posted on Jan, 27 2006 @ 10:37 AM
[NOTE: In writing this post, I am not suggesting that one political party is superior to another, or that one political ideology is superior to
another. This is not an issue of Republican vs Democrat or liberal vs. conservative. The post would be exactly the same if the parties involved were
members of the other political party. I have no political agenda in writing this post in terms of Democratic or Republican positions. I do not
associate the belief in the rights established in the US Constitution with one party or another, nor do I believe that efforts to take away those
rights are associated with one party or another. If you are reading this post in the Politics Forum instead of "Political Conspiracies", then
someone disagrees with the sentences I have written above.]
Americans just won't stay scared - vuoto
Fear has always been the friend of people in power. Going back to the Roman Empire, it was fear of the hordes of savage tribes that made communities
as far-flung as England and Eastern Europe willing to turn themselves over to the rule of the Emperor. I’m sure that fear of strong and hungry
outsiders made fealty to the early kings attractive to the smaller, less powerful tribes in Asia, Africa and throughout the Western Hemisphere. Fear
of the savage Indians made small towns in the Western United States beg the Army to send troops and build forts, and made them willing to provide a
portion of their property and wealth available to feed and run those armies.
In the 20th Century, the use of fear by those in power was raised to a high art form. During the “Cold War” we were told that the horrible
Communists wanted to kill us in our beds and brainwash our children. Political careers were made by men who convinced large portions of the
population that Communists were infiltrating every level of our government, and that thousands of nuclear missiles were pointed in our direction, and
at any minute the insane leaders of the Soviet Union were going to send those missiles flying.
Once convincing us that we had much to fear, the people in power always offered the same bargain: Safety for Power. They’ll keep us safe, if we
give them power. In the case of the Cold War it worked for a good long time, too. After WWII, the US had the greatest accumulation of military
might and governmental power in its history. A national security and intelligence apparatus bigger than had ever been seen in the world was made,
enough nuclear bombs to destroy the entire world scores of times were bought from companies that specialized in providing governments (and not just
the US) with the material of a war that… never came. Our entire foreign policy was driven by fear, in fact. It was a policy known as “Mutually
Assured Destruction” (MAD), which posited that if we could just keep everyone scared enough, then we’d never have to use the weapons that
were…keeping everyone scared. And we weren’t just scared of the other guys. Knowing that our own country was prepared to annihilate the world if
it was attacked, and that our arsenal was greater than theirs, made us as afraid of our own government as we were of the enemy. It was a time when
the level of pure, unadulterated power that was given to the governments of both sides was raised to a level unknown even to the great Emperors of
history. It was the power of fear.
But sometime after Viet Nam and Watergate, and a little part of the veil of secrecy that covered the workings of this vast engine of fear was lifted,
people became a little less afraid. Here in America, we learned that Karl Marx wasn’t quite the Antichrist, but rather an economist who was trying
to figure out how to take care of a large number of people, providing them with food and shelter, jobs and education, and how to give those people a
minimum expectation of a good life for their children. He may have been wrong about how to go about it, but after enough veterans of WWII, Korea and
Viet Nam went to college on the GI Bill, and actually read Das Kapital, we realized he wasn’t actually Satan Himself.
Then, the worst thing possible for the purveyors of fear happened: One of the players in the great Cold War Game had to forfeit, because they simply
didn’t have enough money to keep playing. The great and Evil Empire of the Soviet Union collapsed, and that great boogyman of the 20th century,
“World Communism”, ceased to be more than a handful of Central American idealists, intellectuals with berets and a lot of time on their hands, and
insane children of East Asian dictators.
From the time that the Cold War ended right up until September 11, 2001, the United States enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity unlike any other
in our history. More Americans improved their standard of living, bought houses, invested money, educated their children than any period before or
since. Even the unimaginably huge deficits of the Reagan Administration turned into (gasp!) budget SURPLUSES. The government actually took in more
money than they spent. Unemployment was lower than ever. The stock market was growing steadily and people had jobs. There were more ways to
communicate and to be entertained than ever before. A majority of the American people said that they were happy and had an expectation of a good
future. Fewer people than ever were afraid.
And the people in power decided this could not go on.
It’s not like there weren’t efforts to create fear during this period. We had an AIDS “epidemic” and the people whose job it is to tell us
that we’re going to suffer in Hell if we have a good time or listen to Howard Stern were busily trying to remind us that there was something to
fear. But generally, people were doing pretty well. The few men who have most of the wealth and power in the world saw the possibility that a great
number of the people who are at the bottom of the great pyramid of prosperity could actually move closer to the top, threatening a centuries-long
balance of the haves and the have-nots. I mean after all, if everyone’s financially comfortable, who’s going to clean our toilets? How will the
credit card companies make money if people have cash in their pockets. Most importantly, if people aren’t afraid, how will the companies who
specialize in the weaponry, the tools of fear, make a living?
For fear to really work well, there has to be an unknown enemy. If we see that the boogyman is really just a guy, then it’s not nearly as scary.
And we learned from the Cold War that having a country for an enemy means that we may actually win the war and then we’re back to square one,
fear-wise. No, we need an enemy who will last forever, it has to be a faceless enemy, someone who is invisible and pervasive, someone preferably
with facial hair. Thus, the terrorist.
There have always been people who will not play by the rules. When the British redcoats were marching in a line and announcing their presence with
drums and bugles and getting shot right down, the rag-tag American Army, who mostly didn’t wear uniforms (at first) and who sat in trees and behind
bushes and picked off the red coats like shooting fish in a barrel were considered by the military minds of Europe, to be inhuman, ungentlemanly
terrorists. When the American Army infected blankets with small pox and gave them to the Indians, what was that but a terrorist act using biological
weapons of mass destruction? This stuff was nothing new.
But take those terrorists and give them an accent, a funny headdress and, of course, facial hair, and you’ve got…Al Quada. The most perfect enemy
that could ever be invented to produce fear.
The problem is, as I said at the very beginning, Americans don’t stay scared for long. More people die in the US from complications of toenail
fungus than have been killed by terrorists. Seriously, all of you ATS folk out there (the ones who aren’t paranoid psychopaths), are you really
afraid of being killed by a terrorist? If you live in a major metropolitan area, are you more afraid of being killed by a terrorist or by a drug
addict in a mugging? Despite all the constantly replayed images of the World Trade Center coming down, half a decade later, it’s finally dawning on
people that terrorism isn’t the biggest thing we have to be afraid of. In fact, it’s dawning on the American people that the War in Iraq, which
we are told is a front in the War on Terror, which conservative estimates put at costing us over a TRILLION dollars, is pretty damn stupid. Americans
have figured out that the Babe Ruth of Fear, the very President of Fear, really isn’t all that bright of a guy and hasn’t done such a great job
after all. That’s why we’re seeing approval ratings of the current administration stuck at about 1/3 of the population, less than half of the
ratings of the President of Oral Sex who even at the worst of his terrible behavior, was approved of by 2/3 of the population.
Worst of all, when the President of Fear, who had become used to a population shaking in their boots giving him every single thing he wanted realized
people were…Asking Some Questions, he decided he needed to be able to listen in on phone calls without any one else knowing about it. Questions
could not be tolerated. ENTER, NUKES IN IRAN.
The helpful members of the Whacked Out AM Radio Talk Show Host community, in the last 2 weeks, have pushed Iraq, Domestic Terror, Bird Flu, and
Hurricanes off the table and, being willing to carry water for the President of Fear, are now telling us that IRAN is the GREAT and HORRIBLE SATAN
that will BLOW US ALL UP and KILL US IN OUR BEDS.
A show of hands, please. Do any of you think that Iran could have developed nuclear weapons if the United States really didn’t want them to?
Which is why at last, I come to my point: Iran will either actually get those nukes, or will come right to the edge of getting those nukes, because
the people in power need them. They need an enemy. They need us to be afraid. It didn’t work too well in Iraq because it got out that Saddam
didn’t really have the ability to KILL US ALL IN OUR SLEEP (and boy, they sure got the guy who let that secret out, by ruining his wife’s career).
So a new enemy is needed, and it has to be someone with a little staying power.
But the fact remains: Americans just won’t stay scared.
[edit on 1/27/2006 by vuoto]
[edit on 1/27/2006 by vuoto]
[edit on 1/27/2006 by vuoto]