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Paranoia Strikes Deep, Brunswick Beacon, February 3, 2022

Warned Stephen Stills: “Into your life it will creep.” And creep it did, deep into the life of Brunswick County’s Republican Party (BCRP), judging by its chairman’s January 20 fever dream of a guest column.

“It starts when you’re always afraid.” And BCRP wants you to be afraid—of everything and everyone. Its laundry list of bogeymen includes foreigners, immigrants, women, people of different sexual orientation, judges, and schoolteachers.

Why teachers? Because BCRP is afraid students will learn about uncomfortable things, like the Wilmington Insurrection of 1898, the only successful coup in American history. A mob of 2,000 white supremacists overthrew Wilmington’s duly elected biracial government, burned black-owned businesses, and murdered some 300 Americans. The mob’s leader became mayor after exhorting his followers to find a black voter and “shoot him down in his tracks.”

“Step out of line, the man come and take you away.” America has a free press and is the most religious country in the industrialized world. Our freedoms of speech and religion are guaranteed by the First Amendment. We have more guns in private hands than any country on earth, with 5% of the world’s population and 40% of its guns. Our right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment. And yet, BCRP is “telling me I got to beware” that 38 states would ratify constitutional amendments to ban free speech, eliminate religion, and confiscate our guns! That’s either clinical paranoia, or a cynical ploy to distract Americans with manufactured fear.

Why? Republicans want to distract Americans from inconvenient truths. Trump tried to overthrow a free and fair election: Republicans refuse to hold him accountable. Republicans didn’t pass healthcare reform: Obamacare has more enrollments than ever. Trump didn’t pass infrastructure legislation: President Biden did, creating 6.2 million jobs in eleven months, three times as many jobs as were created in sixteen years under the last three Republican administrations combined.

FDR said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” BCRP says “Fear is all we’ve got.”

Vince Amoroso

Sunset Beach


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