For years, September 11 made me angry, because we still hadn’t gotten the responsible party yet. We allowed our eye to be taken off the ball so George Dubya Bush, the second-worst president of my lifetime (and I was born in the Nixon administration), could work out his Daddy issues in Iraq and ensure that the Middle East would be a disaster area for decades to come. (And miss me with the sudden rehabilitation now that Trump is worse. Fuck that shit. Dubya was Trump with a salad and a haircut and some semi-competent-if-evil people around him.) And so they pissed around for almost a decade until 2011, when justice was finally done. And I could breathe a little easier.
And then, 2016.
What makes me enraged to think about is that Donald Trump is the final victory for Osama bin Laden. That wormy bastard wanted to attack America, he wanted to bring it down from within, he wanted to destroy our standing in the world – well, here we are, seventeen years on, and he got everything he wanted. Maybe if Bush doesn’t have a war to rally everyone behind, he struggles with legitimacy and policy and we actually do something to ensure that the candidate with the most votes is the one who wins, but, nope. Maybe if there’s no ongoing panic by square-state yahoos whose fear fed the GOP’s ballot boxes for years afterward, Bush doesn’t win again and Republican politics doesn’t go down the Confederate-cryptofascist wormhole as quickly. Maybe without September 11, the whole “secret Muslim” bullshit can’t get traction against Obama, or at least the forces of paranoia and hate aren’t as readily mobilized. But because the rednecks shit themselves with fear, and the GOP came to rely on fear as their base, we got all the way to 2016.
And now here we are. There are a lot of things that would have to be done to remediate the damage, and I’m probably not going to live to see the job completed. But we’ve reached a point where the civilized world interprets America as damage and routes around it. Which means that skinny fuckstick got exactly what he wanted, and we just handed it to him.