A History of American Scapegoatery

Decade: the 1770s
Greatest Threat: the English
Nature of Threat: British sought to place us back under the thumb of their imperial rule
Consequences of Failure: we’d all be speaking English today
Victor: America!

Decade: the 1780s
Greatest Threat: liberals
Nature of Threat: Attempts to place too many restrictions on gun ownership and not enough restrictions on free speech into the Constitution
Consequences of Failure: a nation of unarmed blabbermouths
Victor: real Americans, but not decisively called for forces of good until 2008

Decade: the 1790s
Greatest Threat: the French
Nature of Threat: took whole “democracy” thing a bit too far
Consequences of Failure: widespread embrace of the metric system
Victor: guillotine manufacturers

Decade: the 1800s
Greatest Threat: Barbary pirates
Nature of Threat: darkies learned to operate sailing vessels
Consequences of Failure: ruination of the America’s Cup
Victor: National Talk Like a Pirate Day

Decade: the 1810s
Greatest Threat: the British again
Nature of Threat: crazed fops sought to burn down the White House
Consequences of Failure: unconscionable delay in beginning era of American imperialism
Victor: America!

Decade: the 1820s
Greatest Threat: foreigners, generally
Nature of Threat: America’s “neighbors” start to get funny ideas about who’s in charge here
Consequences of Failure: short supply of cheap labor
Victor: James Monroe

Decade: the 1830s
Greatest Threat: farmers
Nature of Threat: selfish land-hoarding deters building of railroad tracks
Consequences of Failure: hindering the free movement of capital
Victor: Cornelius Vanderbilt

Decade: the 1840s
Greatest Threat: Mexicans
Nature of Threat: drug-crazed bean-eaters attempted to retain control of areas they had settled in for hundreds of years
Consequences of Failure: Texans would be even more obnoxious
Victor: America!

Decade: the 1850s
Greatest Threat: Negroes
Nature of Threat: endless complaining about slavery leads to widespread dissent
Consequences of Failure: no more slaves
Victor: push

Decade: the 1860s
Greatest Threat: Negroes
Nature of Threat: shiftless goldbrickers goad Americans into fighting each other
Consequences of Failure: industrialism, civil rights, rap music
Victor: carpetbaggers

Decade: the 1870s
Greatest Threat: Negroes
Nature of Threat: given their freedom, blacks instantly abuse it
Consequences of Failure: loss of innocence on the part of white women
Victor: W.E.B. DuBois

Decade: the 1880s
Greatest Threat: Indians
Nature of Threat: selfish insistence on remaining on productive land
Consequences of Failure: people might start to think things belong to them just because they live in the place those things are located
Victor: George Armstrong Custer

Decade: the 1890s
Greatest Threat: the Spanish
Nature of Threat: helping William Randolph Hearst blow up a boat
Consequences of Failure: nowhere in the Caribbean to build casinos
Victor: the Mafia

Decade: the 1900s
Greatest Threat: Filipinos
Nature of Threat: stubborn resistance to imperialism, Christianity
Consequences of Failure: Mark Twain getting all smug
Victor: America!

Decade: the 1910s
Greatest Threat: Germans
Nature of Threat: more trouble over boats
Consequences of Failure: decline of European aristocracy
Victor: corpse-eating rats

Decade: the 1920s
Greatest Threat: Flappers
Nature of Threat: women insist on sass talk, cocktails, right to vote
Consequences of Failure: men everywhere emasculated, forced to pay attention to wives
Victor: bootleggers

Decade: the 1930s
Greatest Threat: Poverty
Nature of Threat: massive economic failure leads to Great Depression
Consequences of Failure: millionaires unable to afford enough jade tie pins
Victor: fascism

Decade: the 1940s
Greatest Threat: Fascists
Nature of Threat: war of aggression by German and Japanese militaries
Consequences of Failure: lack of opportunities for wars of aggression by American, French, and British militaries
Victor: Russia

Decade: the 1950s
Greatest Threat: Beatniks
Nature of Threat: wacky hopped-up loafers wearing tea shades and playing bebop
Consequences of Failure: degradation in young people of respect for the military-industrial complex
Victor: squares

Decade: the 1960s
Greatest Threat: Hippies
Nature of Threat: like beatniks, only dirtier
Consequences of Failure: classic rock radio
Victor: Baby Boomers

Decade: the 1970s
Greatest Threat: Vietnamese
Nature of Threat: backwards orientals insisten on self-governance
Consequences of Failure: what, are we just going to let everybody just run their own countries now?
Victor: hippies

Decade: the 1980s
Greatest Threat: Commies
Nature of Threat: heavily accented Soviet-bloc goons with AK-47s
Consequences of Failure: America forced to become global citizen
Victor: Sylvester Stallone

Decade: the 1990s
Greatest Threat: Baby Boomers
Nature of Threat: toxic levels of self-actualization from former hippies
Consequences of Failure: Grateful Dead continues to be viable economic enterprise decades past its sell-by date
Victor: capitalism

Decade: the 2000s
Greatest Threat: Arabs
Nature of Threat: existential threat posed by existence of competing religion
Consequences of Failure: Afghanistan becomes even more unlivable
Victor: flag manufacturers

Decade: the 2010s
Greatest Threat: Moderation
Nature of Threat: failure of small cabal of citizens to be properly outraged
Consequences of Failure: demand for think-pieces and hot takes plummets
Victor: YouTube comment sections


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