Eleven years ago on September 10th, I was reading an issue of Time Magazine where the cover asked, ‘Where Have You Gone, Colin Powell?‘ It was a long article wondering why Bush essentially sidelined the most respected and coolest head advising him for the first eight months of his Administration. Over the next several years many of us would find ourselves asking that question as we invaded Iraq and completely disregarded the Powell Doctrine. Much has changed, and most of it was unimaginable to anyone who was living in those days, although some of it was all too predictable.
Even though the idea of American Exceptionalism in the sense that America is inherently superior or is exempt from the forces of history is deluded, Alexis de Tocqueville was onto something, and so was Abraham Lincoln when he said that our Union, that at that moment was a tattered Republic tearing itself apart, was the last best hope of Earth. Crimes and atrocities have been perpetrated under Old Glory and the laws of the Land of the Free have been used to keep people in more than one kind of bondage; even today our finest dreams are at best imperfectly realized. The great experiment continues.
Politics are woven into America as deeply as any thread so that I feel no shame in the following observation which I direct to my conservative and libertarian brethren as they hold their hands over their hearts and stand in silence today; Although Osama bin Laden was striking at the heart of American commerce that terrible day, it was unionized government workers who were the heroes that day. While the Makers were running out, the Takers were running in.
May God Bless the United States of America and all the people of the Earth.