But it got me thinking about "protecting" Americans, because that seems to be the phrase de rigueur for any number of Congressional actions.
Regular Americans, and by that I mean the 99% of us on the bottom, not the Sarah Palin "white" version, want to be protected from the excesses of capitalism, even if 98% of us couldn't identify capitalism as the problem.
Adulterated food, unsafe water and dangerous workplaces were among the first dangers to be identified. Ralph Nader identified cars with windshields that acted like guillotines when unseatbelted people flew into them as a problem, followed by cars that exploded when rearended (the number one version of the millions of car crashes a year).
Polluted air, mercury contaminated water, unsafe chemical additives in food, as well as bacterial contamination. You get the picture. There are plenty of dangers that Americans need to be protected against.
Now we are in danger of losing our jobs, our houses, and our healthcare.
But what does the ruling class identify as dangerous to Americans?
Bolsheviks! Are they in your washroom? The ruling class was in an uproar over Bolsheviks for a while.
Russian Communists! After WWll, in which the USSR lost 20,000,000 people and most of its infrastructure, we were told that their greatest ambition was to come across the ocean and attack us!
The Nicaraguans were only a couple of days drive from Brownsville, Texas, remember? So we had to attack them, as well as Cuba and Grenada, both islands from which armies were unable to drive, if Grenada had had an army.
The Vietnamese were a threat to our freedoms! And Iraqis (and now Iranians) were working on getting a nuclear bomb someday, and then working on a way to launch it towards us someday after that!
The US military has attacked people all over the world to "protect our freedoms".
After our freedoms were attacked by Congress and the Presidents under the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Act, the Military Commissions Act, the FISA Act, the Homegrown Terrorist Act, and all the rest of the sorry bunch, they dropped the "protect our freedoms", and now just "protect Americans".
Notice that? It's the one very small concession to reality. Our freedoms, having been attacked and destroyed at home, can't really be protected overseas, can they?
So the rhetoric changed. No longer having freedoms, our very persons must be protected.
From random individuals, though, not from systemic class based violations of our ecosystems and economy.