5 Years Later
On this day, the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, I am mourning the loss of unity.
For a brief shining moment after we were attacked where we live, work, play, love, and die, we forgot about power. We stopped caring about who ran what where. We were one in nation and spirit. We truly were the UNITED States of America.
The partisanship that has always disgusted me in politics vanished. For the first time in my lifetime our political leaders stopped playing with the nation, they stopped jerking the American people around, and they actually did their sworn duty. Their duty is not to fight with each other, sabotage the opposing party by any means necessary to gain power, and to serve the interests of small groups of donors. Their duty is to uphold and defend the Constitution, and this Nation as a whole. Their job is to look to the people who elected them for guidance, listen to experts, and carefully guide this country down a path that is neither liberal nor conservative, but rather, one that is good, wholesome, and serves the greater good in spite of personal prejudices.
Many people are fond of pointing out how our founders fought for years over the form this nation should take. They point out that this dissent was essential to building our nation into what it is today. Unfortunately, they ignore the most vital aspect of this prolonged debate: it was not a debate designed to garner power for any political party. This debate was motivated entirely by the unified desire and purpose of our forefathers to create a free, stable, and unified nation. They shared a common cause, and it was selflessness that drove them to spend years working without pay to exchange ideas, discuss the merits and drawbacks of the ideas, and ultimately reach a compromise that formed the basis of a nation and government that has become the envy of the world, and the one they seek to either copy, or rival.
Our current leaders do not have the spirit of our forefathers. Look to either side of the aisle and you will see that most of them are consumed in the power struggle and have lost sight of the greater good. Each side is so hell-bent on getting its own specific agenda passed with as few concessions as possible that just a few short years after we briefly found our unity that we had lost . . .we now find ourselves more divided than ever.
Each side is constantly spinning everything to make itself look good and make the other side look bad in comparison. As politicians vie for both personal and party power they are ripping our nation apart in a firestorm of deceit that has become so muddled that each and every piece of information we receive must be carefully sifted for the truth lest we ourselves become the unwitting pawns in a struggle that contrary to our own best interests.
I long for those days, brief as they were when our politicians were able to set aside their personal and party agendas and guide our country down the path they knew to be necessary. I long for the days when we were allowed to be proud of our country rather than being forced to make excuses for it due to our leader’s ineptitude and lust for power on both sides of the aisle.
February 20th 2003, or a day extremely close to that was the day I became a Republican. Until that day I was a registered independent. I was an independent because I believed then as I believe now. I believe that partisanship is destroying this country more surely than any external force could ever hope to. I also believe that this partisanship has become so out of control and destructive that I am force to choose sides, and therefore I must choose the side that most closely resembles what I believe to be right and true. I do this in the hopes that somehow, someday, by working within the broken system I may one day be able to mend it. I hope to one day be able to shatter the partisanship and remind America of what I means to be united in purpose while differing in ideas of how to accomplish that purpose. I hope to remind politicians of what it means to serve others and not to serve themselves by serving donors and prominent individuals.
For a brief moment in time we remember what it was to be just this way. The true tragedy of this is not that it took the murder of thousands of our countrymen to remind of this, but rather that we forgot it again so soon. This is the true lesson of 9/11, not that there are people out there that are determined to destroy us, we already knew that. The true lesson is what it means to be unified, and that unity is easy to lose when selfish men and women are in control.
God help us f we do not find this unity again.