Here is the problem of our times: In the early 1990's, the Soviet Union fell apart, and when it went away, the european Communist boogeyman went away. For the past generation, Soviet successor states and the nations they spawned have been eyeing each other warily, or have been actively killing each other. In either event, their threat to western europe and thereby, the United States, at least temporarily, disappeared.
What was America to do? We no longer had a ten foot tall giant to be afraid of.
Well, luckily, we didn't have to wait to long... Saddam Hussein, the toolbag Dictator-in-Chief of Iraq, was stupid enough to invade Kuwait, threatening American (business) interests in Saudi Arabia!
Well! We sure as hell weren't going to let THAT stand, now were we? (Insert remarks about Hussein being abetted and encouraged by April Glaspie and Donald Rumsfeld here).
Anyway, we smashed up a significant part of Hussein's army, and went home to live in peace, right?
Well, not so much.
At the end of the 20th century, despite not having any real, present physical threat to our security, Americans did what we normally do: We turned inward. All of a sudden, we decided that the threats to American security was our own government... and poor Mexicans.
All of a sudden, many (really stupid) Americans were convinced by powerful and dangerous interests (some of them from outside of the United States), that our own worst enemy was our (mostly) fairly elected government.
We started to buy into fear mongering to the point that homegrown (racist) terrorists (who call themselves "Patriots") started blowing up federal office buildings (and American children). This was bad enough, but we didn't truly start to lose our national security minds until our country was finally touched by international terrorism on a large scale.
I don't need to go into detail about certain events that took place ten years ago... You get the idea, right? So, instead of doing what we should have done about terrorism, we overreacted be came terrified of a bunch of idiots with bomb vests, and went to war (overtly) in two different countries and covertly (sorta) in at least 5 more.
Now, we have impoverished ourselves with the costs of war, and the (allegedly) most Patriotic among us are unwilling to pay them.
We have become, in the span of 20 years, an impoverished, anti-intellectual giant that hates itself (especially it's own brain). We are afraid of immigrants (and not just the illegal kind) unless they are white and Christian, we are afraid of our politicians, especially if they aren't white (or effing crazy). We fear all of these things while we waste our army, air force, and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, doing virtually nothing to counter the only credible military threat we face: China.
Whom do we have to thank for all of this? The modern Conservative.
Be afraid for our future... but prevent disaster by not being scared into inactivity.
Be active! Be bold! Don't be afraid to speak out against those that would drive us into the night.
For God's sake, do something.