Don’t let fear stand in the way

Published 6:18 am Saturday, November 11, 2017

By Dean Crooks

Fear is what keeps our hands off of a hot stove. Fear is what drives us to protect our children from harm. Fear is what forces us to look both ways before crossing the street. In many ways, fear is a good and useful thing. Then during the dangerous times of the ancient Greeks, it was thought that fear, along with honor and self-interest were the primary reasons to fight when necessary. However, fear does not, nor should not keep us from crossing the road, or allow out children to grow into self-sufficient adults, or prevent us from using a stove. John Wayne once famously said that courage wasn’t the absence of fear; courage is being afraid but saddling up anyway.

Soldiers, police officers, and firemen are trained, not to ignore their fear, but to overcome it and the actions that are necessary. It is their job and, without that ability, they would not only be ineffective but they would be a danger to themselves and everyone around them. For 23 years I was a police officer and before that I was a soldier. I saw first-hand how dangerous succumbing to fear could be. As I got older, I saw that the same is true for the people we elect to fight for our beliefs and values. It is clear that it is disastrous when they succumb to their fears.

As we approach another elections cycle and various candidates tell you all the reasons you should vote for them, we need to look carefully at these people vying for local, state, and federal offices. As we do, those on the left will undoubtedly want to choose a candidate who stands for liberal values: more government, higher taxes, etc. While conservatives like myself will want to choose someone with a more conservative stance: less government, less taxes, etc.

This article was not written to debate the merits of liberalism or conservatisms and each person must choose their side based on their values and the logical arguments for each position. The reason this article was written was to implore you, the voter, the “boss”, the “we the people” who have the final say on who will lead us; to look deeper in the upcoming elections for something just as important: COURAGE!

I say to you today, belief is not enough and it never has been. If a candidate believes in your same values but lacks the courage to stand up for those beliefs, what good are they as a leader or as your representative? If someone tells me in private that they believe in freedom, the constitution, self-reliance, less government, and lower taxes (because they know that’s what I want to hear) but they refuse to stand up firmly in public for these same values then they are either a liar or a coward, neither of which is a leader I want.

You have the right to ask anyone competing for your vote how they stand on any issue.

What many folks don’t realize is that you also have to right to ask them to give their views publicly. If they refuse, I treat them just like shyster or unscrupulous car salesman that refuses to put the agreement in writing, and I walk away.

Some politicians already in office have proven their bravery on the battlefield as a soldier but seem terrified beyond all reason, to lose the title and prestige of the office they hold. Some politicians fear losing the money and power their office confers. The fear of losing the office and title colors their decisions and every thought is of re-election or higher office, not the values that they professed when they ran.

How many times have you asked a politician running for office a seemingly simple question about their stance or actions on an issue only to be given a long answer that means nothing or told (very politely) that you don’t understand all of the issues.

New representatives in congress are told in their freshman orientation that the most important thing they can do for their constituency is to get re-elected and continue to represent them. This may be true for a politician who stands on their values and principles for which they were elected but more often than not, it transforms these people into self-serving career politicians and, as a result, very little good is accomplished.

I doubt this article told you anything you don’t already know and some of it is certainly pessimistic in tone. However, there is good news. We, the voters, are still the boss, the “we the people” that have control every now and again about who leads and represents us.

We will never let fear rule us nor keep us from standing up for our beliefs.

All we have to do now is to choose leaders that have the same courage and the same strength as we do.

The courage to stand up for the principles they run on and get back up to keep fighting for them when they get knocked down. If they can’t or won’t, then we vote them out and try someone new. I am optimistic about success for a simple reason, they come from us and we are strong.


Dean Crooks, Concerned Citizen