As I viewed a sampling of the news coverage from the 20th anniversary of 9/11/01 last weekend, I thought about the lasting impact that day had on the United States of America.
The acts of a relative handful of motivated terrorists touched practically every aspect of daily life in this country. The economic impact alone was earth-shattering. When one considers the fact that Congress was on its way towards some semblance of fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets in the late nineties under the leadership of responsible minded conservatives on Capitol Hill, after 9/11 the nation’s focus suddenly switched from a “less is more” philosophy to, “Let’s appropriate whatever we want to fight wars and prop up the welfare state,” which resulted in huge deficits and intense bickering among the political class over who gets to divide up the spoils.
Democrats and Republicans alike chose to fund guns and butter. So much for the old saying that you can’t do both at the same time.
The ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq split the country down the middle. The neoconservative hawks launched the U.S. on a mission to “eradicate tyranny” and foster democracy across the world, whether it was practically and culturally feasible to do so or not. The folks who opposed this offensive strike-first-type military were labeled traitorous, subject to George W. Bush’s “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” mantra. Still-stunned Americans were willing to turn over their liberties (under the guise of the U.S.A. Patriot Act) to allow the federal intelligence agencies virtually unlimited powers to spy on citizens if there was a token of suspicion of anti-American activity. All of it under the guise of catching terrorists and “keeping us safe.”
I remember heated discussions with family members at the time, who essentially claimed, “I have nothing to hide, so if you’re opposed to increased police powers, you are probably hiding something yourself.” I would counter that we could possibly trust the Republican people to run the programs, but what would happen when the Democrats took over the political leadership? Boy, was I right on that one!
Culturally speaking, 9/11 and its accompanying wars blew open the floodgates of political correctness, with the virtue shaming shock forces of the left demonizing anyone who dared to suggest additional scrutiny be applied to Muslim groups or immigrants or poorly vetted refugees from certain parts of the globe. Merely mentioning the differences in religious beliefs guaranteed new waves of rancor. Americans began to suspect and resent each other. The politicization of everything was well on its way, fanned by the new internet-based technologies and smart devices.
In other words, 9/11 literally ripped apart the nation at its core.
Why did they (the terrorists) do it? I pondered. There are the typical explanations offered by experts in the Islamist mindset and foreign policy pros who discuss the ideological predilection of some clusters in the Islamic World to conquer the earth and bring all of humanity within the dominion of what they consider the true faith. Then there are those who argued Osama bin laden and his network of terror purveyors simply intended to inflict something much more damaging on the United States and other westernized countries: paralysis and fear.
“They want to weaken our unity and our democracy!” It’s far too simple of a theory, isn’t it? If anything, 9/11 promoted aggressiveness and a fearless retaliatory stripe in people. Face it, back then we lashed out at possible threats like Luke Skywalker wielding his light saber at that annoying orb in the first Star Wars movie. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn’t.
9/11 and what came after was awful. But was it truly more damaging than what’s currently transpiring with senile president Joe Biden’s desperate shot-in-the-dark stabs to control the Chinese Communist Party (CCP, or Wuhan, if you prefer) virus? Biden announced a series of draconian vaccine mandates last week, essentially stomping on the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution and causing already enraged folks to pledge resistance.
George W. Bush said the government’s post 9/11 actions were needed to protect Americans. Joe Biden made a similar pitch last week. Susan Jones reported at CNS News:
“’My job as President is to protect all Americans,’ including the 80 million who are ‘blocking public health’ by refusing to get vaccinated, President Joe Biden said in his Thursday afternoon lecture on combating COVID.
“This is the same president who refuses to protect the southwest border and who has put U.S. national security at risk by allowing the Taliban free reign in Afghanistan amid a botched U.S. troop withdrawal.
“’Many of us are frustrated with the nearly 80 million Americans who are still not vaccinated, even though the vaccine is safe, effective, and free,’ Biden said. ‘We need to do more. This is not about freedom or personal choice. It's about protecting yourself and those around you...”
Protect us, Joe? Pfft. Based on recent history, if someone died of COVID and Joe Biden happened to be at their funeral, he’d just keep looking at his watch until the poor soul’s remains were wheeled out of the ceremony.
There’s a good argument that 9/11 paved the way for Joe Biden’s COVID tyranny by pacifying the citizenry into thinking God-given freedoms must be suspended or ignored to save our own and everyone else’s skin. How many times have we heard someone claim, “It’s worth the expense if it saves even one life”? Too many to count!
I know people who assert that COVID lockdowns and vaccine and mask mandates are no different or more intrusive than seatbelt and/or motorcycle helmet laws imposed on individuals and auto manufacturers. The difference being seatbelt-type laws are proven to protect people who get in accidents, backed by actual statistics. I had a conservative first-responder friend who said, “I’ve never unbuckled a dead one.” (He then corrected himself, remembering that one man did die with a seatbelt on, but his car had been t-boned by a large truck.)
COVID dictates, on the other hand, haven’t been demonstrated to help anyone. And this includes vaccine mandates. It’s hard to do now, but think back to the time before there was a vaccine, such as last year’s 2020 presidential campaign. The virus was supposedly traveling across the country, invading the bodies of unsuspecting individuals, including those who’d done everything the federal government advised to protect themselves. Heck, even President Trump, Melania and Barron caught the bug.
Statistics revealed that the CCP virus was particularly threatening to the elderly, the grossly overweight and folks with pre-existing health conditions. Many were hospitalized. Some died. The vast majority were treated, lived and recovered. Yet the government lumped everyone into the same leaky boat so that the entire country could sink together in collective misery.
It's the only unity they promote. And in Joe Biden’s case, hopelessly clinging to COVID is the last remaining political bullet point he has left in his flimsy holster.
Like with 9/11, Americans were informed by the government that they had to make sacrifices for the common good in battling the CCP virus. Congress, first on a bipartisan basis last year and then a strictly Democrat-inspired bill earlier this year, has thrown caution to the win in spending trillions of dollars to fight an enemy that we can’t see and can only be threatened on the fringes of the imagination.
The media’s hysteric reporting on COVID and demonizing of President Trump’s leadership on the matter directly led to his loss in the 2020 election (if indeed Biden actually won, but that’s a matter for a different time). If Trump were still in the White House today, Democrats wouldn’t be wasting precious time arguing about further non-related welfare spending. And the Afghanistan pullout would’ve been executed by people who recognize that you have to get the innocents and military hardware out safely before you recall the guys with guns.
Biden’s hypocritical and incompetent handling of the illegal immigration crisis has only exacerbated the COVID case numbers because tens of thousands of “undocumented” people, many carrying the disease, are being transported throughout the country with nothing to prevent them from transferring the sickness to others. Why didn’t Biden require vaccination in all foreign countries before assaulting the rights of American citizens?
Both 9/11 and the COVID pandemic have exposed the American political class and its incessant lust for power. Scholars will debate which historic event was ultimately more damaging to the United States, but here’s thinking that the tragedy 20 years ago weakened the country’s previously unshakable resolve so that panic and fearmongering over COVID could finish it off.
Thankfully, many, many Americans have pledged to resist Biden’s dictates. This spirit of defiance could provide the type of redemption that’s desperately needed if the U.S. is to survive for long. The alternative? Implode and watch it burn.
Joe Biden administration
George W. Bush speech 9/11
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