Former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, is quoted in Cut and Paste from Today's Australian -
I believe the most precious gift the next president could bestow upon America is an end to the politics of fear. Fear, of course, has its place. Seven decades ago, the world did not fear Hitler enough. Today, Iraq remains a powder keg, Afghanistan a struggle, Iran a potential danger and North Korea a puzzle not yet solved. Pakistan combines all the elements that give us an international migraine. Al-Qa'ida and its offshoots deserve our most urgent attention, because when people say they want to kill us, we would be fools not to take them at their word.
Still, we have had an overdose of fear in recent times.
We have been told to be afraid so that we might be less protective of our Constitution, less mindful of international law, less respectful towards allies, less discerning in our search for truth and less rigorous in questioning what our leaders tell us. We have been exhorted by the White House to embrace a culture of fear that has driven and narrowed our foreign policy while poisoning our ability to communicate effectively with others.
One manifestation of fear is an unwillingness to think seriously about alternative perspectives. America’s standing in the world has been in free fall these past few years because our country is perceived as trying to impose its own reality — to fashion a world that is safe and comfortable for us, with little regard for the views of anyone else.
Perhaps Barak Obama's rapid rise has something to do with this sentiment - i.e. a yearning for hope over fear. Parallels are being drawn with Labor's victory in Oz.