So Karl Rove says that Democrats have a "pre-9/11" view of the world. (WaPo article) He says that likes it's a bad thing. But there's something to recommend in a pre-9/11 mindset.
- Pre-9/11, we hadn't invaded a country that didn't have WMD on the basis of inaccurate intelligence and hyped threats.
- Pre-9/11, countries that represent real threats - Iran and N. Korea - were afraid of our military might.
- Pre-9/11, we were the legitimate champions of human rights and the role model to the world on how to treat those detained in the course of war - we thought the Geneva Conventions mattered.
- Pre-9/11, we had robust alliances with nations across the world, who cooperated with us on international issues that threatened us all.
- Pre-9/11, we had an executive branch that seemed to believe it was subject to the law and not above it.
- Pre-9/11, civil liberties mattered and fear wasn't sufficient reason to undermine the foundational principles of our country.
- Pre-9/11, Americans trusted that the checks and balances built into our democratic system would protect them from on over-reaching executive branch.
- Pre-9/11, we could criticize the government without being called treasonous or unpatriotic.
- Pre-9/11, we could meet peacefully to discuss how to fight the policies of the government without being spied upon and labeled a credible threat to the security of the United States.
Before 9/11, we believed that a national tragedy like the 9/11 attacks would unite us and not divide us. We believed that we were a country with courage and conviction and not a country full of fear. We believed that we were a nation of principles that would guide us and unite us in times of threat. We believed in the power of the law to protect us and our way of life.
It's not 9/11 that destroyed those beliefs, that put replaced courage with fear, that made us a "might makes right" nation instead of a nation of laws. It's not 9/11 that made civil liberties expendable, that made disagreement with the government treason, that weakened our authority in the world, that exhausted our military and cost so many lives in a part of the world that had nothing to do with 9/11.
That wasn't 9/11. That was Bush. That was the Republicans. And if signing on to the Bush agenda is what it takes to qualify as having a "post-9/11 mindset", I'll stick to pre-9/11. I'll choose courage over fear, liberty over safety, law over force, and truth over expediency. I choose to continue to believe in what makes this country different - and I'll fight for it. That's my pre-9/11 mindset.