Our greatest fears can be great motivators unless they scare us into inaction. This is the basis behind most horror stories, where a monster or terrible person controls others using what they know to be a common fear.
Stephen King knew clowns could be scary, and he used the fictional character Pennywise in his novel It to portray that.
Many world governments also use our greatest fears to control their citizens, and it appears according to a recent survey, the United States is one of them.
A blog from Chapman University started out on the purely scientific level, pointing out the 10 classes of fear. These include crime, economic, environment, government, health-related, immigration, man-made disasters, natural disasters, personal, relationships, and technology. You might notice that some of these classes appear to have been spawned by the news media itself, such as immigration and environment. There was a time when these weren’t important enough to be considered among our greatest fears.
“People I love dying” didn’t even make the top five. https://t.co/CNgWitsvPA
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 12, 2016
The following are the 10 greatest fears running rampant in the United States now, according to USA Today.
- Corruption of government officials topped the list, and it is hardly a new one. Back in the days of Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal, it had been revealed that our elected president couldn’t be trusted. Now, Republicans are torn over the upcoming election because despite Donald Trump’s many flaws, Hillary Clinton has proven to be a potential security risk. From thousands of unreleased emails on a private server to rumors that she had bribed officials behind the scenes to win the election, it appears clear to Republican voters that she can’t be trusted.
You know the classic saying that power corrupts, and if Hillary Clinton is elected, that power might be deadly from more than just her alleged connection to Benghazi.
trump reconfirms our greatest fears whilst redefining dirty ugly politics https://t.co/aeaaHB4Eus
— GrrlScientist (@GrrlScientist) October 10, 2016
- Terrorist attacks have risen on the fear factor ever since the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Airport security has tightened to the point where you can no longer bring toothpaste or bottled water on the plane in carry-on luggage because it might be part of a bomb. This ties into the fear of immigration, as Muslims are considered more likely to suddenly become a threat due to their alleged connection with ISIS.
- Not having money for the future is a big one for people across the globe. Some are more comfortable with it, having not grown up with much, but others who actually depend on the luxuries often find themselves trapped where they don’t want to be just for a paycheck. It’s this fear that lets major companies push their employees around and destroy morale.
- Being a victim of terror could almost be a by-product of the other greatest fears, like terrorist attacks. It tends to make people paranoid and perpetuates itself.
Let’s all take a tour through your greatest fears: pic.twitter.com/tUP0CT73WZ
— Chelsea Harfoush (@chelseaharfoush) October 6, 2016
- Gun control is one of the greatest fears for Republicans in the United States. They often believe that if guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns. Law-abiding citizens owning a firearm has been proven to cut down on violent crimes, but every time there is a mass shooting, government officials often leap to the conclusion that nobody should have them. This also tends to lead to the consideration of a police state.
- The potential death of a loved one is surprisingly low on the list and may be related to the fact that the presidential election is coming up. People might be more worried about what Trump or Clinton might do.
- Economic or financial collapse is among the greatest overall fears faced once again by people around the world. One percent of the world’s population controls over 90 percent of the wealth, and that’s scary for those of us living from paycheck to paycheck.
- Identity theft is one of those fears that often goes ignored until it happens to us. When it does, though, it can be devastating. Many criminals consistently use credit card skimmers and phishing emails to gain control of your bank account and drive you into debt before you know what’s going on. It’s even worse if they get ahold of your social security number and name.
— Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands) October 6, 2016
- Serious illness of loved ones is often tied with the death of a loved one and financial collapse. A funeral can be costly and only drive the grieving even further into debt before they can recover.
- The Affordable Care Act is one of the greatest fears facing the United States today because its name is almost ironic. Unless you live by yourself in close to poverty, there is nothing affordable about it. It forced many employers to drop health benefits and put the now-shared responsibility on the employee.
Which of these greatest fears strike you with the most terror?
[Featured Image by Camila Paez/Shutterstock.com]