Ruling by fear is nothing new. It's been the rule for a long time. Fear of change. Fear of "others." Fear of unemployment.
You can be afraid of something--everyone is--but you don't have to let it rule your life. You don't have to let it turn you away from what you know is right.
The fear of a death panel, recycled again by Sarah Palin in WSJ op-ed, is all the more real because we do in fact have death panels--also known as insurance companies, or HMOs--and they routinely deny health insurance coverage and/or treatment to patients. Those denials result in patients' deaths.
We now (finally) have a president who takes this seriously. He was elected because he promised to fundamentally change this unjust system of wealth care. The wealth insurance bigshots know this. Their highly compensated lobbyists and the pharmaceutical industry muckety mucks know this. They gaze into their (Waterford) crystal balls and they foresee their obscene profits evaporating in a future where the playing field is leveled, and this makes them afraid.
A friend said once, "Underneath anger is fear." All the recent rabid, growling, biting, gun brandishing, lunging, shoving, posturing and screaming public displays of anger barely disguise the underlying emotion: fear. The gangsters running the American wealth care industry and profiting most from it fear they'll lose their profits. They fear they might have to live as the rest of us do; from paycheck to paycheck. They fear they'll have to fly coach instead of private jet. They fear informed and educated voters, and they fear true democracy.
They're greedy, not stupid, and they're not powerless. Unlike most of us, they have lots of money, and easy access to the corporate media. They use that media access to transfer their fears to the people--or "sheeple," as they hope we'll be. They propagandize the most outrageous exaggerations and outright lies to make us afraid, as they are, and whip up funnel clouds of fear of the unknown. Unnatural disasters. Then they order their troops forward --to the streets, to the town halls, to the media, playing people like a chess game. Pawns can only move forward. Or stand still.
It's much the same way corporate union busters use lies and exaggerations to create doubt and fear of the unknown and use it to turn union supporters against the union they chose to represent their own interests.
(The devil you know is better than the devil you don't?)
That evil Socialism arises again. The tired red scare of the 1950's is alive and well in the 21st century.
Never mind that France, Denmark, Japan, Germany, England, Canada, Israel, Sweden... all have socialized health care, and they are free countries.
What's evil is when people die because their insurance companies deny or delay approval of a medically necessary, doctor recommended medical treatment.