Terror, Again

Attacks don’t shock and scare us like they used to. Is that good or bad?

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Photo: lonndubh / Shutterstock.com
Media Outlet: Slate

Yascha Mounk wrote for Slate about the normalization of terror attacks: 

LONDON—I still remember how fearful and disoriented I felt back in the spring of 2013, when one of my colleagues looked up from her laptop in the middle of a seminar and said: “Apparently, there’s been some kind of explosion at the marathon.” And I still remember how completely out of the ordinary Boston seemed over the following days, as the authorities asked millions of people to shelter in place while they looked for the Tsarnaev brothers, and the city ground to a complete standstill.

What a melancholy difference a few years make.

On Saturday night, I went to see a comedy show at the Soho Theatre in the heart of London. “These days, you never know what news might break while I’m up here,” Andy Zaltzman quipped at the beginning of his act, “so I brought a laptop on stage just in case.”

A few hours later, as I left the theater’s bar with a friend, a young man came up to us, almost conspiratorially, and asked: “Have you heard?” We looked confused. “There’s been some kind of attack near London Bridge,” he explained.


Yascha Mounk is a fellow in New America's Political Reform program.