If you look at psychology you will find that fear is a far greater motivator when it comes to passive inaction (remaining on course) e.g. don't push this button or something bad will happen. It is far less effective in inducing proactive action to avoid an outcome (press this button or something bad will happen).
I think this partially accounts for why the status quo is so difficult to change. If we started off with a military budget in line with other nations, anyone who proposed borrowing a ton of money to establish a worldwide military presence in 130 countries would be dismissed as being "kooky". If there were no income tax and someone suddenly suggested a hugely complex system with an almost infinite number exemptions for all sorts of reasons, such an idea would been dismissed as crazy. But this is the way things are, so someone suggesting we take it down is called outside the mainstream and extremene.
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