On this day twenty-one years ago, some evil men attacked our nation. They did this because they despised everything we stood for. Their goal was to hurt us; to defile us; to make us question our ideals, beliefs, and principles; to make us question whether we deserved our place in the world; to make us hate our symbols; to make us hate ourselves; and to bring us to our knees.
Not long thereafter, the US military invaded Afghanistan to root out these evil men. We crushed our enemies, but they did not disappear. They went to ground. From the shadows, those enemies in concert with others continued their campaign against us. But they knew they could not defeat us through military might. Instead, they chose more insidious methods.
They spread their propaganda through Social Media, Big Media, Big Tech, Big Business, and others — their goal to undermine our confidence, to sow seeds of discord, to cause us to question our ideals, to question our reason for being, to question who we are. They persuaded many among us to believe that Americans are an inherently and systemically racist people who do not deserve our honored position. They caused many of us to doubt ourselves and then to turn that doubt into anger and vitriol toward each other.
Each and every time we call political opponents fascists who are undermining our democracy; or socialists who want to destroy our economy, we aid our adversary. Each and every time we proclaim another to be an illegitimate holder of office, we aid our adversary. Each and every time we point our fingers at another and proclaim they are evil because they disagree with our political position, we aid our adversary. Each and every time we censor another’s speech because we do not like what he has to say, we aid our adversary.
Those evil men of 2001 knew that they could not defeat us through military might. But they also knew they did not need to. They see us only as a fattened calf that if they wait long enough will take itself to slaughter. Today, they sit back in the shadows and wait for our destruction knowing that too many of us will move us toward their goal without even realizing that we are puppets moving to the strings that they pull. And too many of us simply do not care.
Twenty-one years ago evil men attacked our nation. Today, we attack ourselves. They do not need to destroy us. We do it for them.