What happens when you declare war? You get militarization. America declares war on drugs, and the little burg of Keene, New Hampshire, gets offered a Homeland Security grant for an armored vehicle. (The sensible cheapskate citizens are saying “Tanks but no tanks.”)
Figaro opposes the use of war as a metaphor because it’s silly (war on Christmas, class warfare, war on the middle class, the “moral equivalent of warfare”), expensive (war on poverty) or dangerous (war on drugs).
War is a popular word these days, perhaps because most of us haven’t had to experience war personally. On the other hand, “militarization” is an unpopular term. The “militarization” of America’s police forces—thanks to heavy lobbying by weapons manufacturers—has become an issue. If the weapons manufacturers paid Figaro lavishly, he would advise them to replace “militarization” with “upgrading.” And “police tank” with “protective vehicle.”
Meanwhile, Figaro would like to bring back the phrase “peace officers.” Pax!