Charita Goshay: America needs to overcome its fears, remember what sets us apart

Charita Goshay

Ever have one of those days when you’re bopping along, feeling good, thinking that you’re all but bringing sexy back ... then you happen to pass by a mirror -- only to see that your fly has been open most of the day, that no one bothered to tell you about the bridal train of toilet paper attached to your heel, and worst of all, you’ve put on a heck of lot more weight than you thought?

It seems to be the state of the American mind-set these days. As our image gazes back at us, we’re learning to our horror that not only is the emperor naked, he’s broke, fat and scared witless.

A house divided

Right now, the can-do optimism that is so uniquely American is suffering from a drought of confidence, and is it any wonder? We’re simultaneously juggling a financial house of horrors, a two-headed war and an election that is increasingly taking on the feeling of a bar fight.

Partly as a result of nonstop demagoguery, common sense and discourse are being overtaken by fear. A recent CNN survey revealed that 75 percent of those questioned said they were “scared” and/or “angry” about the current state of our nation.

Politicians know this, and the cynical among them are making the most of it.

The strategy of “divide and conquer” predates the Romans, but those who embrace it would do well to remember that a house divided cannot stand.

The behavior of both sides of the spectrum is bordering on the ridiculous. A recent episode of Fox’s “Family Guy” cartoon that showed a toddler dressed as Hitler and sporting a “McCain-Palin” button was as cringe-inducing as real-life people who tag Sen. Barack Obama as “un-American.”

And just once before you die, shouldn’t you see a political ad that ends like this? “I’m Joe Schmo, and I’m ashamed that I have to approve this message. But the people who run my campaign tell me that if I want to win, I must tap into your darkest fears by smearing my opponent with code words and half-truths. I know I’m compromising everything I said I believed. I’m

sorry, and if you decide not to vote for me, I couldn’t blame you.”

No compromise

Fear has peeled back the veneer of politeness to expose the underbelly, and the kind of jaw-dropping behavior normally reserved for professional wrestling.

That’s because fear causes amnesia. It can cause us to lose sight of our greatness and how we’ve always managed to rise to every challenge. We remain the single-most influential nation in the history of nations. As beings made in the express image of God, our unshakable belief in individual freedoms and equality is what has always set us apart. Those tenets can never be

compromised nor forsaken, not for politics, money or even faith.

Not even for the sake of being “right.”

Reach Canton Repository writer Charita M. Goshay at (330) 580-8313 or e-mail: