Why are Americans becoming such unmitigated cowards?
Did it all start with the nuclear age and fear of the mushroom cloud, translating into fear of hidden communists under every rock and even commies occupying some of the top offices of our land. We were the home of the proud and the brave up through WWII. Ever since the days of Senator Joseph McCarthy, fear has been a growing and lucrative cottage industry, providing fertile ground for politicians to plow. What happened to us? What will it take for America to cast off its fear, and to begin standing up to the hair-on-fire conspiracy theorists?
We let fear drag us into an unnecessary war in Iraq. Politicians on both sides were too afraid of the fear factor to stand up and say a looming threat of an Iraqi invasion of the USA or a sneak attack was absurd. We let fear prevail on the Guantanamo prison closure. Millions of Americans fell for the absurd lie that the detainees there are so incredibly dangerous that they couldn’t safely be housed on US soil, even in a Federal Supermax prison where no inmate has ever escaped.
Michelle Bachmann’s recent conspiracy theories of a hidden Muslim Brotherhood power base within the US Government set me to thinking about the power of Islamophobia since 9/11. I’ve heard otherwise intelligent Americans expound at length on the vast, pervasive threat that the US is becoming a new Muslim Caliphate and that Sharia Law is just around the corner. Are our days of prominence over for good? Will we slowly succumb to the fear industry, slipping into the muck of constant terror of our own shadows? What can those who aren’t living in constant terror do to pull their fearful fellow citizens out of their self-imposed darkness?