Monday, July 2, 2007

You will NOT be the victim of a terrorist attack

Terrorism and fear. That's what got George W. Bush relected. That's what allowed him to run roughshod over our liberties and basically destroy much of what makes this country great.

But really, do we have anything to fear? Should we all be quaking in our boots about being hit by terrorists? I think not. I think it is vastly overblown. The reality is that, unless you live in Washington DC or New York and spend time near monumental structures, you are more likely to die from a hangnail than you are from a terrorist attack.

I mean, really, who ever heard of terrorists attacking some half-empty cornfield in Iowa? They want to go for the "sexy" targets. If they are going to blow themselves up for "allah" they want to do it for something big. Knocking over the water tower in east bum-**** Idaho just doesn't have that same drawing power.

Now, a really clever terrorist might figure this out and stage attacks in small towns in the heartland, just to unsettle us all. Yet that hasn't happened, and we haven't even heard of plots to make that happen. That would be a very smart strategy to induce terror in everyone more legitimately than it is now. But it hasn't happened. And we need to keep in mind that even in NYC and DC, there hasn't been another terror attack since the Anthrax scare. And no, Bush does not get credit for that - he's already proven himself to be totally incompetent. Plus, really, there's nothing he could do to absolutely prevent an attack. Terrorists can walk across our southern or northern borders with impunity. They can get guns here easily, and so they could easily go shoot up a mall if they wanted to. No security measure we have in place would prevent that.

Really, the terror threat is overblown. Unfortunately, it has been overblown deliberately - stoke up the fear and then act as a big and strong savior - that's been the GOP election strategy for the past six years. In 2006 they finally found that the well had run dry on that strategy, though mostly because people saw the GOP as incompetent and corrupt, not because the fear had totally subsided.

So what's my point? Stop worrying about terrorist attacks. Worry about what will really kill you. Eating crap. Driving drunk. Driving unsafely in general (like not leaving one FULL CAR LENGTH PER 10 MPH of SPEED BETWEEN YOU AND THE CAR IN FRONT OF YOU). Just do it. But don't waste any time worrying about terrorism. That's just playing into the politico's hand. And even if there really does exist a threat to you at some point, there's no point voting for the GOP - they won't help you anyway.

So live life, enjoy it, smell the roses, hug your kids, and stop worrying about things that will likely never happen to you. Worry about those things that could happen instead - just don't go overboard. And never act out of fear. You will always end up doing something really stupid. Thus ends my unsolicited, somewhat coherent advice for the day. (Now if only I could follow my other advice - get a good night's sleep every night).


Alex said...

Really, fearing another terrorist attack is not only playing into politicians hands, but also those of the terrorists, themselves.

They are called terrorists for a reason. Acting in fear of what they will do next is simply handing them more power. Think of how much our country has changed due to ONE action on their part. They don't NEED to do anything else. We're doing it all for them.

(not related: I wish police would pull over more people for tailgating than for speeding. Tailgating someone is much more dangerous than driving 10mph over the speed limit with plenty of room. Sigh.)

DBB said...

That's true. We do play right into their hands. No one can FORCE you to be afraid. Obviously, it is a natural reaction in the sense of the visceral - like if someone points a gun right at your face - but in the abstract, really, whether you go the fear route is to a great degree a choice.

If we choose not to be afraid or to change our activities based on fear of terrorist attack, then the "terror" is eliminated, and it just leaves a bunch of murderers to be caught and brought to justice.

The thing is, they have ZERO real power - they could never overthrow our government or even put a dent into it. So really the only power we have is that which we give to them. Bush and the GOP (and the Dems for letting them) have done far more damage to what matters in our country than a thousand terrorist attacks ever could.

And I agree with you about tailgating - whenever I'm in a single lane narrow road and someone tailgates me it bugs me so much, I'll slow down by 20mph until they get the hint before speeding back up again. Driving over the limit isn't what is dangerous in any case, it is driving at a speed at variance with the general flow of traffic. If all of the cars are going 85, it is more dangerous to drive 70 than it is 85.

Thorne said...

Bravo!!! I ain' a-sceert a nuthin!!! (Well, maybe sea monsters) *wink*

David said...

Sadly, you're probably preaching to the choir. Those with any sense of reason and even the slightest knowledge of history should know that scares are political ploys. This particular one under the banner of terrorism has and is being used to usurp the Constitution and the essence of what used to make the U.S. great. And in its wake is creating an imperial presidency.

But why create an imperial presidency? Probably for the money. Power and money pretty much go hand in hand - with one you get the other – and this administration and everyone in it is definitely cleaning up in the money department.

Growing up in the 1980s I used to think that Reagan was evil. He fired striking ATC staff and took away government cheese programs from the hungry. It was also under him that I lived in constant fear of an imminent WWIII nuclear exchange with the U.S.S.R. (Regan used that scare tactic well to get most anything he wanted back then – you might even say he employed terror as a strategy – sound familiar?) What I’ve come to realize over the past handful of years, though, is that Reagan was a child compared to the current Bush administration. If any single administration in U.S. history epitomizes evil, it is this one. I have not seen a single shred of truth, of decency, of goodness in anything that any of the group does. And while I was never before sure that the concept of evil really even existed, it’s hard to call the complete absence of good anything else. We are living through what will be noted by historians as the darkest political days in American history.

And through all of this, I still wonder, what can any of us really do about it.

DBB said...

It looks like the ploy is continuing, as Chertoff says based on his "gut" that there will be a greater risk of terrorist attacks this summer - I guess those approval ratings heading south of 25% has Bush scared.