The following was written the morning or 9/11/11. With Wall Street now occupied, a Jobs Bills stonewalled and the next budget battle looming it seemed more than time to post it.
I woke up on that morning afraid of you. You were driving alone in a pick up on an Indiana blacktop … taking the stage before a crowd in New York City … feeding oatmeal to your ten month old at a Starbucks in the Panhandle … waking in a warm bed on a silver Sunday in the Pacific Northwest and then rolling back to sleep when you remembered that you did not have to work that day … and there and then you were afraid of me too. It took us ten years to get here, but by that morning all we had to do was to think about each other – the wrong-headed ideas I was sure you had, the plot you somehow thought I was hatching against your class, the words we twisted from what we heard each other say - and we were afraid. You were afraid that I was up to no good, and I was afraid of you.
We had climbed from the rubble of those buildings into the arms of rescuers marching into the righteousness of two wars arm-in-arm believing in justice and confidently spending our nation’s blood and our people’s money until the blood soaked our feet and the money hemorrhaged from a hole in our banks and we saw but would not believe that our leaders had lied to us and the banks had cheated us and then - with no other choice and because we had realized that this was an enemy not of the greatest generation but of the worst - we turned on each other; you turned against the god of my beliefs and I turned against the god of yours, and, unlike any America we had ever know since a nation divided against itself could not stand, we began to hate and fear each other while the devil laid on a dirty mattress in a third-world high rise clutching a cell phone and laughing at us across eternity because he had accomplished what he had planned all along.
Do you see the trail from there to here? Does it sound simple to you to say that we have come to hate and fear each other because no one in ten years has been able to find a real enemy we can defeat? Do you feel tricked and outgunned when you realize that you have been taken advantage of by politicians of all persuasions who knowing that they cannot lead us have chosen instead to use and divide us simply so they can put us in their pockets? Is it clear to you that Red States and Blue, Tea Parties and Freedom Marches, Budget Ceiling Standoffs and Stock Market Crashes really only exist because I don’t trust you and you don’t trust me? When you woke up on that morning of September 11, 2011 did it occur to you that the thing we need to fear most now is our fear of each other?
I am not the faceless face of your enemy and you are not a nightmare threatening my American dream. When I search my soul I know that all you want is to eat and be sheltered and live in peace and if you look into my heart you will see the same longings in me. The sun shines, strength abides, love is eternal and I cannot take that from you nor can you take it from me. Remember. We said the buildings would rise again and so they have. Remember. Ten years ago we knew were all brothers and sisters and had to do it together or not at all. Remember. When we compromise with each other we are not giving in to an enemy, we are giving in to America and giving back to ourselves.