President Obama, like most leftists, sees fear everywhere.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, then-candidate Barack Obama stated, in response to a difficult question, that the answer was outside his pay-grade. That was an excellent side-step in handling a question which he did not want to answer. And yet, later, President Obama DID operate outside his pay-grade by stating the following: “We are hardwired to not think clearly when we are scared”. As far as I know, President Obama has never earned a Ph.D. in Psychology. His response, however, suggests that he believes otherwise. It also reveals his narcissism.
President Obama is very wrong about the impact of fear on cognition. For example, in a study conducted at Rice University, it was found that chemical warning signals produced by fear IMPROVE cognitive performance (Chen). A great deal of research supports the view that many people react with greater clarity of thought when frightened. This is a survival mechanism without which many of us would not be here. Certainly we may come out of the fearful situation with anxiety or a stress reaction, but at the time of the fearful event many of us tend to think clearly and perform in a manner that protects us and those we care for.
According to one paper (Frank Zenere, EdS,), beliefs, affective responses, social connectedness, imagination, and cognitive responses, have an important role in defining how we manage stress and fear. Specific to our cognition, it was noted that:
“the child with a cognition based coping style utilizes a problem solving, direct approach to dealing with issues of concern. He/she will greatly benefit from age-appropriate honest dialogue regarding events and will likely be open to suggested strategies for addressing problems, anxieties and fears. Exposure to support-oriented literature may be well received by these children”. (nasponline.org)
Here is the key point. A large number of Americans do not become unhinged in the face of fearful situations. If we have been raised to believe that we are competent and self-reliant, we are much less fearful in difficult situations. We understand that we can handle the situation. We have developed a social network that supports that view and that we can rely on in case we need help. At least in most cases, we know that we do NOT require the aid of government or any other “big brother organization” to bail us out.
The greatest discrepancy between conservatives and liberals lies in the fact that conservatives tend to be self-reliant and capable of managing trauma while the majority of liberals have been taught that they cannot manage life without the assistance of a “big brother government”. They live in fear and try to transfer that fear to the rest of us. Most of us who are conservative (socially, constitutionally, and financially) do not bite. This worries liberals and increases their fear and anxiety.
With his pseudo psychological pronouncement about our inability to think clearly while afraid, President Obama once again betrayed the truth. As a liberal, he sees fear everywhere…a fear that only he, as the messiah, can abolish. And yet, due to his own fear of life, he is the last person I want to “save” me from my own emotions.
My advice to President Obama: stick to what you know. I am not sure yet just what that is, but I hope you will do a bit of self-analysis and figure it out. Meanwhile, stay out of the field of Psychology. That is above your pay-grade.