The Scariest Boogeyman Doesn't Have to be Fictional

During an episode of truTV’s “Adam Ruins Everything,” the host (Adam Conover) focuses on Halloween myths that many people believe that are untrue. At the end, he suggests the scariest events can be those involving everyday people. We constantly hear about murders, kidnappings, terrorist attacks, and many other unpleasant undertakings. I then began to think about this. What about government? Can that not be considered one of the most terrifying things of all? A group of people sits together to create policies that are enforced by well-trained people with powerful weapons and technology.

Throughout history, governments have been responsible for massive amounts of pain and sorrow. Whether you want to talk about the Ottoman Empire’s genocide against the Armenians, Hitler’s extermination of the Jews, Saddam Hussein’s Kurdish and Shia slaughters, or the Israeli government’s non-proportionate force against the Palestinians; we must admit that governments commit casualties to a much larger extent than individuals or groups. The United States government killed tens of thousands of people during the nuclear attacks against Japan. Currently, the same government is killing hundreds of thousands of people in the Middle East with its wars, drone strikes, and economic sanctions.

We do not have to look outside of the borders of the United States to see the same types of atrocities. For many years, the federal government had its own genocide against the Native Americans. Black people have been treated unequally. Franklin Roosevelt imprisoned the Japanese. Nonviolent drug offenders are incarcerated, which has contributed to the United States’ prison population that dwarfs even China’s. The Patriot Act and other policies have unconstitutionally allowed the government to listen to our conversations without a proper warrant, targeted us based on our lifestyle choices, and turned our personal devices into listening machines. The federal government has handed weapons, equipment, and vehicles to local law enforcement to terrorize us in the streets.

Yet, somehow, we largely trust that the government is doing what is in our best interest, and we are fine with giving it more power to run and control our lives. Let us also not forget about the ghost-like bankers and corporations or the ghoulish elites that influence and fund the directors’ horror films. While we go out to parties or bring our kids trick-or-treating this Halloween, perhaps it would be warranted to ponder on this Boogeyman among us. As Ronald Reagan once said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Thank you for reading, and if you would like to learn more about my work, please check out my book, The Global Bully.
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Published on October 30, 2017 17:25
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