[T]he dominant idea was that, as the conference's thematic statement put it, fear was being "encouraged by our government and exacerbated by our media." It was compared with the irrational fear of Communism and the perversions of McCarthyism. It was described as part of a counter-constitutional coup by a radical right.As Rothstein notes, a little perspective is in order. The terrorist threat levels, silly as they might be, are nothing compared to Nazi rhetoric against its enemies. The editors of Social Text may be surprised to learn that most Americans are intelligent enough to take 'Code Orange' for what it is: a semi-useless reminder that terrorism still exists, and the government is trying to keep tabs on things. Unless I missed mass outbreaks of hysteria somewhere in Skokie, IL, it seems like the country isn't really 'gripped' by fear.