In our opinion: What if our unity lasted beyond the aftermath of 9/11?

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  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:26 p.m.

    unrepentant progressive 8:15 a.m.
    The left was not vehemently against the war when they voted on it. Most Democrats in the Senate voted for it (including Hillary Clinton and John Kerry, the 2 main Democrat leaders back then).

    Google "Senate Roll Call: Iraq Resolution - Washington Post"... If time has changed your memory of how people actually voted.

    9/11 Unity didn't break down and Democrats start to vehemently opposing everything Bush (including the war) until the mid-term election. It was a calculated change (by DNC strategists).

    Hillary Clinton and John Kerry voted for war (Afghanistan and Iraq). When the next election came around they were vehemently against it, but not right after 9/11. They waited till the unity and post 9/11 bipartisan moment wore off.

    The same thing is going on now as when Obama was elected, and when Bush was elected. And to a lesser extent when Clinton was elected. I think the shift started then (with his impeachment) it's been pay-back-mode ever since, only getting uglier and uglier with every subsequent election and alternating sides feeling they have been "wronged" by the other side.

    It's nothing new. Just the level of the rhetoric.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:09 p.m.

    @2 bits
    "Bottom line... we need to be more unified. Why are leftist radicals constantly fighting against that... I couldn't tell you."
    It's not for lack of effort on my part. I laid out the argument against "too much unity" pretty directly and simply.

    And it's not like "unity" is even an American virtue. Our country was founded because a lack of unity. It was then organized (in the Articles of Confederation and then the Constitution) such that it was hard to get things done. Two groups of elected representatives and then an executive position that can veto? We are, by design, ungovernable.

    For that matter, the founders didn't really *want* political parties, as they were auspicious of that kind of consolidation of power.

    So yeah. "Unity" is not, on it's own, a virtue. And we've seen the evils that are perpetrated and excused in it's name. So nope, I'll take the squabbling states, back and forth politics that ensures no one party retains control for too long, and the fracticious contentious process over the kind of "unity" you espouse.

    So yeah. You may but be able to understand why some folk are skeptical of "unity", but it's not because you haven't been told.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 1:06 p.m.

    RE: "So, the right wing extremists in this country demand the loyalty of those of us on the left"...
    First define what you meant when you said "right wing extremists". I need to know exactly who you are vilifying today.

    Nobody's demanding loyalty. Just Unity. And Unity is a good thing. Division, contention, etc, are bad. Not unity.

    RE: "Blaming the Left for lack of patriotism"...
    The same thing happened 8 years ago when the left called anybody who didn't accept or support Obama as being "Traitors", or "Racists". Isn't it?

    Same thing.

    Baloney then, and baloney now. You can disagree with the President and not be a traitor, or a "Racist".

    RE: "Put blame where it lies"...
    Every leadership class or text discourages "Put Blame" game as counter-productive to real progress. It's subjective, and it's counter-productive. It's just satisfying to our ego (which craves blame, and belittlement of others, to satisfy our own smug pride).

    RE: "The Left protested this war vehemently"...
    No they didn't.

    Hillary and the majority of Democrats in the Senate voted for it (29 Democrats Yes, 21 Democrats No). That's not vehemently against it.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 11:00 a.m.

    @A Scientist - Provo, UT
    Your attempts to create contention, and division, and thwart unity... are perplexing to me. Why would you not be for unity?

    I know both sides do it (when the other side seems to have power). But is it a good thing. When either side does it?


    @marxist - 7:30 a.m.
    At the base of our economic system there is the fundamental conflict between capital and labor.
    This is just pure class-warfare rhetoric. Divisive, not unifying.

    This topic has nothing to do with economics or trying to divide people, and draw the usual class-warfare lines. (labor vs capital). That malarkey is off-topic.

    This is just blatant class warfare rhetoric, divisive, and not unifying us.

    While we're using economics to divide us... Do Marxists grow economies... or destroy them. Study history (real history, not theory) and you will get your answer.


    Bottom line... we need to be more unified. Why are leftist radicals constantly fighting against that... I couldn't tell you.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 10:00 a.m.

    Well said, unrepentant progressive. I wish more people could see that conservatives' calls for "unity" are thinly veiled, oppressive maneuvers just like those mastered by numerous fascists throughout history!

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 12, 2018 8:15 a.m.

    So, the right wing extremists in this country demand the loyalty of those of us on the left, found insufficiently patriotic. And summon the ghosts of the past for proof. Piffle.

    Blaming the Left for lack of patriotism, most especially during Bush's (err, Cheney's) little (mis)adventure in Iraq is clearly the same old calling card of the "super patriot" right these days.

    Put blame where it lies, which is indeed an appropriate word. The US used false pretenses to start a war, spend countless billions and cause death to thousands. The Left protested this war vehemently, and were declared "unPatriotic" for correctly pointing out the folly of this foray.

    It was the "Left" who were the patriots of truth and the American way back then, and the Left remains the true patriot of the American way today. The call for unity from the right today equals a demand for the same unthinking obedience to a demonstrably authoritarian president, who will set us on a similar course as did Bush/Cheney.

    I don't want to relive those days, spend that money on a meaningless cause and cause the death of thousands. Patriotism is protest. Stand up and be counted. Be wary the super Patriots.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 12, 2018 7:33 a.m.

    Competition which we rightly or wrongly (or both) venerate in capitalism drives DISUNITY. And moreover we have the two distinct contrary interests, capital and labor, which also drives same.

  • Astoria Jim Mamaroneck, NY
    Sept. 11, 2018 4:34 p.m.

    Looking at my two teen-aged sons in the days after 9/11, I was reminded of the words of (future Senator) Daniel Patrick Moynihan, after the assassination of John F Kennedy:

    "We will laugh again. But we will not be young again."

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Sept. 11, 2018 4:33 p.m.

    @2 bits
    Abraham Lincoln, whose election literally started a civil war, and Adolph Hitler, who created "unity" that lasted far longer.

    Get some perspective. This may not be the best of times, but it sure ain't the worst of times either.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 3:20 p.m.

    RE: "What if our unity lasted beyond the aftermath of 9/11"...
    We would be a better country.

    But it didn't. We went back to Politics-as-Usual next election. Heck there was a mid-term election... what else is going to happen.

    Politics and increasing seats and power for your party trumps everything in these people's minds (both sides).

    This can't be blamed on one party or the other. It's on all of us. And the parties that encourage the divide (for votes).

    This division comes naturally to humans to an extent, it's inspired by our partisan nature and tribal nature. It's part of human nature. The various parties just fan those flames... and watch it burn. They love contention and division. They live for it (both sides).


    The ironic thing is.. Osama BinLaden actually brought Americans together, like no politician in history has ever brought us together.

    Our politicians then turned around and divided us... like no BinLadeen in history has been able to divide us.

    That's sad and ironic IMO. Our politicians divide us, and terrorists unite us.

    I wish our politicians would quit trying to divide us and stop sowing contention (for votes) and start uniting us.

  • Astoria Jim Mamaroneck, NY
    Sept. 11, 2018 2:28 p.m.

    As a New Yorker who was in the city shortly after 9/11, I will never forget the unmistakable acts of generosity, warmth, and kindness I saw in the succeeding weeks: young people of different races helping old people of other races across the street. Strangers helping young moms lifting baby carriages over curb cuts. People saying thank you in restaurants and stores.
    I remember thinking at the time, I hope this lasts.
    It hasn't.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Sept. 11, 2018 2:08 p.m.

    If irony isn't dead, it's getting there.

    The way politicians attack each other for doing the same things they do themselves, it's clear that we need more of a sense of irony, not less.

    e.g., Orrin Hatch wouldn't give the time of day to Merrill Garland, but now he's upset that some people protest Kavanaugh. As the French say, "Quelle ironie!"

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 2:10 p.m.

    "...for months and even years afterward we all recognized and remembered that there is far more that unites us than there is that divides us."

    Then why does your comment bash those who do not agree with you, emphasizing what divides us rather than what unites us?

    Please, lead by example! Stop bashing those who do not join lockstep with your beliefs, and focus on, praise, and post comments about what unites us!

    Or, just slip away into the hypocrisy we have come to expect from your ilk.

  • EscherEnigma Ridgecrest, CA
    Sept. 11, 2018 1:55 p.m.

    Concentration camps of perceived enemies and scapegoats.

    There a reason we look at the rose of nationalism in the first half of the 20th century with cynicism. Sure, folks were more "united". And that "unity" was used to excuse all sorts of evils in America, Germany, Russia, and so-on.

    Heck, look at the current plagues of the Catholic Church. That's what "unity" excuses. The good of the many out-weighs the good of Justice.

    So nope. I'll take individualism and petty bickering over internment camps, the Patriot Act and poorly justified wars.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 1:17 p.m.

    Well-written article. I was sharing these same sentiments with coworkers today - including those too young to remember the immediate aftermath. I'm disappointed to see that the comment board has already jumped right back in to the bickering and fighting that was pointed out in the article. As the editorial board said, it's not important that we all agree. We expect - even need - political differences for our country to operate well. However, the division, tribalism, and fighting between Americans has become so toxic in the last several years. It's not like political parties stopped disagreeing after 9/11, but for months and even years afterward we all recognized and remembered that there is far more that unites us than there is that divides us. We may disagree about the fringes, but in all we have a remarkable tapestry that is the United States of America, and when we are united our enemies cannot defeat us: on the battlefield, or more importantly in believing in freedom, liberty, and the overwhelming majority of humanity that is good and caring.
    I hope we can all reflect on these things and heal the harsh divides without needing another tragedy.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 1:11 p.m.

    I'm not sure what the author is talking about. Unity? In what sense?

    Is it just about people "understand[ing] its unique purpose in a world swirling with freedom’s enemies.?"

    What does that look like? Combining the RNC and DNC conventions?

    "...treat[ing] political foes as fellow Americans with competing ideas for helping the country, not as enemies"?

    Who is attacking and using violence against fellow Americans? Be specific. Which political party leaders are calling for and endorsing such activity?

    "...civility and the Golden Rule in all aspects of life"? Oh, you mean like Sunday school? Is that really a healthy nation? I don't think so.

    Once again an empty call for "unity". Why? What's the agenda? Nationalism? Fascism? A desire to restore the hegemony of religion in America?

    People like this author use nice words and platitudes, but completely lack any substance.

  • blarsen BOUNTIFUL, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 12:20 p.m.

    This piece was standard, stock boilerplate.

    9/11 was used as a pretext to begin overthrowing 7 Muslim countries in the next 5 years (google Gen. Wesley Clark's interview w/Amy Goodman). Though delayed, we're still pursuing that goal.

    And not many people seem to be aware that a 3rd steel framed WTC high-rise, 47 stories high, was brought down at 5:20 pm on 9/11. That would be WTC Bldg. 7, which came down in 6.5-7 seconds, with ~the first 2.5 seconds in free-fall.

    The 2.5 seconds of free-fall translates to ~100 feet or 8 stories of Bldg. 7 being removed ~simultaneously. Office fires can’t do this.

    WTC Bldg. 7 is ignored by MSM sources because it doesn't fit the 9/11 meme/narrative of: Muslim hijackers hijacked 4 planes, 3 of which were run into buildings, 2 of which underwent complete collapse.

    If you have any curiosity about these issues, peruse: Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Journal of 9/11 Studies and Scientists for 9/11 Truth. Further, the peer-reviewed paper: Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 WTC Catastrophe, 2009, Harrit, Farrer, Jones, et al., will inform you about the unreacted nano-thermite in found in WTC dust..

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 9:34 a.m.

    @RiDal and Harry
    What I recall is exactly what we see in your two comments, some people choose to use this tragedy to attack those they saw as their political enemies and religious minorities in the most vile terms and ways while the rest of the country tried to pull together in support of one another even as we disagreed over how to respond. I guess time and tragedy does not always change the hearts of some men, what a shame.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 9:24 a.m.

    @RiDal " I remember being appalled at how the Liberal-Left immediately shifted into "blame-America" mode. 9/11..."

    Leftists like me did not start kicking back until Bush's insane Iraq invasion. On that point Donald Trump and I agree.

  • dmcvey Los Angeles, CA
    Sept. 11, 2018 9:14 a.m.

    RiDal, I don't remember the Left blaming America. There were some outliers but they were hardly in the mainstream.

    What I do remember is the Bush administration using this to wage war on Iraq despite the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11.

    And to bring up "Trump derangement syndrome" after what the Republicans tried to do to Obama is questionable. When you had the insane truther thing happen (which Trump was a big part of) conservatives can't claim they were civil.

  • countryvoice3 Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 8:57 a.m.

    Suddenly when we have a President elected by the fringes of the right, who surrounds himself with criminals, sex scandals, pathological lying, and scandals of all kinds...we should all join hands and sing kumbyya in his praise. Ahhh, I don't think so.

    "9/11 really did begin the era of the Left trying to destroy every traditional moral and ethical value"

    What? I thought protesting the Vietnam war, free love, and Roe v Wade were the beginning of our downfall. Glad to hear my era gets a pass on destroying America.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    Sept. 11, 2018 8:09 a.m.

    I don't understand the author's reasoning. It flies in the face of most every person's experience in our personal life.

    When grandpa dies suddenly, the whole family comes together in a joyful remembrance of his life (usually). A week after the funeral, when the will is read and his possessions distributed, the real battle begins. A battle that was under the radar as long as grandpa lived. Siblings, cousins and others are (usually) fighting and feuding over 'things'. Arguments ensue about who grandpa loved best to justify why I should get the quilt.

    The country is not so different than our families. A great tragedy will bring out the best in us, followed by an almost inevitable blow-out amongst the survivors.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 7:38 a.m.

    I am old enough to remember the nation before 9/11. I remember being appalled at how the Liberal-Left immediately shifted into "blame-America" mode. 9/11 really did begin the era of the Left trying to destroy every traditional moral and ethical value. We see that "Bush Derangement Syndrome has metastasized into "Trump Derangement Syndrome".
    Please, just remember to vote. Our enemies know that they can't defeat us militarily, but they can help spread the psychological cancer of cultural self-loathing and moral decay.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 7:30 a.m.

    At the base of our economic system there is the fundamental conflict between capital and labor. In the early 1930's the nation faced an economic calamity. We unified then - for about 100 days, and then capital proceeded to blunt FDR's reforms. At the base of our conflict today is the rebellion of the white working class which resorted to Trump. For us, lasting unity is not possible.

  • Yorkshire Logan, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 6:03 a.m.

    Great piece--I was just thinking about this as well.

    So sad that feeling couldn't last.
    It was an amazing time of perfect in the shadow of such tragedy.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 12:13 a.m.

    "How quickly those days passed."

    I think that's what was the most disheartening. Before we had even cleared all of the rubble, some were calling Bush a liar, a war criminal, even a Nazi. They hated him so badly there were constant calls for impeachment. They were so vitriolic that Charles Krauthammer coined a neologism: Bush Derangement Syndrome. It's very hard to understand this behavior.

  • patrioticAMERICAN South Jordan, UT
    Sept. 11, 2018 12:00 a.m.

    Americans always seem to unite against a common enemy , be it a hostile nation out to destroy us. an actual war waged against us (Vietnam, & prob Korea don't count), or a disaster of epic proportions. These things bring out the best in most of us, and a desire to actually help people and care abt them.

    Unfortunately, great disasters, whether they be natural or manmade, seem to be the only thing on the last 20 yrs or so that unite us together in a common purpose. 9/11 happened w/a president who was capable of rising to the occasion. I doubt we have that now.

    So be careful what you wish for. It just might come true.