Today, just a week after the horrific events in Paris, a day after another deadly terrorist attack in Mali, I am announcing my candidacy. I am running for office not for myself, not from any personal desire for glory, but out of a sincere belief that this country is being led, tragically, in the wrong direction.
It is clear to me that my opponent is out of touch with the American people and dangerously naive about the threats we face at home and abroad. He would have you believe that the appropriate response to the growing menace of terrorism is to double down on the traditional American values of openness and inclusiveness. He would tell you that the American people are strongest when we refuse to alter our way of life out of fear. He would have you believe that the greatest threat to our nation is not murderous jihadists but abandoning our core values in the face of terrorism.
To that I say, fear, fear itself, is the only reasonable response. My message to you, my fellow Americans, is simply this. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
My opponent will likely point out that in the last decade only 24 Americans have died from terrorist attacks in this country. He will tell you that every single year, more than 30,000 Americans are killed by guns and another 30,000 die in auto accidents. He will remind you that mentally unstable mass murderers with insanely easy access to guns have killed more than 900 in that same period.
To that I say, so what? These things happen. My opponent would have us waste precious time and limited resources by making it harder for homegrown terrorists and the mentally ill to get guns, taking away our precious freedoms in the process, when we should be eavesdropping on every phone call, text message and Facebook posting, building a giant wall around the entire country, and preventing even one single immigrant from coming here, even if most of them are fleeing the very terrorism we have just witnessed. Yes, once we were a nation of immigrants, but that was then, and this is now. We must also commit hundreds of thousands of troops to an endless war against a shadowy enemy in a dozen countries, with no clear strategy or end game, and with the real risk of further inflaming and emboldening our enemies.
What I propose will cost billions, perhaps trillions, will end once and for all America’s long-standing tradition of welcoming the downtrodden and oppressed to our shores, will likely result in many more American casualties than the terrorists would ever be able to inflict otherwise, and won’t do a thing to prevent radicalized or deranged American citizens from going on murderous rampages, but it will give us the comforting illusion that we’re doing something. The world is just too dangerous for us not to pretend that tough talk, knee-jerk xenophobia and pointless war-mongering is the answer.
We can’t be too safe.
Or too afraid.
I promise, if elected, I will do my best every minute of every day to keep every American in a constant state of fear.