Every once in a while I get really sick of people trying to convince me that I'm in grave peril. Generally my worries in life are limited to issues such as the condition of my laptop, the possible inaccuracy of the weather forecast and the remote prospect of my apartment being destroyed by an earthquake. These are real, understandable apprehensions with basis in fact. But, once in a while, along comes some Cassandra who thinks I should also be worried about something really outlandish. Let me introduce you to one such fellow.
Creepy-looking conservative columnist Cal Thomas is trying his damnedest to make you spend every waking minute in fear of terrorism. He wants you to live in terror. He's a...I can't think of the word for this kind of person, but it's something like "terrorizer."
So, terrorizer Cal Thomas wrote last week that the US is under imminent danger of a terror attack (are you terrorized yet?). Every paragraph of his pessimistic little sermon entered my brain like a massive injection of some drug whose main side effect is uncontrollable eye-rolling. The subsequent headache I suffered might have been caused by said eye-rolling, or just by the inane content of the column. Probably both. Among the key points of Thomas's doomsday prophesy:
- "Enemy combatants" (redundant, I know) will, upon being released from Guantanamo Bay by "liberal judges" (exaggeration, I know), kill us all
- 9/11 OMG CHANGED EVERYTHING (cliché, I know) and is still sufficient justification for the US government to hold your grandmother prisoner indefinitely without charge
- The US's "War on Terror" (stupid, I know) is happening solely because of "their" hatred for "us," but not ours for them
- Be afraid, be very afraid (movie trailer language, I know)
Maybe the most disturbing thing about this article is something Thomas didn't intend to scare us with: At the end of the column, he says
The next attack... will come in a shopping mall, or a school, or on Wall Street, or possibly all three. It will occur simultaneously in many places and probably kill more than the nearly 3,000 who died in 2001.
You can start fretting about your lunch plans at Panda Express if you want, but I'm more concerned about something else: Just how does Cal Thomas know so much about how the next terror attack on the US will happen? By failing to cite his source, isn't he obstructing justice and protecting those who would carry out this most heinous food court/lunchroom/stock exchange onslaught? When will Cal Thomas publicly admit his links to terrorizers?
It used to be that only Cal Thomas's appearance frightened me. In most photos, he looks like an embalmed cadaver, or at least an elderly man wearing make-up. But the truth is far more sinister.
This summer...Cal Thomas IS....Terrorizer.
Rated PG-13 for jingoist rhetoric, blatant fear-mongering and brief nudity.
Scary as he sounds, we can't let grumpy, old biddies like Cal Thomas have any impact on our daily lives. Try as he and his ilk may to convince you to cancel your shopping trip, home-school your kids and stay the hell off Wall Street, it's incumbent upon us all to ignore those mouthy Chicken Littles. For on the day that the fear of terrorism affects your actions and habits, the terrorizers have already won.