A Washington Post story about social protests in Israel contained the following paragraph today:
The cries for “social justice” have signaled a shift from the traditional preoccupation with security and the Arab-Israeli conflict to an economic agenda focusing on issues often shunted aside in the face of what have been presented as more pressing external threats.
Perhaps that is a good generalized description of the rising tide in the United States: For so many years the political accolades for fearing alleged enemies have kept the electorate docile and more or less united. Other, more self-serving, agendas are and were nourished behind this veil of 'patriotism' and 'defense.' Not the least of these is "re-elect me."
But this political misdirection -- this righteous legerdemain ... "Look! Look! Over there! Over there!" -- only works as long as there is some comfort, some security, worth defending. When comfort and security begin to fray -- when men and women can no longer provide for themselves or their families -- such programs as "the war on terror" lose their savor and the question begins to be asked, "who are the actual terrorists?"