Author Topic: Maybe We're Just in a Panic  (Read 1430 times)

Offline David in MN

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Maybe We're Just in a Panic
« on: October 14, 2020, 10:28:50 AM »
It's an interesting argument that America has always been in a panic with the enemy just outside the door. From early on we had witch trials, at least 2 "red scares" in the 1910s and 1950s, a few "brown scares" in the 60s and again with the phantom "militia movement" in the 90s, and topped off with tea party types in the 2010s.

Depending on your lifetime you might have feared death at the hands of bomb-throwing anarchists in the 1900s, teachers in the 1980s killing preschoolers in the "satanic panic", feared that little old me was going to kill you in the 1990s with my Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson, or been terrified by a pile of salt in 2004.

It's an odd American phenomenon because the only two real threats to change our lives came in the form of the Constitutional Convention and Civil War. In a time when we will lament the failure of democracy due to a mundane court appointee we forget that in 1889 our entire government was rewritten and we fought a bloody war that turned brother against brother and call it a win because slavery was ended. Rather interesting to live in a time when we have the luxury to discuss the ethics of a Stonewall Jackson statue because he isn't leading a line of bayonets toward your farmhouse.

In fact these panics are often most deadly to the people assumed to be the dangerous ones. That's how you inter Germans during WWI and Japanese during WWII. Want to go off and live by yourself according to your ethics? Been there, done that and call it Waco. We still treat Mormons like dirt and make them the butt of jokes and that's a faith that is native to this country. We're still questioning the loyalty of Catholics.

So when I turn on the news, I shrug. Maybe it's just another panic.