I drafted this in the last hours of September 11th, 2022.
When the planes hit the second tower, I was watching on television. I was a senior in high school who had just sent his white card two weeks prior. Many of the guys, after that second impact, realized that we might be called upon to fight a war against our choosing but in demand of our duty. That was what my young heart felt then.
Twenty-one years later, I still know what my duty entails as a citizen of the United States of America. I reject the unpatriotic actions of insurrectionists who stormed the capitol on January 6, 2021. I leave all the claims that somehow our elections were rigged in 2020. I voted, but my candidate lost. I vote and lose most of the time, but I vote because the republic demands my voice be counted. The overwhelming proof is the election of 2020 was legitimate and followed the long tradition of free and fair elections.
The terrorism we see brewing from other Americans is quite terrifying. We are one nation supposedly indivisible, yet we can't unite against the threat of dissolving our democracy? That's not the nation I contemplated the reality of compulsory service to in 2001. We shout about America, yet we can't accept the duopoly when our side loses? Grow up! The nation depends on our acceptance of political defeat while banding together to make America victorious.
There isn't an American on an airplane today that wouldn't rush the terrorist and crash that plane into a cornfield before it hit a building. That was what I believed, but I fear now if someone identified as a Republican or Democrat on the flight, they might be killed by their fellow citizens. Is that hyperbole? Yes, but the direction we are heading makes that seem less like fiction.
So today, September 12, 2022, let's get back to unifying against someone who threatened the safety of our nation, who stirs up falshoods, and is the furthest thing from the conservative values of Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. We need to reject the extremists of the left and right. They're distorted. We need to return to a balance of power and respectful deliberation that isn't stonewalled by the opposition just for the opposition's sake.
As a Christian in a free meritocracy, my guiding principles look to see who is a servant leader, a person of a good conscience, who will defend and expand the common good. They do all of it with honor, dignity, and statesmanship the role of elective representation demands. They obey the law to the fullest extent, they don't try to evade it at every turn.
Frankly, our choices are awful. Let's find better people who don't blame the other party but accept we must work together when policies fail the electorate. That's being a united band of rivals set forth by our founders.
Those dead white guys aren't gods. They are examples. We need to remember those examples as we move forward. Can we move forward? Can we remember September 12th, 2001, and the way we came together?
Here are the things of equal assault on our nation as planes flying into buildings.
1. Political extremism
2. Climate Change
3. Human rights.
We cannot begin to tackle Climate Change without first defeating political extremism. If we battle climate change with the same innovative spirit and rigor we took on the Japanese and the Nazis we could accomplish a great deal and spare our children a worse life than we live currently.
If we play the long game, we will be the generation that turns our world upside down and shapes it for a better tomorrow. Yes, we will sacrifice but I've learned that freedom comes from doing the right thing especially when it is hard. Sacrifce is what makes everything better when done out of love. Nothing will be harder than destroying the toxic duopoly and simultaneously launching a new assault against existential threats. But will we rise to the need? or will we fail and force our kids and grandkids to suffer?
May we band together and make the right thing happen.