Sunday, December 09, 2007

Paranoid Nation?

Washington Post syndicated columnist Eugene Robinson, discusses information presented at a panel discussion he recently participated in suggesting that Americans are becoming afraid of their own shadows:

To recap: We're afraid of one another, we're afraid of the rest of the world, we're afraid of getting sick, we're afraid of dying. Maybe if we study our insecurities and confront them, we'll learn to keep them in check. Before we turn the whole nation into one big, paranoid gated community, maybe we'll learn that life isn't really any better behind the walls.

The rest of the column merits the time of thoughtful readers. While I disagree with the way that Mr. Robinson characterizes some of his examples, his basic premise has merit. A combination of American marketing and political populism (of both leftward and rightward varieties) have contributed to making Americans unreasonably fearful of the communities and world in which they live.

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