In this post-9/11 world

Home Editorial & Opinion In this post-9/11 world

Brian McLellan

The Corsair

Before I begin this, I want to get something out of the way.

I love this country. I have lived and breathed and bled that pride since the first day I was
consciously able to follow politics — around age 5.

To quote the “terrorist” named “V,” there’s something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there?

First, let me take you back to September 12, 2001.

I was in tenth grade, sitting in my school’s football stadium because of a bomb threat, reading the transcript of George W. Bush’s statement on the terrorist attacks from the day before.

His most notable line from that statement to the world: “…or the terrorists win.”

That moment, that day, that year, this nation was more united than it has ever been in its’ 236 year history — more so than December 8, 1941.

So united that we blindly followed along with the invasion of Iraq; so united that we never questioned the most unpatriotic legislation in this nation’s history: the ironically named Patriot Act.

But something changed in the eleven years since.

Today, in 2012, this nation is so divided, that recent polls suggest we are more divided as a nation than any time in our history, even more so than during the 1860’s.

For you non-history buffs, that would be the era of the Civil War.

Don’t let anyone fool you; we are on the brink of a new Civil War.  Texan conservatives have even given tongue-in-cheek mentions of secession.

The 24/7 social media and information age has done wonders for our global society, but it has also done irreprehensible damage to our nation’s political process.

Factually inaccurate and misleading information spread like wildfire.  The ignorant of both fringes tout their nonsense through comical memes and chain mail and viral Facebook statuses. The even more ignorant copy and paste these without fact checking or personal research to formulate their own opinion.

The lunatic conservative fringe rants and raves about liberal media bias, when the only true bias in respectable media is towards showing fairness to both sides of an issue, even when there aren’t even two sides to said issue. “Liberalism is a disease,” as the simple minded like to say.

The hard left, sick and tired of this unified front of ignorance, undeniably fired the first shot in this looming second Civil War, calling Bush a “war criminal” and starting count-downs until his last day in office.
So when a Democrat is elected president, the fundamentalist conservatives do what is expected if you believe, as I do, that the Second Law of Thermodynamics don’t only apply to thermodynamics.  It fires back the biggest middle finger it possibly can to the American Republic Democracy.
The key difference: the fundamental right has the bigger bank-roll than the fundamental left. Their nonsense and rhetoric get mentions in prime time.  Their lies and hyperboles and fear mongering reach the ears of the grossly ignorant, who take it as gospel.

The yellow journalism practices at Fox News over the years following 9/11 cause the metamorphosis of MSNBC from a technological specialty news organization into a liberal think tank.
The Tea Party, which started as a true spontaneous grassroots movement but was soon high jacked by the fat-cats and socially bigoted and xenophobic minds of the Republican fringe, has created the most hostile Congress in American history.

Whether you agree with the policies of the current administration or not, there is an undeniable fact that no president has ever, nor should ever, had to face such an unreasonable and irrational opposition that this 112th House of Representatives has given him.

Despite attempts to compromise on many key issues, from health care to tax reform and debt management, all these Republican obstructionists can do is say no to anything and everything the administration attempts, despite the merits, despite the fact that compromise is what makes a government work.

To these people, compromise is a sign of weakness or even treason, when the truth is that to not compromise is the real act of treason.

And their constituencies, either in their ignorance, or hate, or even disinterest, just play along.

Throughout the first 234 years of this country’s history, compromise has led to our greatest triumphs and fastest downfalls.  It is the basis of what makes our government tick.

But the 112th Congressional Republicans believe that compromise is unpatriotic.

Flash forward to May 1, 2011.

SEAL Team 6 takes out Public Enemy No. 1: Osama bin Laden.

The next day, despite the spontaneous celebrations in the streets by true patriots, conservatives are out in full force to discredit any of the credit due to the president, while hardcore liberals are giving more credit to him than is rightfully due.

This, exhaustingly, brings me to my point.

This nation is more divided today, than at any point in its history. Eleven years ago, we were more united than at any point in our history.

What does this say about us as a nation?
To me, the answer is clear.
Despite taking out their leader, dismantling their infrastructure, and stopping their threats at nearly every turn — the terrorists have already won.

I’m sure there are those of you now that are saying, “But politics just don’t interest me.”

And to that I say that you, especially, are to blame. Your disinterest in the way this government is run has allowed the lunatic fringes of the two-party system to thrive.

It has allowed the fringes to dominate the will of “We the People.”

And because of your disinterest, because of your complacency; we, as a nation, are doomed.

And you should all be ashamed; ashamed of your cowardice to take a stand for what you believe in, whatever that may be.

More than ashamed; you should be disgusted with yourselves for allowing the terrorists to win.

Because there is no hiding it, the war is over. The United States of America has lost, because we are no longer united.  But while there can be a finger pointed for one reason or another at every facet of our society, the inconvenient truth is that we are all to blame.

(The opinions expressed in this are solely those of the author, and not The Corsair,, or Pensacola State College.)


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