The last six years have been a golden age of American apprehension and mistrust. Thanks to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, all of America was united, standing shoulder to shoulder in sheer, unrelenting fear. But tragically, that atmosphere of panic and confusion has begun to fade, and without another terrible attack to bond us as a nation, we are dangerously close to entering a post-post-9/11 era.

We cannot allow that to happen.

We must all do whatever we can to preserve America by refocusing our priorities back on the contemplation of lethal threats—invisible nightmarish forces plotting to destroy us in a number of horrific ways. It is only through the vigilance and determination of every patriot that we can maintain the sense of total dread vital to the prolonged existence of a thriving, quivering America.

Our country deserves no less than every citizen living in apprehension.

Fear has always made America strong. Were we ever more determined than during the Yellow Scare? When every Christian gentleman lived in mortal terror of his daughter being doped up on opium and raped by pagan, mustachioed Chinamen? What about the Red Scare, when citizens from all walks of life showed their pride by turning in their friends and associates to rabid anticommunists? Has America ever been more resolute?

Not so very long ago, we winced every time we saw someone with facial hair or a backpack. Average people were terrified of opening their mail for fear of getting a face full of anthrax. Those were perhaps our country's greatest days. Yet that once-phobic spirit that defined our times is drastically changing.

Today, people are making eye contact with strangers on the street. They are whistling on subway platforms, strolling down sidewalks, and generally behaving as if they do not feel they could be killed at any moment. Children can be seen running playfully in public parks, their parents smiling and watching idly from afar when they should be obsessing over an unseen child abductor who will snatch and rape their babies first chance they get. It breaks my heart to see the land I love fall into such a state of non-panic.

My God, what have we become?

We can no longer rely solely on our enemies to menace the populace—we must find that horror within ourselves. Though we have made great strides in frightening ourselves about illegal immigrants, bird-flu pandemics, and random psychotic school shootings, it is not enough. What happened to that country I used to know and love, where a Korean grocer could be killed out of irrational xenophobia merely because someone thought he was an Arab? Such an act is, I am disappointed to say, almost unthinkable in today's increasingly less-than-utterly-petrified climate.

You may say, "I am only one person. What can I do?" But all of our efforts are needed if we are to maintain a state of constant anxiety. We can all do more, but here is a good starting place: Twice a week, for at least 15 minutes, take the time to worry about any Muslims who may live in your area; lose sleep each night thinking about our thousands of miles of unguarded borders; stock up on water bottles and canned goods for no discernible reason other than that vague sense that civilization will collapse any second; as the election heats up, be sure to support candidates whose rhetoric appeals to your base survival instincts and fight-or-flight reflexes rather than to your hopes and dreams.

And remember: Each and every one of us, no matter how big or small, possesses the ability to jump to conclusions.

The strength of our nation depends on all of us feeling—and, more importantly, acting—as if a sniper could blow our head off at any moment. Let's all come together as in fearful days of yore and do what we must to keep America free from peace of mind once and for all.