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    Doug McIntyre: In Nobody We Trust
    • October 8, 2023

    It popped up on my phone last Wednesday at 11:21am: “National Alert.”

    “What now?” I wondered.

    After years of floods, fires, impeachments, insurrections, congressional chaos, indictments and $7-a-gallon gasoline, had the locusts and frogs finally arrived?

    No, it was simply Big Brother letting us know he’s looking out for us. At least that’s what they claim they’re up to. Millions have their doubts.

    “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System,” read the text. “The purpose is to maintain and improve alert and warning capabilities at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels…”

    I wonder what constitutes an emergency at the “tribal level?”

    Tony Orlando can’t make his Saturday show?

    Based on your political perspective, the National Wireless Emergency Alert System is either a new high-tech way for government officials to give the public a head’s up about an impending threat: either weather related, toxic spill, terrorist attack or incoming missiles from Russia, North Korea, China, Iran or even Canada, depending on your level of paranoia, or it’s the latest effort by the Deep State to indoctrinate We the People into passively kowtowing to the endlessly encroaching governmental authority.

    The NWEA test brought out Right Wing paranoia in spades, with social media posts warning about everything from “climate change” shutdowns of the power-grid to mandating electric cars so they can be remotely immobilized by neo-Communists intent on turning America into a godless Third World backwater who will take our marching orders from Beijing while killing us off with deadly vaccines.

    Of course, the Left has its own dystopian fears for the future with the Constitution and Bill of Rights tossed overboard to pave the way for a Christian/Fascist state imposed during a second Trump administration, if not a third or fourth Trump administration. Term limits? Phooey!

    With Republicans and Democrats unable to agree on anything other than their mutual disdain for Kevin McCarthy, distrust of our fellow countrymen has metastasized into rampant paranoia. “In God We Trust” is being supplanted by “In Nobody We Trust”; not science, nor religion, not the press, and certainly not those monsters in the other political party.

    This isn’t the first time in our history we’ve chased phantoms.

    In the 1820s and 30s the Anti-Mason Party thrived on the fear America was in the grips of a secret cabal of Freemasons who had infiltrated the highest councils of government. We’ve also had the “Know Nothings” and other crackpot fringe groups who had a moment in the sun before fading away until they are now too obscure even for Final Jeopardy! But through good times and bad, what has seen us through is the enduring strength of America, the center, both economic and political.

    When the center weakens, firebrands promising salvation come out of the woodwork: temperance evangelicals, socialist utopians, libertarian populists, Darwinian capitalists, draconian law-and-order tough guys, society-is-to-blame Leftists who don’t believe in prisons no matter how heinous the crime, racists and race hustlers, and yet, somehow, we survived them all because the political pendulum always returned to the middle, an equilibrium that allowed for needed reforms without destroying our vital traditions and institutions.

    Until now.

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    In the age of X, or Truth, or the Dark Web, compromise is an act of treason and middle-of-the-road is where you find dead skunks. Facts are as hard to find as cheap parking at Dodger Stadium. If this continues, America will become ungovernable and we’re perilously close right now. Last week’s ouster of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy by eight radicals on the Right has thrown Congress into chaos with a government shutdown looming just weeks away. No tears shed for McCarthy. He made his deal with the devil. But this is no way to run a country.

    And that suits some people just fine.

    Many of the same folks who correctly point to the anarchy Antifa and other nihilistic radicals introduced into cities like Seattle, San Francisco and Portland now cheer the subversion of the rule of law in the very rooms where laws are made. One side sees wrongs that need to be righted through government, the others see a government robbing them of their independence of thought and action. If this is a Rorschach test for democracy, we’re failing.

    The final line of last Wednesday’s “National Alert” said, “No action is required by the public,” but it is imperative the public take action to reclaim our country from the crooks, hacks, geriatrics and ideologues who are steering the nation onto a reef.

    Doug McIntyre’s column appears Sundays. His novel, “Frank’s Shadow” is available at: He can be reached at: [email protected].     

    ​ Orange County Register