Thursday, September 17, 2015

The "Dangerous Times" Thing

This time it was Marco Rubio, challenging Donald Trump's fitness to be president, but the line gets thrown around all the time:
These are extraordinarily dangerous times that we live in.
Hogwash. This may be a dangerous time in the Middle East and parts of Africa, but for the rest of the world this the safest era in history by a wide margin. All the terrorists in the world have yet to kill as many people as were killed on the average day in World War II.

People freak out about an Iranian bomb, but the Americans and Soviets used to have 5,000 warheads aimed at each other and poised to launch.

The murder rate is down; the number of people killed in car accidents is down; we have pulled most of our soldiers out of harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We have lots of problems in America, but in historical terms our problems with violence are mild. Why is it so hard to admit that things really aren't so bad?

1 comment:

leif said...

noam chomsky (i'm told...need to verify) tells us this is a strategy of manipulation called 'the strategy of deferring'. present an unpopular assertion as 'painful but necessary' as a way to lull the masses into future sacrifice. it's something of a carrot and stick: dangle the carrot of future betterment if one can just put up with the stick a little longer.

this also serves as epistemic closure: a support structure that circulates unchallenged stories that validate the tenets of the closed-belief system.