On Sunday night, President Obama addressed the nation as an American leader we can depend on and who we can trust with a plan that is consistent with our cultural values. He reassured us that we can defeat the terrorists “by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless, and by drawing upon every aspect of American power.”
Fear is in the air, where terrorists have created a sense that danger can exist anywhere. The President asked people not to give into the fear and not to turn on each other as fear can spread to those who identify as Muslim. We can not let this war with terrorists become staged as a war between Islam and the West.
The President shared the counterterrorism work that is being done by the United States to fight the Islamic State. He called for tougher screening of travelers who come to the US without visas and he called for gun control.
“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it.” The President’s message was one of hope, to win over fear. Some of the Presidential candidates, on the other hand, are flaming the fear, using this moment in our history to sound like a leader who is tougher and more capable of defeating the terrorists no matter what they would have to do to succeed. Instead of hope, they offer us war, prejudice and isolation.
The president reminded us that success “won’t depend on tough talk, or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for.”
What would help you feel safe?