressive side, it’s frightening to let freedom go that far. They don’t trust people, so (in their minds) people must be controlled right at the starting gate, so they never get a chance to do anything wrong or bad. Mind you, “wrong or bad,” in the progressive universe, does not merely consist of things like theft, rape, assault or fraud. Wrong or bad, to the progressive, is anything they dislike. That’s why they’re in favor of things like hate speech codes and imposing environmentally-friendly “green” standards (on Americans, not on anyone else), or prosecuting people for “Islamo-phobia” (a perfectly rational fear, by the way). It sends progressives into bouts of fear and rage to contemplate that maybe somehow, somewhere, somebody doesn’t see life or the world the way they do. That’s a real unhealthy problem.

On the one hand, these progressives collapse into fear and despair at the possibility that liberty-loving people might be making decisions for themselves (at least anything aside from having an abortion or a gay marriage). On the other hand, they place an irrational level of trust in bureaucrats and career politicians (the ones they like, of course) to do all our thinking and acting for us. Communism alone should have been enough to convince them that this cannot work, and should never be tried. But since the fall of Soviet Communism in the late 1980s, leftist-Democrat-socialists have only doubled down on their determination to enslave the world and turn America into a one-size-fits-all, uniformly politically correct society with government breathing down our backs. And Donald Trump notwithstanding, they are, for the most part, winning. So why all the rage and fear?

I find it ironic that the biggest leftist, progressive socialist icon in American history, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, is the one who said there’s “nothing to fear but fear itself.” Yet the progressive idea is to constantly act on fear and attempt to control every last detail of every individual’s life to make the world more in their own image. Right now, with Donald Trump in office, their fear converts into bouts of rage, ranging from little icons on Facebook symbolizing their view to approving peers that “he’s not my president” to setting college campuses on fire at the prospect that even one out of one-hundred speakers might be someone with a non-progressive point-of-view about anything.

Progressives should learn to better manage their fears. That way, we could turn America — and maybe even the world — into a place of liberty and freedom where government only acts to keep us physically safe from bad guys. The rest is, and should be, up to us. Progressives have to take responsibility for their fears and stop demanding that those who disagree must conform to their opinions and edicts designed to micromanage every detail of our lives. Their irrational and dysfunctional beliefs should not be the reason the rest of us have to give up the sovereignty each of us morally enjoys to our own minds and lives.

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