Tom Tomorrow hits one out of the park sounding off on this asinine question posed by CBS News' Bob Schieffer in the third Presidential debate:
From the very first question: will we ever have a world as safe as the world we grew up in? You know, the world in which schoolchildren practiced "duck and cover" drills as a response to the threat of complete global annihilation? Yeah, that world was really safe, Bob. If only we could be that safe again.
I'm glad it isn't just me who is horrified at the collective brain fart our nation has experienced about putting the threat of terrorism - even acts as large-scale as those that happened on 9/11 - in its proper perspective. It's as if we didn't live through the Cold War, through mutual assured destruction, through "We will bury you!", through the Evil Empire, through a time in which children such as myself woke up every single morning scared shitless that the Emergency Broadcasting System would announce that the missiles were on their way and that civilization as we knew it was about to come to an end, to be followed by centuries of flesh-eating mutants toting shotguns and scavenging the radioactive wastelands for canned goods.
Shame on you, Bob. And shame on everyone who has contributed to the overinflation of the specter of terrorism into some kind of existential threat. The truth of the matter is that the world has never been a particularly safe place, but it's sure as hell been a lot safer since we and the Soviets took our fingers off the hair-triggers of our respective nuclear arsenals. But fear sells, doesn't it? Look what the Bush Administration has been able to get away with by keeping us terrified.
The sooner we wise up, the better. But it ain't gonna happen anytime soon with respectable newsmen whitewashing our recent history...