It comes from fearing science.
In America of 2025, the faithful had won. No one believed in evolution. No one believed in vaccination. No one believed in soap.
The foreign countries had taken to calling them "Potatoes" because they were white under the thick film of dirt that comes from refusing to wash.
The potatoes were in a panic. Some potato, venturing beyond his or her front door, with a long lost telescope discovered in a storage room, had pointed it at the sky and seen something move. Watching further, the potato did a bit of empirical deduction and derived the conclusion that the movement was towards her.
She did what any good potato would do: she tweeted. She blogged. And Michele Bachman spread the word. President Bachman raised the fears of all good Americans, that this was a threat to liberty, this invading force. This was the end of America as they knew it.
They rallied the National Guard, scrambled fighter jets, did what potatoes do: fire missiles until the problem goes away.
But they missed. Every single missile. So potatoes became preppers, and preppers went underground, and waited the doom of all that is holy.
You could have heard a pin drop. And what they would have heard had they stayed above the surface wasn't much louder.
The pebble of an asteroid plinked into the dirt. And all was silent, all was sane. For a little while.