With tomorrow's 5th anniversary of 9/11, there's a great deal of political posturing on both side of the (political) aisle. Democrats and Republicans are using the anniversary for political gain. That's to be expected, given the impact of the event on our national psyche and very character as Americans.
The single greatest lesson of 9/11 is reinforcing the adege that "the price of liberty is eternal vigilence." The single most damaging impact is the varied ways in which that same adege has been interpreted and used for personal and political gain. True visionary leadership on the federal level is lacking everywhere in our polical system. The terrorist threats we now face will not be solved either by retreat or by arms alone. The United States, for all its power, doesn't seem to know what kind of world it wants, or what kind of standard it wants to set. We live, then, in overwhlelming fear and uncertainty about the future.
The great tragedy is the lack of outrage for social injustices within our own country. We're no longer trying to improve our country and move it forward - we're trying desperately to hold on to what we have.
For me, an accident of timing has aligned the Gosch story (see previous post) with the 9/11 anniversary. I don't doubt for a moment that while we struggle to understand the external threats we face, a collective exhaustion dooms the inheritors of Johnny Gosch's fate.