Are We This Scared?

scaredJoe Lieberman, Scott Brown and a few other Senators introduced a bill called the TEA Act (Terrorist Expatriation Act) in the wake of the failed Times Square car bombing.  This bill would enable the State Department to revoke someone’s citizenship for providing “material support” to a terrorist group.  Meanwhile, John McCain called for the suspect, Faisal Shahzad, to be denied a reading of his Miranda rights.  This is the same sort of ridiculous overreaction we saw to the so-called Underwear Bomber.

And it’s more than a little instructive to note that there were no such calls to crack down on middle-aged balding white men when Joseph Stack flew his plane into the IRS building.  We’re curiously complacent about domestic terror when it’s committed by people Sarah Palin would call “real Americans”.

Are we this scared of foreigners?  Are we allowing these incidents to turn us into full-fledged xenophobes?  I hope not, because that would not be the real America I want to live in and be proud of.

Bad things happen.  We need to do almost everything in our power to stop them.  But we need to stop short of launching into witch hunts and racial profiling.  We need to stop short of stripping ourselves of fundamental and Constitutional rights in a misguided effort to protect and live by our Constitution.

It’s important to recall the lesson of every slasher flick ever made: Scared people make really bad decisions.

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