Homeland Security: Does It Parallel Home Security?

There is no denying that political representatives and governments exploit voter fear of terrorism to their own advantage. In America the 9/11 attacks allowed governments and security agencies to dispense with individual privacy laws and monitor their citizens and non-citizens at home and abroad. Homeland security: does it parallel home security? It sure does, when the USA goes on terror alert, sure enough, householders buy more alarms and security systems for their homes. When there is a mass shooting in the US, many more people go out and buy guns; ostensibly to protect themselves. America has a culture of fear.

The mass media beams its sensationalist and highly repetitive news stories into the homes and workplaces of every American. TVs and computer screens flash with graphic images of death and disaster. Media commentators, exhaustively, wring every last emotion charged sound byte out of every bad news story. Moms and dads watch in worried states, eying their vulnerable children from across the room. Homeland security is the primal urge to defend family and home; so lock up your sons and daughters. Home security is paramount in the hearts and minds of most middle class Americans. They want double locks on the doors and big guns in their hands.

Homeland Security: Does It Parallel Home Security?

America, seems to have been in a heightened state of paranoia since its inception. First, it was the English who needed to be overthrown in revolution. Next, it was those savage Indians scalping innocent pioneering families out west. Then, those black runaway slaves terrorising poor white southern families. The media fanned the flames of these stories at the time, in its overblown manner; and continued to dredge up examples of ongoing threatening behaviour down through the generations. Think of America and you think of conflicts, wars and assassinations. Gangsters wielding machine guns through the time of prohibition. Presidents, from Lincoln to Kennedy, being shot down dead.

America has prided itself on creating an identity full of danger and opportunity. Organised crime running the land, with Mafiosi dons strutting the stage like Shakespearian kings. Scourges of drug pushers and addicts corrupting their nation’s youth. More recent villains, like Al Qaida and ISIS, have filled a role that has always been necessary to the American psyche. The famous fourth amendment of the US Constitution and the right to bear arms in the defence of your home or person; only rings true because of that deeply embedded fear and paranoia. What is the point of being the most powerful nation on the earth if you always feel scared?