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America's Greater Threat?

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It seems that the topic on everyone's mind is the war. Not necessarily in this forum, but everywhere, their habit of voting is based on their perception of the war on terror, or other trivial matters. I know someone who is voting Kerry simply because Kerry is Catholic and that person thinks his Catholic rearing would do the country, and that person's religion, better.

But is that our number one threat right now?

Terrorists have killed (to be conservative) probably around 4500 americans. But what about the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions who are suffering under the growing strain of big government?

Tough anti-gun laws makes rational ownership of guns harder to obtain while doing little to dislodge the illegal gun market.

Medical progress has slowed to a crawl, with two concrete walls obstructing them; the FDA's incessant reluctance to accept new drugs, and the threat of a suit, where the slightest error can result in your company's complete destruction by thieving lawyers.

The total cost of our un-funded liabilities now exceeds the entire net worth of the United States (the U.S has a net worth of about 43 trillon dollars)

Our schools are in shambles, The only institutes with the resources to compete against public schools are churches. Nearly 10,000 dollars per child is spent, more then any other country on Education, but our students consistently rank last in areas like science and Math

scheming politicians have siezed nearly half of the health care industry, turning it into the same quagmire plaguing the folks in Europe. Their solution? seize even more.

and what has the political parties been doing? they want more money, more funds, more taxes, more theft for the above programs which are all having disatrous results.

Don't get me wrong, I love the United States, hell I'm studying to be a soldier in her Army. I am just disturbed about how many parallels I can draw between modern America and the America of Atlas Shrugged. It also disturbs me when I watch government force itself into the business of others then calls it a victory for democracy. Or when Ted Kennedy can get up in the Demo national convention and call Enron the failure of Capitalism (when clearly it was big government that caused that mess, and the free market cleaning it up)

For me, I percieve the greatest threat is not terrorists, though they certainly are a priority. I just hope they aren't America's Germanic tribes, where a minor nuisance turns into her captor. So what do you think, do American's have their priorities crossed?

Or is there a third threat that I haven't discussed that you feel could potentially result in the downfall of the greatest nation in the history of the world?

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Terrorists have killed (to be conservative) probably around 4500 americans. But what about the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions who are suffering under the growing strain of big government?

It's not how many they have killed so far; it's how many they are planning to kill. The goal of the terrorists is to destroy the entire Western civilization.

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...their habit of voting is based on their perception of the war on terror, or other trivial matters.

I hope you're not suggesting that the war on terror is a trivial matter.

All the points you make a very valid. I too see the events of Atlas Shrugged, and the motivation behind them, played out in the newspaper almost daily. (If I read the paper more carefully, I'm sure I could remove the "almost".) However, as in AS, the proliferation of an omnipresent government is a symptom, not a primary cause, of our problems. So long as we maintain a collectivist mentality, rather than the individualism and ethics of "self-interest, properly understood" on which this country was founded, we must inevitably go where that path leads, which was so forcefully demonstrated to anyone who cared to see it throughout the 20th century.

As to the Islamists becoming to America what the Germanic tribes were to the Roman Empire, it is certainly not unthinkable, though I consider it very unlikely. I think what we're seeing is the last desperate flailing of the elements that have taken a culture from the forefront of intellectual development to trailing the western world by 500 years or more. If, however, we abondon what lies at the root of the advancement of western civilization, we merely level the playing field. That root, of course, is reason.

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It's not how many they have killed so far; it's how many they are planning to kill. The goal of the terrorists is to destroy the entire Western civilization.

But is that goal in any way achievable? Yes they can kill some people but how are they going to destroy western civilization?

The ongoing destruction of western civilization from within seems to me to be a much bigger threat.

(PS I live in DC, which is both a major terrorist target and the source of much of the ongoing destruction.)

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And that is how they will win, if they ever do. Once we gut our own souls, Islam will sweep in to fill the void. Convert the submissive, slaughter the rest. It is quite the historical recipe. Or the Christian fundamentalists will fill it, they'll fight each other, whoever wins get's us. Or, they both lose and people wake THE HELL UP!

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My personal opinion is that the greatest threat to America is the encroaching Socialism of the Left and the transformation of the welfare state into the totalitarian state.

I find that more threatening right now than terrorists or domestic religious fudamentalists.

Which is more dangerous, the left hand of a mugger that has already wounded you heavily but is currently away from you -- or his right hand, which now suddenly holds the knife, scant inches from your neck?

I remain unable to understand statements to the effect that the left as such is more dangerous than the right, or vice-versa. At the basic level we have got to stop making these distinctions, because we are still in essence dealing with a single enemy. By that I don't mean simply to recognize that they all come from the same philosophical source, I mean that we need to realize that these many manifestations of the same enemy, can interact and play off one another.

If another major terrorist act precipitates the US Government into major advances towards totalitarianism, it will be due to the interaction between it and said encroaching statism. The pattern is there for all to see in 1930's Germany, as the terroristic brownshirts pushed the Weimar government into further and further acts of tyranny itself in attempting to combat Hitler.

The problem is that our mugger, the philosophical Left, has two hands. The other one is their artificial opponent, the conservatives. Those guys have been galvanized by 9/11. They are the bomb to which terrorism is the fuse. They are the authors of the Patriot Act, don't forget. In three short years, 9/11 has precipitated the political equivalent of a quick feint, switching the knife from left to right hand. Are you going to stay fixated on the left?

The political left has been slowed down quite a bit since the 1960's and 1970's, their last major period of advance. Today, while they still are making progress in a number of areas, in particular the assault on private property via the envirocult, they have been slowed down, stopped and even in a few cases reversed a bit (gun control). Some of the better secular-ish conservatives do a relatively good job of fighting on that front, and that might even be debatably attributed to some influence of Ayn Rand here and there. The last major leftist advance can be considered parried, if just barely. Because of that, the timescale of that danger is still measurable in decades.

But Patriot Act II, III etc. can happen in a matter of months, weeks even, after another terrorist attack (or two). I believe that our efforts are best spent here, on two interrelated fronts: demanding military action against the remaining terrorists-supporting nations, and attacking the Patriot Act as not only destructive of freedom, but as bad military strategy. Knock out the supporting states, and the terrorists become no more dangerous than ordinary criminals -- which the existing enforcement structures and legal process can handle.

The conservatives are therefore our most urgent target -- for support on terrorism (which means voting for Bush at this time) and for attack on Patriot. But this focus is not because the right is more or less dangerous than the left; it is because that's the situation we find ourselves at this moment in the fight for freedom. If we are going to win this, we have to deal with immediate threats as quickly and dynamically as they arise, but without forgetting that we fight one enemy.

Follow the knife, not the hands. Parry the right, watch the left, and mind the enemy!

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