I don’t know about you, but every time I hear someone tell me to stay calm, I don’t. In fact, I get anxious.
Maybe that’s because those in government keep telling me to stay calm -- actually, all of us to stay calm. First on these ISIS terrorists. Not too long ago they were the J-V team. Then they were bumped up to Varsity, and on a much bigger team -- just like that.
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Just like Ebola. No way we need to worry about it here in America, then lo and behold we discover the first confirmed case of it in America.
Or when this whole IRS controversy over targeting conservative groups started -- just a few, and just an accident, we were told. Then dozens of groups, but still an accident, we were later told. Then hundreds of groups and individuals, and maybe not such an accident, but still not a smidgeon of proof of something more sinister.
Let’s just say I’ve heard enough to say…enough. Enough with the keeping us calm, while you experts in government calmly assure us you’re calmly on top of the problem. You’re not on top of the problem. You’re not even close. In fact, you don’t even seem to have a handle on the problem. Then you grudgingly acknowledge we DO have a problem. Lots of problems. And that’s the problem -- you going back and forth on whether we even have problems. So that makes YOU the problem. All of our problems. And THAT…is a problem. A Big Problem.
I’ve heard of keeping folks from freaking out, but that assumes those in the know are sorting it all out. They’re not. They haven’t even figured it out. And that’s what causes them to become un-glued. Those in power confirm time and again, they haven’t a clue -- about Ebola, about ISIS, about threats we’re only now grasping over in the Mideast, that for some inexplicable reason have now popped up in the Mid-west.
The way to inspire confidence is to give folks a reason they should have confidence in you. And right about now, the U.S. government ain’t exactly inspiring confidence. Not when the Secret Service can’t stop a knife-wielding nut from penetrating the inner sanctum of the White House, or incredibly allow a gun-toting contractor with a criminal record to ride an elevator with the president of the United States in Atlanta.
If these were isolated incidents, I wouldn’t be so nervous. But they’re not. The only thing that is consistent is the routine dismissiveness of authorities who all but pat our heads and tell us to go back to sleep. The head of the Secret Service says she regrets what happened at the White House the other day. How about quitting over that ridiculous incident this day?
How about anyone in government ‘fessing up to at least one of the series of screw-ups we’ve seen out of government? How about the president acknowledging that he didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the ISIS threat instead of throwing his security officials under the bus for not appreciating the magnitude of the ISIS threat?
How about showing some alarm over NOT showing some alarm? This isn’t about creating panic; this is about creating panic by NOT trying to create panic -- by NOT seeing the severity of a situation before the severity is too obvious to ignore.
This is why Americans tend to distrust those in power -- because time and again, they’ve been let down by those in power. They’ve been frustrated by Republicans and Democrats who’ve consistently failed to connect the pieces, and seem surprised folks now doubt their ability to keep the peace.