Send the Marines
An email from my brother Bill…
This story, about a Marine reservist named Daniel Brown returning from fighting in Iraq who was kept off a plane because his name appears on the Feds’ top-secret terrorist watch list, finally made me realize what really pisses me off about the current political environment. It’s not just that the President of the United States is a lying fundamentalist loon, or that Congress is run by a bunch of Christianist theocrats: it’s that their fear, their madness, and their incompetence has filtered down to every level of American society.
Before Bush and Company created the Age of Fear we live in, any American security guard with half a brain and one working eye and a fucking backbone would have the common sense to say, “Hey, this guy’s name might be on this magic list, but he’s with his unit returning from combat, and there’s no way he’s a terrorist. His name is also very common. Probably thousands of Daniel Browns out there. Not only will I let him go through security to his plane, I’m buying him a drink in the departure lounge.” But no. Now everyone is so fucking afraid that they cannot make a simple commonsense decision to do the right thing.
And so the American myth of the self-made man, the man who can boldly do the right thing, dies, suffocated by fear and incompetence.