Turn up the lights. I don't want to go home in the dark.
Susan suggested a contest, that we write about something we'd like to see happen to make the world a better place. So today, on the anniversary of that horrific day Americans became lost in the dark, I will write about my hopes.
I know very few people who were not directly affected by the two planes flying into the Twin Towers. My friend and collegue, Laura Lee Morabito, was in the first class section of AA11, the first plane to hit the first tower. Laura was en route from Boston to Los Angeles for a Qantas Airways sales meeting. I can only hope she didn't suffer. I have other friends, transplants from New York, guys who used to work in the financial district of New York, and who knew many of the fire fighters who died that day. All of us were affected, and we had an opportunity to come together in mourning, to unite in our grief and help to heal each other.
Instead, we got the Kowboy Koward. Where was our inspiration? In his first Inaugural Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said clearly, boldly,
let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.He was speaking about the Great Depression, of course. It was 1933. He said
Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.Deja Vu all over again.
But back to that September morning, when our lives changed drastically and instead of asking us to be brave, our President played on our fears and plunged us into 8 years of darkness. "We're under attack" he screamed, convienently sidestepping the fact that his administration had ignored warnings. "We're gonna hunt down Osama Bin Laden and kill 'em dead." The attacks happened in New York City, which, amazingly, had no counter-terrorism plans in place despite the fact that Bin Laden's people had previously attacked The World Trade Center with a car bomb. Yep - 8 years was not enough time for Rudy Giuliani to put a plan in place.
Bush invaded Afghanistan to search for Bin Laden. We're still there, 8 years later. He used the 9/11 attacks, and lies, to invade Iraq. We're still there. John McCain is using 9/11 in conjunction with Iran, which, if he's elected, we will invade. And the entire Neo-Conservative movement says that if you oppose their Hawk Positions, you are not a patriot. That only Gun-Toting, hate-mongering, fear-driven people are out to protect America.
Not in my name. No. We have been overtaken by people so driven by greed and self-seeking that we've lost sight of our values. We have abdicated our responsibility to people who lack vision and so we've languished in darkness and fear.
Here is the better world I wish to see: Universal Health Care; clean air, made possible by breaking our addiction to oil and turning to wind, solar power, and water; affordable housing; REAL education, rather than teaching children how to take standardized tests; creation of jobs in order to rebuild our failing infrastructure - restore wetlands, rebuild levees, reclaim land. Teach compassion, and act in compassion.
What will I do to be the change I wish to see? I've left a company headed up by a man who is driven by greed and self-seeking in order to work from home. I use compact florescent bulbs. I recycle. I purchase local produce, at the farmers market, so I buy what's in season. I am voting for Obama.
And yes. I trust that we will see light again. We will be the change we need to see in the world.