Decisions, decisions

Dorothea Mordan
5 min readFeb 5, 2023

Dorothea Mordan’s Good Day Neighbor Column, 11/2022.

“No one would have believed that in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s…No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger.”

These are opening words to H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds, a science fiction classic about Martians invading Earth. In 1938 Orson Welles broadcast a radio adaptation of the story, presented as live news of an alien invasion taking place in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey — Martians landing and invading right now! The show was so believable that some listeners started to panic.

1938 War of the Worlds, dramatic delivery of an imaginary problem results in panic.

1692 Salem Witch Trials, dramatic delivery of an imaginary problem results in lethal assaults on neighbors.

1950’s McCarthyism, dramatic delivery of an imaginary problem results in shunning professionals.

2020’s Republican MAGA factionalism, dramatic delivery of the imaginary idea they are more patriotic, honest, divine than everyone else. The result is anyone who disagrees, receives threats of violence and death. Declaring they have won a patriotism purity contest they didn’t tell anyone else about, is the biggest imagination problem there is. Except one — the goal of turning accusations against fellow Americans from imagination to reality. Unbelievable conspiracy theories repeated until one by one…