September 10, 2011
In many ways, it's extremely ironic - I think I pretty much said it all when I first posted on 9/11 about six years ago. I would like to think that things would have changed enough to prove me wrong...however, I'm even more saddened at the way our political culture and discourse has declined over the past few years.
Oh, sure, we had a few victories, including the fact that we finally "got" bin Laden. Personally, I would have preferred he stand trial publicly for his crimes, to be forced to live by the same standards - in the same culture - that he vehemently opposed and attempted to destroy. However, realistically....it was not going to happen. He hurt us, so we were mandated to hurt him back. Hard.
But what's increasingly saddening - and distressing - is how we're seeing the ability to share opinions and interact disintegrate into name calling, political grandstanding, and outright hostility. We came close to a full government shutdown not because we exhausted all of our options...but because one faction simply did not want to work with another faction. Quite simply, 9/11 should have been a rallying cry...but is now becoming just another holiday, with some greeting card company waiting in the wings with a new line of products.
I'm normally an optimistic, grit-your-teeth-and-deal person: I think things do work out for the best, even if only in retrospect. However, the more I look at this situation, the more I wonder...what the heck can I, one person do? (Besides cry, of course).
At this point, I think the original last line of that blog post is still true today - the terrorists have won. Discord and paranoia are running rampant through our political and civic culture. And unfortunately, the way back is going to take a lot of hard work and effort....and no one seems willing to take the first step.