Sunday, June 16, 2002

Writing in Slate, Mickey Kaus makes a good point about the "creepiness" of the word "Homeland" and the phrase "Homeland Security." He makes a number of points, but I think the most notable is this:
"Homeland" is un-American in another way: it explicitly ties our sentiments to the land, not to our ideas. Logically, this step makes no sense (presumably we want to stop terrorism even if it targets Americans and American institutions abroad). It also misses the exceptional American contribution that's worth defending. People throughout history have felt sentimental attachment to their land. We're sentimentally attached to something less geographic: i.e., freedom. Didn't Ronald Reagan make this point with some regularity?
In the end, he suggests calling it the "Department of Doestic Security," which makes a lot of sense to me. Before September 11, I certainly never thought of the U.S. as "the Homeland." Why start now?

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