Fear mongering makes America great

Photo credit nbcnews.com

Photo credit nbcnews.com

By Joshua Wagner, Staff Writer


Americans do their best work when influenced by fear mongering. The whole idea started off small during the Salem Witch trials. Scared witless, a group of colonials managed to collect over two hundred witches. Twenty of these witches were sentenced to death, and everything was working efficiently until Governor Phipps dissolved the courts responsible. This is a prime example of big government getting in the way.

McCarthyism was the next best thing, but its implementation was flawed. This movement was ended shortly after McCarthy began to investigate popular war heroes and the army. Apparently, confronting the military publically weakens one’s nationalist appeal. Perhaps this is why Donald Trump’s statement about John McCain came out flat in the media: “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

The United States finally got into its fear mongering stride when it placed the Japanese Americans in internment camps. It was a perfect mix of mindless fear that did not detract from nationalistic feelings. Slight differences in physical appearance allowed the average ignoramus to easily imagine that Japanese Americans were agents against the U.S. Alas! Big government vandalized this beautiful piece of work when Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Apparently, citizens of the United States have constitutional rights. If only there were a group of people that were not citizens of the United States to which all problems could be pinned.

Illegal immigrants are the greatest thing that has happened to fear in modern society. Suppressing illegal immigrants is easy. Conservatives can feel free to do so without injuring nationalistic feelings or detracting from the rights of United States citizens. The only things that immigrants have is hope, and only a bleeding-heart Democrat would feel remorse at taking that.

The question remains: how should a Republican nominee take advantage of this vulnerable demographic? In this statement, Donald Trump beautifully rouses fear in the American people: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards, and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”

Donald Trump masterfully depicts a majority of illegal immigrants as drug-addicted criminals. Americans can feel comforted in their nationalistic ideology because these problems are not found in American culture. To this point Trump states: “They’re not sending you.”

However, simply stating that illegal immigration is a problem does not lead one to the front of the polls. Donald Trump went farther when he stated, “I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.” Not only does Mr. Trump deplore illegal immigrants, he also has a foolproof solution: cheaply build a wall 1,954 miles long, and make Mexico pay for it.

I would argue that Americans should demand more! If there is going to be a wall erected and Mexico is going to pay for it, then it should not be cheap. I should be a state-of-the-art wall with bulletproof windows for Americans to watch Mexicans vainly trying to cross. Vendors could sell light refreshments, and the added commerce would benefit the economy. Perhaps after a few years the border will become a national park, a place where people can come and bask in the envy of those less fortunate. This would truly be the American Dream!

Why stop there? Why only illegal immigrants? A truly great country has the sophistication to reject even those who would seek to arrive legally as some prominent Republican nominees have suggested about Syrian refugees. This type of policy is why this edited poem by Emma Lazarus is printed on the plaque on the Statue of Liberty:

“[Keep away] your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

[Keep those], the homeless, tempest-tossed, to [thee]:

I lift my lamp beside the [locked] door.”

Only through blinding panic and the subjugation of immigrants will this country succeed in restoring itself to its former glory. Every American is proud of this country’s actions when pressed by fear. Merely mentioning the Japanese-American internment camps of WWII or McCarthyism brings tears of nostalgia to the eyes of most Americans. Let us repeat the past so that the future may again be bright.

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Author: Joshua Wagner

Josh Wagner '19 is a chemistry and mathematics double major who enjoys bike rides on the battlefield and waving around a red pen as the Gettysburgian's Managing Opinions Editor. When not editing for the Gettysburgian, he can usually be found working in the College Life Office, helping students with calculus as a PLA, or studying in the library.

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