This I Believe
I believe that the true strength of America is our openness and freedom. While you can never mourn the tragedies of 9-11 enough, those events do not warrant our withdrawing into our shell to the level we have. By all means prosecute the attackers and their supporters with relentless vengeance, but do not allow these evildoers to dictate our daily living, because if you allow them that, then they have won.
We cannot allow fear to reign supreme. We must puff out our chests, hold our head up high, albeit be vigilant, and continue to strive for an open and free society. Never again will a box cutter be enough to hijack an airplane. Limiting nail clippers, and toothpaste on flights is massively expensive, and useless. What is next, gum? …. Candy?…. Computers?….. Cell Phones?.….. Clothing?…..
In the big picture, maybe 3,500 US Citizens have lost their lives to terrorism in the last five years. While this is 3,500 too many, it pales to the lives lost to a host of other sources, like cancer, heart disease, motorcycle and vehicle deaths.. even things as mundane as insect bites, tsunami’s and hurricanes. Just the invasion of Iraq, cost more than NIH has given grants for cancer research over the last twenty years, complete insanity, if you consider the millions of people who have lost their life to cancer.
The truth is, the only way that Al-Quaeda can really hurt us, is if we respond to their attacks the way we have. Since their attacks, the debt has risen nearly three Trillion Dollars, we are less secure, have more enemies, and the majority of the world thinks we are the bad guys, ….we are contemplating building a wall around America, have removed privacy and freedoms that have withstood 200 plus years and two world wars, have tortured suspects, made airline travel so painful that most people would rather drive, caused a civil war in another county, complicated international discourse to no end, …. this list is truly endless….. All because of twenty lousy terrorists.
We must swallow our fears, embrace our openness and freedoms, stand tall, be vigilant, and be proud Americans. This is our true strength, and we cannot allow anyone to infringe on these things that are our inalienable rights.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.