January 1, 2016

The SyFy channel has a great Twilight Zone marathon running now and I watched one of the all time great TW episodes ever, called The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. After a weird meteor/space ship type occurrence makes the power go out on Maple street, the neighbors in the area slowly begin to turn on each other, because of fear and scapegoating. I was struck by how prescient Rod Sterling's story and closing monologue is in today's political atmosphere. (In no way am I saying that Rod Serling would feel this way)

Tommy, a local boy who catalyzes the situation, urges him not to leave the street. Tommy has read a story of an alien invasion causing similar controversy, and says that the monsters don't want anyone to leave the street. Furthermore, in the story, the aliens are living as a family that appears to be human. The power outage is meant to isolate the neighborhood.

It only takes a few fantastic words from a kid to incite the people into violence. Doesn't that sound familiar? A statement like, ISIS has infiltrated the undocumented workers pouring over our southern border, has been made by almost all the 2016 GOP presidential candidates as of today.

This broadcast aired on March 4, 1960, but you could hear Serling's voice giving the same speech on CNN today.

Sterling: The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. And a thoughtless frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own. And the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, these things cannot be confined to the Twilight Zone.

Does that sound familiar? How ugly and disgusting has it been to see Trump's message of intolerance, racism, fear and suspicion finding a warm home to a large segment of Republican voters?

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