There have been very few good things to result from the events of 11 September. We've gone from being a society with little cares to one being obsessed with security. Political polarization has increased; politicians suck more than ever. Ideology stands in the face of practicality and pragmatism. For those of you who don't remember what it is, pragmatism used to be this little thing called the middle ground. Republicans have moved to the right and used security as justification. Democrats have been lame with their thumbs up their asses, not providing any reasonable alternative to the awful, awful ideas that the wingnuts have spewn.
And why am I a Democrat?
Who knows, but I digress...
One good thing is that we discovered, if only for a brief moment, something within ourselves that made us take pause. We re-evaluated our lives... and then most allowed themselves to be taken up in the mindless flag-waving jingoism that followed. Suddenly it became a competition to see who was most patriotic. And it was because I didn't wear my country on my sleeve that I was deemed to be unpatriotic. Forget that every day I pledged allegiance to my country. Forget that my heart was always in the spirit of the country every single moment leading up to 11 September. Forget that I didn't threaten to move to Canada following that bumbling election of 2000. Forget that when I was in 3rd and 4th grade, singing the national anthem moved me to tears.
Forget all that.
No, just call me unpatriotic because I was mad that our flag, our country, being (ab)used. Call me unpatriotic because W's response to the tragedy was to tell us to keep the economy moving: go out and buy stuff. Call me unpatriotic, hell unAmerican, for being angry that companies then used the flag to appeal to people and make it seem patriotic to buy their goods! GOD BLESS AMERICA! BUY GOODS FROM ME! (Made in China.)
It was disgusting and it still is.
So here we are: the Republicans in power took the opportunity to make some good and punted it. Schenked the punt pretty badly, too. In the name of fighting terrorism, we've since gone on a rampaging war of errors. Afghanistan wasn't secured; Iraq... oy. Wonderful that Saddam is out... but what does that do when he was the glue that held that country together? It seems a mess.
But I don't know... it was a very sad day. It took that stone cold hard sobering to knock us out of our complacent "everything is fine with the status quo" mindset. A lot of maturation occurred on that day. As a nation, we all saw evil in its most base form... but something we never did was bother to understand the evil. Our government and myriad people chose to ignore it... decided to blame everything and everyone who stood in their way of opening up a crate of whomp-ass.
Maybe now, five years removed, we can learn something. My hope is there.
My doubts are stronger.