May 20, 2016
By Finian Cunningham
Strategic Culture Foundation

America is exceptional alright. It is the most frightened nation on Earth, subjected to hysterical propaganda over decades warning about foreign enemies and ideologies. No wonder its supposed democratic freedom is in so appallingly bad shape, when the preponderant population is imprisoned by their rulers in a virtual cage of fear.

Paradoxically, though, the dissonance of supposed freedom could not be more abysmal. At a press conference at the Cannes film festival last week American screen actor George Clooney digressed from his latest movie to talk about Republican presidential contender Donald Trump. Clooney, who is well known for his liberal brand of US politics and a big supporter of Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton, predicted that rightwing business tycoon Trump would not win the forthcoming November presidential contest.

Clooney dismissed Trump as a demagogue sowing fear and divisive tensions along racial and xenophobic lines. Which is fair enough. Of interest here is not so much the actor’s views on Trump’s chances of political success. Rather, it is Clooney’s premise that Americans would not succumb to reactionary fear peddling.

Seated at the press conference alongside his American co-star Julia Roberts and film director Jody Foster, Clooney told his Cannes audience: «Fear is not going to drive our country… we’re not afraid of anything».

Well, sorry George, but you are dead wrong on that score. Fear is the paramount emotional driver in American politics since at least the Second World War, and probably decades before that too.

Contrary to Clooney’s bravado, Americans are very, very afraid.

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