Booo!: Vote With Wisdom Rather Than Fear

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By Rick Steves

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Booo!

I was out taking a walk, turned a corner, and nearly ran into a scarecrow. We were both startled, and I remarked at how much fear there is in our society these days — even apart from Halloween.

The scarecrow said, “Let me buy you a cup of coffee with a nice plate of cornpone,” and proceeded to give me an earful. He said that the most fearful people he sees are those who don’t travel and dig themselves deeper into America. Then he said, “That’s ironic…it seems to me that if we just stay here on the farm and hunker down, we’ll never understand the rest of the world — and eventually we’ll all be as scared as my friend the cowardly lion.”

My scarecrow friend then proved he had more than hay for brains. He said that the flip side of fear is understanding. And we gain understanding by venturing away from our homes. He said, “When we get out of our comfort zones and engage with the other 96% of humanity, we gain empathy for people who may seem scary, but really aren’t.”

Fear-mongering politicians and ratings-crazed news is giving us Halloween 24/7 these days. Don’t let that rewire your outlook and sway your vote. Stakes are high. Take it from the scarecrow: If you care about a strong and free America, vote with wisdom rather than fear.

Here’s to a really scary Halloween (and a less frightened electorate next week)!

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