The U.N. Column
Snide Remarks #249
"The U.N. Column"
by Eric D. Snider
Published in The Daily Herald on February 1, 2002
The billboard I saw on my way to work said this:
"The United Nations Wants to Take YOUR Gun!"
I was alarmed. How could the United Nations Want to Take MY Gun when I don't even have one? Are they planning to issue guns to everyone, just so they can take them away? Because THAT sure wouldn't make any sense. Plus, I don't want a gun in my house, even if it's only long enough for the U.N. to take it away. Who knows how long they'll leave it there before they come get it? It could be days, or even weeks, and in that time, plenty could go wrong, such as my roommate leaving dirty dishes in the sink FOR THE LAST TIME.
Upon checking the Web site referenced on the billboard -- www.getusout.org -- I learned what I should have known all along, which is that the John Birch Society is behind this. The John Birchers haven't had much to do since communism stopped being a threat, though you shouldn't say that in front of the John Birchers, because it will make them reply, "The communists just want you to THINK they're no longer a threat!" The communists are in hiding, perhaps under the polar ice cap, with the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel and Bigfoot.
Without a strong target that actually exists, the Birchers have moved on to the United Nations. To hear them tell it, the U.N. is hell-bent on removing all the personal freedoms enjoyed by Americans. You want to own a gun? The U.N. will take it away. You want to have as many kids as you please? The U.N. will regulate your womb. You want to make a right turn on a red light? The U.N. will enforce needlessly strict traffic laws.
And yet, just to give you an idea of how sneaky the U.N. is, all you ever hear reported in the news is that they've deployed a task force or initiated a peace-keeping effort somewhere. All this secret, rights-stealing stuff they do never makes the news. This is probably because the news media is run by liberals, all of whom have sworn blood oaths to promote the U.N. agenda.
If you read that last sentence and thought, "It's amusing that Mr. Snider (or perhaps you thought 'Mr. Snyder,' the way you spell it in your angry letters) has mocked one of the common complaints about the media by pretending to espouse it," then you are on level ground. If you read it and thought, "It's about time someone in the media admits there's a conspiracy to keep the news liberal," then you are a wacko.
Having worked at a handful of newspapers in my day, I can tell you that the notion of a deep media conspiracy is a fairy tale. Most newsrooms are so chaotic that the people who work in them can barely remember to wear pants on a daily basis; the idea that papers could cooperate with each other, and that they could all cooperate with TV news -- which we consider the mentally challenged stepson of journalism -- is ludicrous.
I think the paranoid right-wing conspiracy theorists who come up with this stuff get off on being described as "paranoid right-wing conspiracy theorists." Persecution means justification: If no one believes them, that's just further evidence of how deep the conspiracy runs.
Doesn't anybody still believe that calmness is the best way of dealing with things? I'm sure there are pros and cons regarding our involvement in the United Nations, although I suspect the major beef some of the paranoid right-wing conspiracy theorists have with the organization is that it accepts foreigners as members.
The U.N. is certainly a matter worth discussing. But to look at the hysteria on the Get Us Out Web site, you'd think it was a matter of life and death that must be acted upon NOW! Few things must be decided that hastily. Most things can wait a minute -- at least until you've washed those dishes, anyway.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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