Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bin Laden's Dead - Will We Change (Again)?

Ezra Klein of the WaPo had this thoughtful comment in his policy blog:

Most of what changed in this country after 9/11 was our choice, not his. And his death is a reminder that changing it back -- or revising it to better fit our future -- is, similarly, our choice, not his. We’ve killed him, but we haven’t revisited the ways in which he changed us, or the ways in which wechanged us in response to his attack. Maybe it’s time we did.
Yes, we need to revisit our fears and the consequences of those fears.

It's the consequences at the airport that are most apparent. Long lines submitting to searches that a decade ago would have been unthinkable for Americans. Shoe removal. Full body scans. Nonsense!

It's time we left our shoes on and refused to stand with our hands above our heads just to board an airplane. It's time we allowed people to carry five ounces, six ounces of hair product in their carry on luggage. It's time we stopped being fearful sheep.

Our sheepishness, it seems to me, is revealed in the ease with which we're stampeded into voting against our own interests.

Our sheepishness is displayed by our unwavering allegiance to brands.

Our sheepishness is shown by the repetitive nature of our hit films, tv shows, recording artists. They all have to sound alike, look alike, be alike. I know that this isn't a post 9/11 feature - but maybe if we lose our fears with the death of the chief boogey-man we'll rediscover the joy of being wrong in our choices, taking a risk with our time and our selves.

I wish we could stop being such sheep. But I'm afraid we'll still stand in line and bleat.


DebraDownSth@gmail.com said...

I don't think it is being sheep. I think 9/11 brought us to the reality that most parts of the world has lived with for decades. Trust in G-d, but tie your camel. Don't live in fear, but accept certain security needs. Yes, they are faulty, but I just accept necessary.

Kalle Lilla said...

While I agree, Deb that we had to face the world in which there are real threats, threats from which we had been largely insulated, we didn't and don't do this sensibly. Instead we do silly things that have practically no bearing on security. On a small scale it's taking off shoes. On large scale, going to war against Iraq and Afghanistan, where we needed police action. Rachel Maddow talked about Bin Laden's announced plan to bring down the west. We're pretty much doing what he planned we should do.