I was going to respond in the comments section in my last post but I got a bit long winded and decided to make it a full post. So, this’ll only make sense if you read part 1.
I suspect that’s part of it but I also think there’s something more to it than that. I’d argue this fear transcends foreign policy and partisan identification. While the right thrives on it, I know many progressives who have internalized fear in their daily lives (heck, I’m a 40 year old war veteran and my mother is still convinced I’m in danger of running afoul of an ax murderer every time I take a hike in the woods). I’m not sure if these two fears are linked or not but it can almost seem palpable at times, usually without any real justification.
Perhaps it’s also the way we transmit information? I don’t want to go on a media bashing exercise but let’s face it, news (particularly local news) generates revenue by scaring the bejeesus out of people (‘Are you killing your kids? Tune in at 5!’ ‘Are murderers targeting you through your iPod?’). But I suspect (with absolutely nothing to back it up) that it the behavior of our media is just a manifestation of something deeper.
Or, it could just be about the money.
The part I’m stuck on is trying to find other examples of countries with similar, chronic fear. If the U.S. in unique, why? If not, what are the common characteristics (if any) of nations that share the trait?