Words of hypervigilance: Do we really want to become
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My concern about propagating such a motto is that to do so is to charge the atmosphere with still more mutual suspicion, which lends itself all too well to the purposes of a growing police state. And since the phrase was born of the events of 9/11, and is principally concerned with terrorism, to put it into universal practice strikes me as distinctly disproportionate to the actual prevalence of that threat, which is so low as to make the risk of being killed in a terrorist attack far less than that of drowning in one’s bathtub — not to mention Grover Norquist’s.
I think there are already too many jumpy, hypervigilant post-traumatic stress sufferers in the wake of 9/11, thanks in large part not to the act itself, but to its interminable reiteration in the media. In fact, it is probable that most of America is afflicted with this “9/11 Syndrome.” To adopt and promote this Orwellian slogan only further — and disproportionately — darkens our view of one another, and for this reason I cannot endorse it.