There’s been a meme that’s been permeating the rightosphere for quite a while now, which is this notion that another terrorist attack will be needed to “wake us up”. It was repeated by John Gibson on Fox:
Gibson’s exact quote: “I think it’s going to take a lot of dead people to wake America up” (h/t Think Progress)
What the heck does that mean exactly?
Gibson is obviously implying that America isn’t “awake”, but I guess I’m not sure why he would think that. Perhaps I should turn to my fellow bloggers to explain this for me.
This whole idea got some attention because of that column that appeared in the Philadelphia Daily News (Gibson was interviewing the author in the vid), and I noticed that the reaction in the blogosphere was a little mixed…
We don’t need healing. We need the half of the country that doesn’t believe we are under threat from global jihad to wake up and smell the suicide bomb smoke.
My pal The Sophist says:
The only thing that could possibly wake up the Other Half is for the Islamists to overreach and start demanding the imposition of shari’ah law here in the United States, on non-Muslims.
And another WP political blogger, mpinkeyes, says:
Let’s just hope we never find out if another 9/11 will save us. The first one didn’t wake us up, the second one won’t either.
OK… I’m not sure if you people have been sleeping for the last 6 years, but I’d say we are very much “awake” as a nation. After all, we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. The Patriot Act passed…twice. Just a little while ago, Congress granted Bush carte blanche to warrantlessly wiretap whoever the hell they please. In fact, I can’t think of a single thing that Bush hasn’t eventually gotten his way on in order for him to fight his “war on terror”. And, of course, he right loves to tout how effective it’s all been (just Google “no attacks since 9/11”). The media constantly reminds us of the terrorist threat.
So….WTF does “Wake Up” mean? We need to make Bush a king? Start internment and deportation of Muslims? Commence bombing of Iran? Nuke Mecca? Seriously. What?
Or, does “America needs to wake up” = “America isn’t frightened enough” ? If only those darn liberals were more scared, then they wouldn’t worry about losing quaint things like civil liberties in the name of fighting The Great Battle Against “Islamofascism”. Those Islamists want you DEAD! DEAD!!! WAKE UP!!! BE SCARED!!!!
Something like that?
Suppose Gibson’s “a lot of dead people” came at the hands of another Tim McVeigh. How would that “wake us up”?