If one is like me, an American with a smartphone, then one probably got a test of FEMA’s Presidential Alert system:
If one is also like me, then one thinks the United States government just overstepped its bounds. Our relationship with politics and politicians in this country is toxic. Our government is full of self-important bureaucrats and elected leaders who think that everything they do is of critical substance. It is not.
The idea that anything could happen in this country that requires the immediate notification of 250 million people is absurd. If there is an event with that wide-ranging immediate impact, then a text message from the president is probably too late. Even on 9/11, our last day of national emergency, a Presidential Alert would have done little to nothing to improve a person’s knowledge of events, as TV and internet news outlets did just fine. Used recklessly, it could end up sowing mass panic.
And speaking of panic, this Presidential Alert brings to mind the missile defense warning cockup that scared the bejesus out of Hawaiians not too long ago.
We have a right in this country not to engage with our government. A tool like this, which seems fine on its face, is in reality just another way for Washington to insert itself into our lives. And because our government has shown that it is not immune to the plans of scoundrels, it has the potential to become a propaganda platform from which we cannot optout.