Halloween is Friday night. One year, instead of a small child dressed as Dracula, the real Dracula will come to the door and it won’t be a Snickers bar that he wants. Or else Dracula will be a bear in disguise.
Unreasonable? You say my fears are unreasonable? That all we have to fear is fear itself? I fear fear itself, but I fear lots of other things, too. Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, that’s the ticket. I fear all the things that Republican politicians say I should be fearing.
To judge from the news, we Americans are the most fearful people on Earth. We’ve come to be proud of how afraid we are, strapping on our guns and parading through the streets.
We may also be the dumbest people on Earth. We march down the streets with our fellow open-carriers and look them in the eye. Do they look like people with sound judgment? Do they look like they’ve had shoot/no-shoot training? Or do they look like they forked over $500 at a gun show for the beat-up Bushmaster they’re carrying?
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One of them screws up, it’s you who'll be in trouble. You or your kids. As a Fearful American, you’ve gone to bulletblocker.com and outfitted your entire family with body armor. You bought the kids the $399.99 bulletproof backpacks that come complete with a school-shooting survival kit, everything from field dressings and antibiotics to bottled water and day-glo orange duct tape.
You would be safer with stricter gun laws, but you’d rather go with your gut. You’re not the problem. You’re not going to leave your Glock on the toilet paper holder in the Johnny-on-the-Spot, but you can’t be sure about the other guys. So you go home and wait for Halloween.
Ding-dong. The doorbell rings and it’s Ebola. You knew it would happen, so you wore the lime-yellow Dupont Tychem full-body encapsulation suit you bought online for $491.17. Virologists, epidemiologists, bah. What do they know? You get your news from cable, not scientists.
Trick or treat, says Ebola, and you throw it a Snickers bar and slam the door. Ding-dong. Ebola wants 1,500 more candy bars for the Central American kids it rode over the border with. Fine. Just go away.
George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are now on your porch, dangerous old Jewish men who are totally behind everything you don’t like and want to take away your Big Gulps. You give them candy to go away, though you probably just played right into the war on candy.
ISIS is next, or ISIL or IS, whatever it’s calling itself these days. You knew Obama couldn’t keep them from spreading. One day, Syria, next day Iraq, next day, your front porch. It’s why Muslims are dangerous, even though the kids’ pediatrician seems OK, despite trying to vaccinate them. Thank you, but when it comes to vaccines, we prefer to take our advice from Playboy models or the goofball we met at the mall.
Agenda 21 is at the door. You can tell because you hear the rotor blades of a black helicopter. Agenda 21 may be a 22-year-old nonbinding sustainable development resolution, but we prefer to believe it’s a United Nations plot to take our private property and turn it over to Sweden or somewhere like that. Denmark. Qatar. One of those Norwegian countries. Plus euthanize old folks.
We almost got it outlawed in Missouri last year, but then the governor vetoed the bill and we only came up one state senator short of overriding the veto. Out of 197 legislators in both houses, just short of two-thirds voted for the override.
We may be fearful, we may have the facts wrong, but we are legion.
Behind the Swedes and the Danes came the environmental wackos who don’t want us to ride our ATVs and horses in the Current and Jacks Fork rivers anymore. They scare us to death. God didn’t give us this beautiful land so we couldn’t tear it up. Real Americans like the sound of internal combustion engines in the wilderness and horse poop in their water.
Up the street come hordes of black yoots in hoodies and white yoots twerking. And the Common Core commies. And Hollywood liberals. So many threats, so few Snickers bars.
Now there’s a guy at the door wearing a blue jacket with “FEMA” on the back. The Federal Emergency Management Agency. Just the guys who show up after tornadoes and floods? Hah. You dupe.
FEMA is setting up concentration camps. Yes, they’re going to intern us, like the Japanese during World War II. There’s boxcars in Montana, man. Plastic coffins in Georgia.
Yes, we believe this. Why wouldn’t we? It’s been on the Internet. You thought it went away when even Glenn Beck said it was false. Well, it’s back now as part of the Ebola scare.
Be afraid, be very afraid. It’s the new national motto.
Kevin Horrigan is deputy editorial page editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Readers may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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