MotherJones MJ93: The big Q

Who’s the most dangerous person in America?

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William S. Burroughs, author, Naked Lunch “Well, dangerous to whom? Fifty years ago I would have had no hesitation in naming Robert Oppenheimer. Now that the nuclear threat is everywhere, it is diluted. The fear of nuclear war has moved offstage. It got the hook, darling. But it may make a spectacular comeback.”

Laurie Anderson, songwriter/ performance artist “This combines two of my least favorite pastimes: rating things and manufacturing paranoia. The most dangerous thing in the world is ignorance–that much is clear. But the most dangerous person? It could be you, who, in reading this asinine survey, might add a few more names to your list of things and people to fear.”

Adam Parfrey, editor, Apocalypse Culture and Rants & Incendiary Tracts “If forced to choose one individual, it would be Andrea Dworkin, who has done more to destroy joy and prop up the Christian Right than any other person alive.”

Michael Franti, singer/songwriter, Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy “Christopher Whittle personifies dangerous arrogance in his lust for control and commercialization of so many sources of information, including education. Ross Perot combines arrogance with ignorance in purchasing unparalleled public respect while totally failing to understand the situation of people who aren’t billionaires.”

Joseph McNamara, fellow, the Hoover Institution; former police chief in San Jose, Calif. “In a way, President Clinton is the most dangerous. To his credit, he has raised hopes for change. But if Clinton fails in his goals to restore hope to the underclass in the inner cities, and also disappoints the middle class who made him president by not reducing the deficit, this conflict could tear our country apart.”

Helen Tworkov, editor, Tricycle: The Buddhist Quarterly “To label a person ‘dangerous’ is in itself dangerous. As Zen master Pogo said, ‘I have met the enemy, and he is us.'”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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