The American View of Terrorism In One Chart

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Courtesy of Gallup, this chart shows how Americans think of terrorism. It’s pretty simple: an attack on Americans produces a sizeable spike for a month or three. An attack on a European country produces a somewhat smaller reaction. An attack anywhere else is a yawn. The only possible exception is the Bali bombings of 2002, which is hard to untangle from the Beltway sniper hysteria, which happened at the same time.

If history is any guide, the current spike will be gone by January or February. Then again, there’s an election season about to start. I guess there’s no telling how long people can be kept terrified if our presidential candidates really put their minds to it.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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