August 14, 2006

I'm just not going to be afraid

I have been thinking about this for some time and have been wanting to get this off my chest, and these posts from DailyKos got me off my keester.

First, SusanG takes it to the nth degree:

People, don't you see? Don't you see how much safer we'll be if we simply stay at home, quit traveling, quit meeting in public, quit living together in large numbers, cut off all communications with the outside world? Living with a terminal case of the shivers, in the dark of our basements, and very, very afraid - that's the only way we can beat Al Qaeda. Get with the program, patriots. Push your soul in a deep dark hole and then follow it in.

And DarkSyde weighs in:
I know there are millions of brave, decent conservatives. My apologies to those folks for the following. But good grief, when did the Republican Party become infested with what sound like so many loud, whining cowardly pundits? One second Reagan is up there standing toe-to-toe with the Rooskis, negotiating cool as a cucumber with 20,000 nukes pointed at him, and the next thing I know, the likes of Limbaugh or the crew at Powerwhine and Freeperland, are all shrieking like a class full of tweaked-out, neurotic fifth-graders having a panic attack every time OBL pops up in a grainy video with a rusty AK in the background. What the hell happened to the GOP I once knew?

Death and injury are every bit as tragic as they are inevitable for human beings. Understandably, we worry about both, we all cry and mourn when either strike, especially with ourselves or those we love playing the starring role. And I have no desire to down play the loss that anyone feels when someone they love is struck down, be it by terrorism or leukemia. But ...some perspective maybe?

Heart disease and cancer will claim about 1.5 million American lives each and every year. As far as accidental deaths (~100,000/year), motor vehicle accidents far and away lead the pack (+40,000/year), with accidental poisoning and falls in place and show1. You can play with those stats all kinds of ways. But the bottom line is that over the course of a civilian lifetime, the odds of falling victim to Al Qaeda rank somewhere between falling off a ladder to your death and being struck by lightning inside your home.

. . .

Here's a message for both our homegrown Neoconservative, bloggy, gutless wonders and the Jihadi nutcases overseas: I grew up in the cold-war, my parents went through WW2 for crying out loud. We are not paralyzed with fear over Osama. Despite your best efforts, I'm not obsessed with terrorism. Sheesh, I barely even think about it. I face bigger statistical risks, in every way, every day, and on every scale, just driving across a set of railroad tracks and down the interstate smoking a cigarette in the rain, and I don't worry much about that either.

Preach it, brother. I am a thousand times more worried that my husband, or daughter, or mother, or father, will be taken out by a drunk driver than a suicide bomber. I am even more convinced that the cigarette hanging from my husband's mouth will take his life before Osama will.

Maybe it's because I am a woman. There is something I have lived in awareness of my whole life. Something that can happen to women (and men) from every social strata, at any time of day, in any location. But I don't live in fear though, or I might as well slit my wrists, because there is not a place on earth where I am "safe." There will always be people "plotting" to harm others.

And I don't expect the government to lock up every male in the off chance that HE might be a potential offender. And I don't want them to restrict MY liberties in order to possibly avoid harm. I am careful, but I know it's no guarantee. Ask my friend who was raped at age thirteen by the father of the kids she was babysitting. Or my other friend who was raped by her fiance's brother. I could go on, there are others in my life, but I think I've made my point.


DesertBeacon said...

Yes. If rural Nevadans felt about snakes the way the GOP wants us to think about Osama Almost Been Forgotten, we'd never venture out of the house. Those slithering critters are out there, I'm aware of them, I take some precautions, but @#$@#! if I'm going to let them keep me from enjoying the back country. We're a far cry (or whine?) from those hardy souls who crammed into the Tube during the Blitz and sang "There'll Always Be an England." The GOP's version of FDR's cheerleading appears to be "We have nothing but Fear that you won't be Afraid Enough."

cls said...

And the scorpions, black widows, etc!!