Still fearful after all these years
I'll bet almost all of you remember it like yesterday. I sure do. Watching thousands of people murdered on live television is not something you can easily forget.
It was a time of strong emotion: confusion, fear, grief, anger. We mourned together as one country, and we plotted our revenge together.
But it has not been satisfying, nor have we obtained closure. We attacked two countries, but saw mostly quagmire. The economy has never regained its pre-attack strength. The unity after the attack was quickly replaced by the bitterest partisan bickering this country has seen in a long time. Even the taking down of the 9/11 mastermind, Osama bin Laden, didn't generate more than a momentary sense of satisfaction.
Thirty-two years ago, a President gave a speech in which he talked about our country's malaise. The voters hated him for it, choosing to fire Carter and bring in the optimist Reagan. But today, politicians are competing not to deny the malaise but to pin it on the other guy.
What happened to us 10 years ago? Why can't we get out of this funk? Did we take a bite of the apple, lose our innocence, and get tossed out of the garden? Or are we suffering from PTSD and showing symptoms of depression that just won't disappear?