September 11: Where Are We?

Like the Queen at Balmoral Castle, I awoke this morning with bagpipes playing playing outside my bedroom window. Unlike Her Madge, this wasn’t a sign that I am on holiday in Scotland. No, I live next to the firefighters’ monument for the city of New York, and 9/11 commemorations are underway. It is a necessary thing to honor the people who died that day. And yet in an election year I can’t help but be reminded how America got the wind knocked out of it that day, and because of lack of leadership has never really recovered. As Tom Friedman says in his worthwhile new book, “Hot, Flat, and Crowded,” the U.S. is in “a slow decline,” and unless we wake up November 4 and put enlightened leadership in the White House (and leadership that thinks creationism is science isn’t going to help American regain its technological and scientific edge), we’re going to decline further.

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