Notes From 11 Years Later
Most of us above the age of 12 remember where were were the moment we heard about the attack on NY's Twin Towers, on September 11, 2001. Some of my friends were actually working in Manhattan that day and had to witness the atrocity first hand and up close. For me, the day started as most of my morning s did back then. I was working at My DiscountBroker, an online brokerage firm in Dallas, where at the time, I was the training manager of the firm. My job was to teach brokers and costomer service reps how to do their jobs, prepare wannabe brokers for their Series 7 exams and create an online education for the clients.It was a great job and a fun time time be in the market. We had recently expanded and were a vibrant, growing company.
I suppose it was around 7:25am when I arrived to work. The market opens at 8:30 (Dallas time) and that allowed me an hour to get everything set up and prepare the customer service reps for the day ahead. At around 8:15, I happened by my brother's office (he was the President of the firm) and on the TV in there, I noticed (we were always tuned to CNBC) that there was something going on with one of the Twin Towers. From first glance, it just seemed to be a big fire. Turning up the sound, we learned it was an airplane that crashed into the tower. While very rare indeed, planes flying into skyscrapers were not unheard of. However, we are talking about the tallest building in America and the amount of smoke was tremendous.
Slowly, other co-workers slipped into Bruce's office to watch. We had a number of televisions on in the building. But it seemed everyone felt the need to watch this all together. And just when the speculation really heated up (could it be a terror attack?), BOOM - the second tower was struck and we were left with no doubt.
No one left Bruce's office. We sat and stood in silence and frozen with disgust and fear. Soon, Tower Two collapsed upon itself and not long after, Tower One did the same. The surreality of these moments, etched into the soul over each and every one of us. Soon we learned of the victims who perhaps we didn't personally know, but still we shared a common thread as brokers. As we remained fixated, we began to see the human toll, as many of us witnessed people jumping to their deaths, rather than face the flames.
But there were other indelible images that while the media may have decided to hide, were still shown the first time around. These images included the handing out of sweets and candies to children by the Palestinian government. Almost immediately, these videos and images were hidden, lest wee cast judgement on our true enemies. Of course, that did not stop the anti-Semitic rumors from gaining ground - the most outrageous being that the 3,000 Jews who were working that day at the WTC were warned to stay away in that day. This lie was so toxic that even this past year, MD Alam - the head of the National Democratic Party Asian American Caucus, a group sponsored by the Democratic National Committee, and a serious candidate for Missouri Secretary of State - has openly used this blood libel in his campaign. As I often ask Holocaust-denying critics of mine, "if you're right, then where are all of my dead relatives?"
Within moments of the attacks, President Bush was notified of the events. At the time, he was reading to classroom of schoolchildren. He had two choices - he could either stop reading and walked away abruptly thereby frightening the children and giving them cause for alarm. Or, he could continue the story for a couple of minutes, act Presidential and not freaked out the kids. He chose the latter, for which I find deeply honorable.
However, it was at that moment that his Presidency began to unravel. Still fuming from what the left perceived as a stolen election just a year earlier, the Democrats were going to use whatever they could to invalidate George Bush's Presidency. Of course, this would have to wait a few days until, as they say, the body starts to cool. For this week, Bush was a hero to all. But the following week, he became to center of every cockamamie crackpot theory out there. It was amazing to watch. There were those who were convinced that President Bush was a buffoon. Yet these same people were absolutely certain the he was he mastermind behind the attacks. My personal favorite was when Rosie O'Donnell was co-hosting "The View" and claimed fire can not melt steel. No offense Rosie, but fire is exactly how you manipulate steel.
But the country suddenly seemed to wake up and take sides. Conspiracies abound and the polarization of this country took shape. At this point, most rational people understood the mastermind was Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi national who had been fingered as the head of Al-Qaeda. The the blame game in America was so strong, that instead of coming together, as we did following Pearl Harbor, we became even more fractured. As bad as the Democrats were in finding fault in everything and everything GWB, the GOP was as guilty of this polarization as well.
I think the worst thing that has emerged from this atrocity is how upside down this has made us. In order to insure our safety, the government has greatly restricted our freedoms. Try taking a trip on an airplane. As necessary as precaution is, once the government gets involved, chaos and waste set in. Instead of following the Israeli lead of airport security, where their has not been an airport or airline attack in Israel if over 30 years, the USA decided to go the politically correct way - which has instead led to numerous incidences that have only failed because of the stupidity of the terrorist, along with the bravery of the passengers.
The other tragic tale to come out of 9/11 was decimation of America's self-worth. Instead of strengthening our resolve, we've allowed charlatans to change the subject to matters of either total nonsense to downright untruths. Just a year or so after the worst atrocity on American soil, Al Gore decides the greater threat to man-kind is not the terrorists who've already killed 3,000 people (and swearing to kill more), but instead is Global Warming. When the country finally needs to wake up and face the single biggest threat the world has known since Adolph Hitler, Hollywood (and the left) create a new boogieman to replace the real one.
In just a few short years, the Democrats not only manage to destroy the reputation of President Bush, but they create their own Golden Calf, in Barack Obama. At no time during my almost 50 years of life, have I ever witnessed such a travesty and breach of faith they way the news media changed from reporting news to cheerleading. It seemed anything that would make up forget 9/11 (or change the subject) was the new normal. But in order to hide reality, you must create a new one. That is the only way a nation that was grossly attacked by Islamic fundamentalists can then turn around and make it our own fault. According to the left, WE created the reasons the Arabs hate us (as in we support the only true democracy in the Middle East). WE are Islamophobic, although while there are thousands of mosques in the US, churches and synagogues are strictly forbidden in Arab countries. WE are the terrorists, although roughly 96% of all terror attacks have been committed by Muslims. WE (conservatives) are waging a war on women, although it's the Arab countries that stone women for being raped, for driving and for not walking 5 steps behind their husbands. WE (conservatives, again) are the racists, although it was the Democrats who were the party of the KKK and Jim Crow.
What was up is now down, what was south is now north. And in order to continue this different reality, double-talk and "nuance" must be employed over truth. It's no longer okay to say someone is incorrect. No, they must be treated as evil. As Saul Alinksy wrote in his infamous "Rules for Radicals" (the community organizer's bible), "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it," and "“If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
As we enter the final stretch of the 2012 election season, we truly have a choice to make. Do we continue down this path of denial and of a new, scripted reality? Or do we actually wake up after 11 years and finally say "ENOUGH." Our economy is in the toilet, our foreign policy is muddled, inconsistent mess, our own President has avoided over 75% of his daily security and economic briefings (although has found the time to fundraise everywhere and still hit the links over 100 times), and our media believes we are and should be more interested in what Km Kardashian is doing. The truth about global warming/cooling or whatever is being stifled by said media and we continue to be treated like children by our government.
Can I promise you a Mitt Romney presidency will solve all our problems? Of course not. But it will stop the hemorrhaging that a $16,000,000,000,000 debt will bring to us. It will stop the bleeding of a job market where more people have gone on food stamps than have found a job. But perhaps most of all, it will give us the security of having a President who works for the people and not the other way around. Romney is not going to govern by a cult of personality they was Obama must. Obama never had any critical experience to lead us to believe he could handle to stresses and duties of the office. And because of this, aside from his own self belief that he knows more than anyone else in the room, he has truly been a disaster as President. His decisions have simply made everything he's touched worse.
Romney's personal and political record stands in start contrast to that of Obama. Has he made mistakes? Sure, but he's also owned up to them and worked to fix them. Whatever the left has to say to criticize Romney has to be made up. Sadly, our free press so wishes Obama remains in the White House, they will frame every news story about Romney in a negative light. They'll attack him on Bain Capital, although the number of jobs saved and created by Bain far outweigh the losses. They'll spend hours talking about the one time he put his dog in a carriage on the roof, yet spend nothing Obama's eating habits. On the other hand, they'll fawn and preen all over Obama when he shoots a basketball, but say nothing when the job reports come out saying the only reason the unemployment rate dropped .2% is because of so many people just giving up.
But to me, the worst was when GWB was vilified by Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi when the price of gas hit $3 a gallon, but as it stands now in Chicago (I paid $4.39 a gallon yesterday), the media either ignores it, or refuses to hold Obama to same standard.
It's 11 years after the attack on the World Trade Center and it really seems we've learned nothing. Nothing at all.