Is America Not Safe?
“Security wise, we’re just not safe here any more! It’s Barack Obama’s fault.” So says Sherwin Stern, a supporter of wrestler John Cena, who registered as a presidential candidate with the Socialist Party U.S.A. last month. Stern says he used to be a liberal, but has changed his mind about politics. “When I started making videos I was still a liberal. Last year I realized the idiocy of liberalism and I became a conservative,” he writes.
A very different perspective, but with the same conclusion, comes from Susan K. Smith, who says that, “America is not safe because of white on white crime, because of this tendency of mostly young white men, angry with the world, or angry at their circumstances, and definitely angry at the government, think the way to handle their anger is to go into public spaces and just shoot, or kill masses of people in whatever way they can.”
The belief that America is not safe is common these days.
Komfie Manalo of the Gospel Herald Christian news service writes that, “America is not safe from terrorist attacks.”
Donald Trump supporter Mabyn Shingleton wrote a week ago that “America is not safe. Our borders are open. We have a huge ILLEGAL ALIEN population with @potus bringing in more.”
Hamilton Strategies warns that “America is not safe from Islam.”
Robert T. Jordan, in his book America Is Not Safe, writes that “America is not safe — from enemies either foreign or domestic!”
Tyrone Weaver decclares that “America is not safe with obama at the helm”.
Back in 2004, Texas Congressman Jim Turner warned that “America is not safe” 23 different times in a single speech.
Yet, since Jim Turner made that speech, the United States has not suffered a large-scale attack.
Look at what’s actually happening in the United States today, as shown in these images from live webcams across the country:
In Times Square, Manhattan, America is safe.
In Vinita, Oklahoma, America is safe.
In Seattle, Washington, America is safe.
In Jackson, Wyoming, America is safe.
In Treasure Island, Florida, America is safe.
In Kaua’i, Hawaii, America is safe.
Take a look outside your window. Do you see people being killed by terrorists? No, you don’t. America is safe.
So, why are so many people saying that America is not safe? The answer is simple and disturbing: Americans like to use the belief that their country is not safe as a political tool. Every time I’ve found people using the phrase, “America is not safe,” they’re doing so as part of a political argument. “America is not safe,” is a premise that’s used to try to convince people to accept some form of dramatic political change. It’s a cheap tactic that creates a false sense of urgency, so that people in the audience will be less likely to use their critical thinking skills, less likely to exercise healthy skepticism.
This year, the House Homeland Security Committee bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel told a story in its final report to illustrate the political usefulness of the idea that America is not safe: “One of the first Americans do die in the conflict, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, was responsible for a suicide bombing attack on a Syrian restaurant, the video of which was later distributed by extremists on social media.55 In the recording, Abusalha rips up his American passport, urges others to travel to the conflict zone, and warns that America “is not safe”; it ends with him driving an explosive-laden truck into the attack site and detonating it.”
The next time that you hear a politician trying to gain your support by claiming that America is not safe, stop and remember this: The claim that America is not safe is something that terrorists want you to believe, because that belief gives them power over you. Asserting that America is not safe is a terrorist tactic, and politicians who try to gain power by claiming that Americans are not safe from terrorism are terrorists themselves.