If I was actually yelling, “FIRE!” You would immediately run from the building, look for an extinguisher, make sure everyone was safe, and call 911 for a fire truck to put out the blaze. When someone yells, “FIRE,” we know it is urgent. In fact it is illegal to create panic by falsely yelling fire in a crowded area, because we want everyone to trust that an emergency is real.
Remember the story of Chicken Little? (Some of you may better know this folk tale as Henny Penny or another name.) Chicken Little got hit with something, and ran around town crying, “The sky is falling.” A lot of panic was created over nothing.
The Chicken Little movie by Walt Disney was released November 4, 2005. After losing the trust of the town folk, Chicken Little and his friends must win back the trust they have squandered in order to save the town from a real emergency.
Another story with the same theme is Aesop’s Fable, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Just to see if the town folk will run to his aid, the young shepherd boy cries, “WOLF!” The town folk rush out to fight off the wolf, but it is a false alarm. The foolish boy does the same thing again.
When the real emergency comes, the town hears the call, but decide the foolish boy has had enough fun for one night, and fail to respond to an actual emergency. The wolves get a good dinner.
The political news, which to be honest most people don’t even believe, has been full of stories of the wolf at the door, and the sky falling. A voter asked how they can vote for a particular candidate asserts that no matter how foul their candidate is, the other candidate is worse, and besides they don’t believe the what is said anymore.
Both sides are voting for the issues they see as important. Some people like one party’s stance on the economy, with the promise of jobs and tax cuts. Some people are more concerned with global warming and are voting for the candidate who will do more to clean up the environment. Some are voting for a return to social norms of decades past. Some are voting for temperament.
But how can we believe the sky is falling, or the wolf is at the door, when we hear the same old hysteria over and over again. We are told this 2016 election is the most important election in our history, and some of us even believe that.
The day after election day, one of these candidates will be President. Will any of us be big enough to accept the will of the people? Will any of us breathe a sigh of relief that the sky is really okay, and the wolves are just doing wolf things and leaving us alone? Or are we still going to be running around screaming in hysteria?