Back in the ancient time of 2007, you may recall that color-coded threat warnings were constantly appearing on our TV screens. Those “Homeland Security threat advisory ratings” fluctuated between yellow (elevated) and orange (high). With the lone exception of the State of Hawaii in 2003, the threat ratings never dropped to blue (guarded) or (heaven forbid) green (low).
It was like we were in an old Star Trek episode with Captain Kirk, stuck on a bridge that’s constantly on Yellow Alert, phasers and photon torpedoes locked on target.
Thankfully, the Department of Homeland Security finally ditched the color-coded warnings. But have we ditched the mentality that drove them? Are we not encouraged still to be afraid?
Yes, terrorism remains a threat. I’m sure there’ll always be terrorists of some sort who seek to harm us. But we’ve made a lot of progress in the so-called global war on terror. We killed Osama Bin Laden. We devastated Al Qaeda.
Indeed, as we teeter on the brink of national financial default, one of the bigger threats we seem to face is our own divided and ineffectual government. While it appears a last-minute deal is in the works, it’s one of those “solutions” that just kicks the can down the road a few months. We’ll doubtless be dealing with the same governmental gridlock — the same hostage-taking — after the New Year.
Hmm: Maybe we should revive that color-coded warning system. But let’s apply it, not to the terrorists outside our borders, but to our own politicians who continue to threaten us with financial default and societal ruin.
If they continue to insist on taking our government hostage, throwing people out of work, and threatening us all with financial collapse, I’d say that rates at least an “orange” rating. And if they persist in shooting the hostage (that’s us), I’d say that counts as a “red.”
Come on, Homeland Security! Protect us from those who’d destroy our government. Or are you shut down too?