Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump hysterically tells us that everything is going wrong in our country and we should be scared. We should be so fearful that we must elect a man who yells loudly, has no specific plans and uses bankruptcy when business deals go sour.



In his demagogic speeches, he insists that everything is falling apart here and only he can make us whole again. He is fear-mongering and trying to scare us into wanting a strong leader with no international and governmental understanding who makes arbitrary and unrealistic promises.

Mr. Trump and our country need to revisit President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms.” In his State of the Nation speech in January 1941, when Hitler was crashing through Europe, the Axis powers were becoming stronger and America was still in its isolation mode, FDR realized that fear was crippling the free world and it had to be addressed.



As FDR witnessed war and destruction throughout much of the globe, he understood that America would become involved. Yet, he stressed the importance of not giving in to fear.

Seventy-five years after the Four Freedoms speech, our country needs to take a lesson from FDR. We need to believe in our ability to handle crises without a demagogic leader. We need to work together rather than bullybully-1061363_1280 others and resort to name calling reminiscent of our middle school years.

Sure, we have problems now, and they are not little ones. If we are paralyzed with fear, we will hide and let the person who yells the loudest be our leader. Our country is actually much better off than it was eight years ago.

Today, many fewer people are being evicted from their homes because unethical fat cats able to play games with mortgages had repossessed their residences. Gas prices are not extremely high so that people can drive to work or on vacations; they’re also not so low that related industries are suffering badly. Many more people have some form of health insurance. Regardless of all the complaints about “Obamacare,” it would be interesting to see how displeased Americans would be if we took the young adults off their parents’ insurance or reinstated denial of coverage based on previous health conditions. Same-sex marriage is a non-issue. Does anyone even remember “Don’t ask don’t tell” military rules?

We came out of the worst recession since the Great Depression and the unemployment rate is as low as it’s been in years. The American car industry is back on its feet. Wall Street is giddy with success and the upper 1 percent is doing just fine under a president who’s a liberal Democrat.termination-1538207_1280

Our immigration problem hasn’t been solved, even though Presidents Bush and Obama both tried to make rational decisions affecting 11 million undocumented immigrants. The “Rio Grande Wall built by Mexico” isn’t going to happen and isn’t going to solve the problem. Besides, it would not help Mr. Trump keep out all the Muslims.

Fear is not what made this country great. It was hard work, courage, rational planning and the belief that being afraid doesn’t solve problems. Let’s re-read FDR’s Four Freedoms and decide that our country will not be controlled by fear.


[Diane W. Mufson is a retired psychologist who lives in Huntington, WV. She is a weekly columnist for the Huntington WV Herald-Dispatch. The above article first appeared in the Herald-Dispatch on August 18, 2016 and is reprinted here with Ms Mufson’s permission.  Illustrations by Shutterfly.]