I've made several posts in the past regarding mass social mood. I continue to sense a rise in the "fear factor".
During a watch of "Cronkite Remembers" on the Discovery Channel, I was struck by the similarities today with the McCarthyism era of the late 40's and 50's. The boogeyman then was the Communist regime. The period was deemed the "2nd Red Scare". The "1st Red Scare" occurred from 1917-20.
Wikipedia summarizes the era as this:
"During the post–World War II era of McCarthyism, many thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists. Suspicions were often given credence despite inconclusive or questionable evidence, and the level of threat posed by a person's real or supposed leftist associations or beliefs was often greatly exaggerated. Many people suffered loss of employment, destruction of their careers, and even imprisonment. Most of these punishments came about through trial verdicts later overturned,laws that would be declared unconstitutional, dismissals for reasons later declared illegal or extra-legal procedures that would come into general disrepute."
Today's boogeyman appears to be Muslims. We've deemed them all jihadists that want to kill all Americans. We've deemed ourselves experts of the Koran and have confirmed that they are enemy #1.
A few weeks ago I was invited via email to the showing of a film about how Muslims are secretly taking over our country. The most alarming thing to me was that it came from a sane person that I respect and more striking was that a Baptist church was hosting the event.
I continue to state that we can learn a lot from history. The McCarthyism era proved to be a boogeyman hunt. This one will likely play out the same.