I waited until eyes were dry and everyone calmed down after the frenzy the media re-whipped up over 9/11 to ask this question. But let me preface by saying the passengers and crew of Flight 93, which went down in Pennsylvania, absolutely did the right thing. They proved how courageous and selfless some Americans can be.
But what if nobody on Flight 93 had realized the plane had been hijacked or was part of some bigger plot?
What if Flight 93 had reached Washington and hit the Capitol, taking out a few dozen senators and congressmen in the biggest mass-assassination in our government’s history?
What if our legislators had tasted mortal vulnerability first-hand, and their own families had been subjected to the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one to senseless violence?
Do you think the halls of Congress today would be filled with the arrogant, greedy, self-serving liars whose behavior is now disgusting the whole world?
Might ramming discriminatory, oppressive, fact-free ideology down everybody’s throat lose its charm if zealots knew they might bite the dust at any moment at the hands of some bigger nut too fed up to let them keep living?
Instead of standing on the Capitol steps smarmily singing “God Bless America,” what if our representatives had been picking through the rubble, searching for colleagues’ body parts?
Since they’ve turned the Capitol into a temple of dishonesty and discord, if they knew how easily it could become their tomb, would they still want to be there? Or would politics start attracting people who feel compelled to serve regardless of personal risk, who would be willing to put the country and its people first and do the right thing, no matter what?
You know, people who think like American soldiers.
Today, would our leaders still be shouting that the U.S. is the greatest civilization in the history of the planet while we steadily lose our grip on education, healthcare, employment, and financial stability? Or would they display some humility?
Instead of trying to buy or impose our myopic beliefs on intractable enemies, would we be concentrating instead on putting our own house in order?
What if Flight 93 had not helped Congress evade the terrorists, but instead reap the inhumanity it had sowed…?