Thomas Sowell writes:
Polarization is a high price to pay for high voter turnout. But efforts are already underway to scare old people that their Social Security is threatened, in order to get out their vote, when in fact nobody in his right mind is going to touch their Social Security….
That is an enormous responsibility at a time when Americans are in greater peril than even during the nuclear stand-off of the Cold War. After all, the Soviet Union could be deterred by our nuclear weapons but suicide bombers cannot be deterred by anything. And it may be only a matter of a few years before they have nuclear weapons….
Those who vote on the basis of what the government can do for them are especially short-sighted during a war against worldwide terror networks. What good would it do to get free prescription drugs forever if your forever is likely to be cut short by more attacks like those on September 11, 2001?
So, scare tactics about Social Security – which is mathematically doomed anyhow – are off-limits, but scare tactics about suicide bombers who don’t possess nuclear weapons and aren’t presently active in the United States are appropriate? The average American’s odds of being killed by terrorists over the last three years run at about 0.00033 percent, or 3.3 per million, including 9/11. Those are odds that not even the most inveterate purchaser of lottery tickets would consider “likely”. Moreover, the notion that nuclear armed suicide bombers are more dangerous than the Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal ever was simply asinine.
I like Dr. Sowell and I own several of his books, but he has been on a very feeble streak of late. An intellectual with his grasp of history should immediately recognize the old, old scare tactic of tyranny through safety, not further it.