Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

The American Dream Hangs in the Balance as Our Sense of Security and Peace is Shattered: Most Expect ‘Occasional Acts of Terrorism’ in the Future | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

A national study released this week tracks American public opinion, documenting our feelings and fears about violence and terrorism.  We do not feel safe and we are trusting one another less.  Symbolically and physically we want to close the borders.  We can choose to believe that we must all feel this way or we can redefine who we are in a way that makes us stronger.  It depends who “we” are.

“Last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon attracted broad public interest: 63% of Americans say they followed the story very closely, among the highest interest in any news story in the past decade.” The Pew Foundation study reflects the sad truth that our collective American perception of civil society is changing.  Perhaps this time we are not only changing but morphing.   If we learn to accept and assimilate what is different then we can become a new America.  But who is doing the learning and who is becoming remains to be seen in an America that seems to be digressing to Michael’s Harrington’t bifurcated America.  Without a positive vision  of the future there cannot be a collective “we” to embrace it nor a collective image of an America we can all love and want to preserve.

If we are going to survive as a nation some of us will have to loosen our grip on the past so that we can all collectively embrace the future.  But today’s media events and philanthropic facts are not hopeful.

The study sounds an eerie warning that we are fundamentally changing. We seem to be resigned to constant fear and violence.  “We” seem  to be unable to take refuge in “our” symbolic “community psychological blanket” because we have become afraid of one another.  But who is this “we” and who is “the other”? There are so many of us “perceiving” from so many directions and backgrounds that a vision of a common America now seems more distant than ever.  Public opinion seems to be increasingly shaped not by what we see but what we believe.

Who are we?  Who are we becoming?  Who have we been?   What have we become?

How do we take stock of all that is happening around us and start a sensible conversation about what is wrong and how to fix it?  Social media has made a global conversation more possible but, perhaps ironically, local communion now seems more difficult and a sense of “we” or community seems increasingly vapid, vacuous and devoid of anima–tasteless, unintelligible and dispirited.  The roaring 20s, rocking 50s and the tumultuous 60s seem distant now …  We seem to be drifting into this millennium without  a compass.

American identity is changing and the center or the “typical” or “average” America seems to have disappeared.  Not only is our political discourse moved to the extremes, but our American identity seems to have morphed into fragments–dispersed among a cacophony of interests, groups and pervasive xenophobia which feed public reaction and drown out reason.  Immigration, good health and guns strangle our ability to form a consensus and find our way into this new millennium.

America is drifting but no one seems to know the direction which we are moving towards.  The collective and cumulative acts of public violence and the thousands of young Americans coming back from violent, and confusing, foreign wars does not bode well for our present or future…

The baby boom babies are now trading in their infancy diapers and lack of patience for yet another bout of rebelliousness that depends on their increasingly irrelevant 60s ideology undergirded by optimism that is now increasingly undermined by myopia and their incontinent mortality.  The ultimate victory for this now passing generation may be the imminent legalization of marijuana as a palliative reward to sustain their now eminent twilight.  Event in their collective final curtain call they can find solace in their seemingly Pyrrhic victory to medicate once again when confronted with the oncoming abyss we have for generations now called modernity and social change.

The Great Generation of past “moral” wars has left us and the Baby Boomers are now in the drivers seat.  But where are they taking us? They were the flower children and the great protesting worriers who tore down all the sacred cows and left us in a pragmatic and hedonistic middle without manners, caution or respect … Our cultural fabric seems incapable of tying together the many immigrant currents that now makeup the American mosaic.  We are the world  and the newcomers seem as desperate and dislocated as the rural kids who seemingly grow up in happy, stable, homogenous America only to turn against it in our theaters, our elementary schools and our federal buildings.

The middle is gone and shows little evidence of returning…  The 1% seem to have somehow held on to a greater percent of the nation’s wealth, while an increasing number of American families struggle with uncertainty and economic stagnation or, worse, slip back.   This recession, the ongoing local and internationally motivated terrorist and gun violence is also shaking our very foundations.

Civil liberties, political movements, and the American sense of who we are, how well we are doing and where we are going all seem increasingly clouded by an ongoing malaise.   We get nervous by what we see and need to look closer and more often to calm our nerves.  We are afraid at home and seem to need to go oversees to die in wars that have a quiet beginning and seemingly no end.  We cannot get the public spectacle out of our mind’s eye. A malaise that seems to be the product of public violence and media competition.   We live under a perpetual tempest in a proverbial psychological tea pot of public attention cannibalism in an ever hurried frenzy over delivering pictures and impressions.  The relatively few hold onto control of the public megaphone and preach to an increasingly disappearing no longer hegemonic nor numerous “majority”.  With moral certitude and  economic hubris they wield a shiny and expensive, now digital and omnipresent, printing press that constantly showers us with a practical if simply public truth.  They create, perpetuate and feed the seemingly insatiable public consumption we all have for news we need to calm our curiosity and nerves…  The world has become so complex that we need to  be numbed but the glare of the media industry will not let us rest.  The price we pay seems to be pessimism. America is ceasing to be optimistic and welcoming… It is unsettled, perhaps worried and content to close the door on our no longer widely shared dreams of exceptionalism, manifest destiny and international policeman.  Are we trading in our moral courage for a veneer of contentment?

At last we may look to the facts and find refuge in Pew’s enlightenment through facts and figures that may light the way…  What else can we do?  That depends on who we really are …  and who we are is up to all of us to define…  We must confront the ugly facts but we can confront them while grasping a larger and more unifying truth.  What that truth is remains to be seen.  In the meantime, let’s keep on working on it together.

Keep learning and thinking together here at the Policy ThinkShop ….

The Pew article and a link follow:

“Last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon attracted broad public interest: 63% of Americans say they followed the story very closely, among the highest interest in any news story in the past decade. And the bombings drew far more public attention than any terrorist event since Sept. 11, 2001, which 78% reported following very closely in mid-October of that year.”


“While the Boston bombings riveted most Americans, the incident appeared to confirm the public’s long-held belief that occasional terrorist acts are to be expected. Over the past decade, majorities have consistently said that “occasional acts of terrorism in the U.S. will be part of life in the future.” This sentiment has spiked to 75% in the wake of the Boston bombings from 64% a year ago and now matches the previous high of 74% in 2003.”

via Most Expect ‘Occasional Acts of Terrorism’ in the Future | Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.


Filed under: Blogosphere, Community Tragedy, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Culture Think, Death and Dying, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Violence, Pundits, social protests, symbolic uses of politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Join the conversation...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Recommend this blog on twitter & Visit us on Facebook

Policy ThinkShop: Rules for participation and sharing…

Policy ThinkShop RULES
Follow THE POLICY THINKSHOP "Think Together" on

Blog Stats

  • 50,710 Blog Visitors to Date

Receive Our Tweets on “Daily Public Policy Issues”

Receive Our Tweets on "Daily Public Policy Issues"

Follow us on twitter by clicking the WORDLE above...

Think with us …. Click below

Scan Policy ThinkShop

Click here to scan us into your Cell Phone and take us with you...

Think with us on Twitter

The Policy ThinkShop On Twitter

Click the pic below to follow our new Philanthropy Discussion on Twitter



Search for our RSS Feeds at:

Feed Search Engine
See this inspirational story about kids in Indonesia having to go over a broken bridge every day in order to get to school...

PolicyThinkShop Top Topics

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Follow The Policy ThinkShop on Twitter

Perspectives on how the world is evolving…

These videos include ideas and events that impact public policy in our societies. View them and drop us a note. We will feature your thoughts here. Send your comments to: Thanks

The Policy ThinkShop: Think Together

Recent Posts from our new PolicyABCs Blog: PolicyABCs ... "Think with us ..."

NYTimes: Justice Department Says Rights Law Doesn’t Protect Gays

<a href=""></a>

Donald Trump’s full inauguration speech transcript, annotated – The Washington Post

In seemingly endless times of “trash talk” that led to an improbable and unpopular political victory, the newly minted president clamors: “Now arrives the hour of action.” Fleeting relief comes to the nation as the transition […]

Thank you for visiting. Here are ways you can stay connected to us.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers


The ThinkShop promotes connections to all forms of social media to bring you resources beyond what you’ll find in your daily routine…

How Hispanics Describe Themselves

How Hispanics Describe Themselves

Poli Thinkshop

Create Your Badge

Take a "Brain Break" and visit this "fun link" by clicking this image now...

Break for Fun… click video below or have more fun by clicking the pic above…

Policy ThinkShop: Relax, we did the research for you…

Welcome to Policy ABC's ThinkShop, where getting news and public policy analysis is as easy as "A B C."

"The Policy ThinkShop team works hard researching the latests and most interesting news and reports. The resulting links will point you to the original sources so that you can spend as little time as possible getting the most news possible."

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,253 other followers

The Policy ThinkShop

ThinkShop Wordle

The Policy ThinkShop

Public Policy and Culture

CultureWebs and Policy

Policy ThinkShop Resources

Policy ThinkShop Resources for your policy work

Our experts do the searching and serve up the best resources to help you stay on top of key public policy issues.

Featured Twitter Friend: Health Literacy ABCs

Health Literacy

Twitter Friend: MigrationPundit

Open door policy?

Policy ThinkShop: “THINK TOGETHER”

"Policy is codified knowledge that stands as a universal guide for social action. Public policy is shaped by those who know and who act on that knowledge. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."
%d bloggers like this: