MotherJones MJ93: The big Q

Who’s the most dangerous person in America?

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William S. Burroughs, author, Naked Lunch “Well, dangerous to whom? Fifty years ago I would have had no hesitation in naming Robert Oppenheimer. Now that the nuclear threat is everywhere, it is diluted. The fear of nuclear war has moved offstage. It got the hook, darling. But it may make a spectacular comeback.”

Laurie Anderson, songwriter/ performance artist “This combines two of my least favorite pastimes: rating things and manufacturing paranoia. The most dangerous thing in the world is ignorance–that much is clear. But the most dangerous person? It could be you, who, in reading this asinine survey, might add a few more names to your list of things and people to fear.”

Adam Parfrey, editor, Apocalypse Culture and Rants & Incendiary Tracts “If forced to choose one individual, it would be Andrea Dworkin, who has done more to destroy joy and prop up the Christian Right than any other person alive.”

Michael Franti, singer/songwriter, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy “Christopher Whittle personifies dangerous arrogance in his lust for control and commercialization of so many sources of information, including education. Ross Perot combines arrogance with ignorance in purchasing unparalleled public respect while totally failing to understand the situation of people who aren’t billionaires.”

Joseph McNamara, fellow, the Hoover Institution; former police chief in San Jose, Calif. “In a way, President Clinton is the most dangerous. To his credit, he has raised hopes for change. But if Clinton fails in his goals to restore hope to the underclass in the inner cities, and also disappoints the middle class who made him president by not reducing the deficit, this conflict could tear our country apart.”

Helen Tworkov, editor, Tricycle: The Buddhist Quarterly “To label a person ‘dangerous’ is in itself dangerous. As Zen master Pogo said, ‘I have met the enemy, and he is us.'”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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