US National Concern: We Are A People Living In Fear



Post Twin Towers: What Life Is Like Now

September 11th, 2001. A day that no American will ever forget. Every year, memorials are held all over the country for the 3,000 lives that were lost in Washington D.C., New York, and Pennsylvania on that tragic day. But aside from the national mourning and culture of remembrance, exactly how safe do Americans feel from terrorism now?

It’s no surprise either, as during the last five years, there have been several terrorist attacks on home soil as well as in other parts of the word.

There has been a surge in terrorist activity since the rise of ISIS. Americans, more than any other nation, are overly aware of the effects of and threats posed by terrorism.

Disturbing events such as the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the San Bernardino shooting in 2015 and the Pulse nightclub shooting spree in 2016 have really driven home the fact that Americans are not as safe as what government would like them to believe that they are.

Probability Issues

Americans do not only feel unease at the prospect of continued terrorist attacks, but they also feel that the possibility of another attack on the scale of 9/11 is now larger than ever before. The very likelihood of another major terrorist attack seems to be ever looming in the minds of many Americans, more so now under the Trump administration, than under previous ones.

Polls show that nearly 60% of Republicans feel that the ability of terrorists to attack is greater than what it was during the time of 9/11. 34% of Independents and 31% of Democrats feel the same way. All of this despite government’s constant re-assurance that security measures are at an all time high and that another attack the scale of 9/11 is a practical impossibility.

National Fear

Americans have always been divided among partisan lines concerning the general safety of the man on the street as well as the efficacy of the national defence system. For example, during Bush’s presidency, it was the Democrats who held the opinion that more terrorist strikes were imminent. The Republicans, on the other hand, seemed more relaxed about matters of national safety at the time.

Now, however, under Donald Trump’s presidency, all Americans, irrespective of party, are on the wrong end of 50% as far as negative statistics are concerned. It’s quite obvious that Americans fear terrorism more than ever before.

What this says about Trump’s administration and the way in which the president chooses to handle matters of national safety is quite telling indeed.

The polls are clear and the results reveal much about the shared opinion of the collective as a nation as opposed to members of different parties. This is perhaps the biggest concern of all. It’s no longer a case of concerns being politically motivated or driven, but a matter of national fear and subdued panic.

Americans do not feel safe and they feel no need to mince words when saying so. This is not a bad thing. National pride and the willingness to address issues has become about as American as what playing pokies online is to Australians.

Being vocal about fears is a good thing, and in the future, it may cause the waves of change to grow, and break in the right ways.