We hear a lot about what we as Americans fear. In fact, we're bombarded daily with a litany of things we're allegedly afraid of.
But, the more often I hear a pundit or a politician say "Americans are afraid…." my skeptical nature kicks in. I've heard we're afraid of so many things I wonder if everyone isn't curled up in a corner somewhere with their eyes screwed shut while we wait for some inevitable disaster.
Maybe I'm not fearful enough, because I believe more Americans are quietly angry than afraid. That's based on nothing other than personal and anecdotal evidence collected in my travels across the country. Not a fact, only my suspicion
A few days ago, Chapman University (Orange, California) released their scientifically-based survey on "America's Top Fears 2016". Chapman's Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences lumped the fears of Americans into eleven "Domains of Fear" and created 79 different fears covering everything from crime, the government, disasters, personal anxieties, technologies and others.
It's not the design for a horror theme park, it's Chapman University's graphic representation of the average American's Domains of Fear. Chapman University graphic, with permission. (Click to enlarge)
Their results will be, for many -especially my former colleagues in the mainstream media, eye-opening. I'm also predicting they'll be widely ignored because they don't fit the narrative we hear in today's mainstream reportage.
According to 1,511 adults from across the United States nothing frightens the collective "us" more than corrupt government officials
Yep, according to the Chapman study, 60.6 percent of the adults surveyed fear corrupt government officials more than anything else
in their daily lives.
That certainly doesn't fit the popular mainstream talking points.
While their narrative insists all Americans want more gun control, 38.5 percent of people surveyed told Chapman's survey takers that government restrictions on firearms and ammunition made them just as fearful as terrorism (also 38.5%) - and more frightened than the death of a family member, an economic/financial collapse, or their own serious illness.
Our "elected officials" and their allies are quick to try and convince us that "everything's fine" because they secretly realize that's not true.
They know that so-called "basket of deplorables" is growing - and they are more than a little concerned for their own futures.
So, you might ask, we're a nation of 248 million (248,000,000) people- how much credence should I give a survey with only a 1,511 sample size? The answer won't give much comfort to government officials.
The calculations underlying statistics are based on mathematical formulas - not popular (or unpopular) narrative. The survey size necessary to give a margin of error of three percent - judged to be an "acceptable" scientific sampling margin- is only 1,067.
The 1,511 sample size reduces the margin of error to only two and a half percent (2.5%). If you look at the numbers, a 2.5% change doesn't do anything to significantly change the overall fear rankings.
In other words, while it might not be popular in the mainstream, it's significant nonetheless.
Here are the top 10 "Fears" their "Fear Domain" and the Percentage of "Afraid or Very Afraid" -no narrative or commentary necessary.
In other words, if you look at the top 10 "fears" of the American people, government is directly responsible for three of them- and that's without lumping their irresponsible fiscal policies into the pair of economic fears (not enough money for the future and an economic/financial collapse).
This isn't one of those light and breezy features I prefer writing. It's certainly not a call to go outside and enjoy the outdoors. But it does indicate that maybe learning more about self-reliance and self-sufficiency might be prudent.
With elections only days away, the single most powerful tool of change is still an option- the ballot box. Without it, we'd find ourselves in what some have described as France in 1788.
Everyone should fear that.
Editor's Note: Learn more about the Chapman University Survey of Fears, including a complete listing of the "domains of fear" and the 79 fears in their survey at: https://blogs.chapman.edu/wilkinson/2016/10/11/americas-top-fears-2016/