“Then he thought for a moment. There was one thing the experience had taught him. He said he’d learned that when millions of people, a whole political system, countless numbers of citizens who believed in God, said they were going to kill you—just listen to them.”
Hayes, Terry. I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller (p. 274).
The lesson is simple as most good ones are. Take people seriously. When a mob chants death to America, we scoff. Why? Do we consider ourselves invincible? Maybe we think they have a point? Do you think that you deserve death or maybe you can negotiate with the mob before they physically act out their chants? I guess we wait until they actually start. What if they have already started? I guess we wait until they blow up a city or a dozen cities. What if it was your city? You’re dead now, but if you had to do it over again, would you still scoff? Would you still wait? Do we think that our government is working “behind the scenes” to protect us. They most certainly are but our political and military capabilities are restrained by our populace. Our populace, in the face of a death threat, is waiting and scoffing.