We were an invincible nation brought low. Our sense of righteousness and invulnerability were attacked, and like so many groups before us, we reacted with unthinking defensive responses created to protect our historical sense of the good self.
The humiliation of 9/11 gave rise to a new American Fundamentalism. This, in turn, pushed us toward the illogical but psychologically understandable War on Terror, The Patriot Act, and the Tea Party with its Christian fundamentalist undertones.
We begin to see a calmer thinking returning, but the war on rationality is still being fought by those whose wounds have not yet healed. Unfortunately, the fundamentalist mindset has a momentum of its own, divorced from the conditions that created it. Newly entrenched notions of a dualistic, us-them, good-evil world are harder to change than they were to create. We tend to cling to the simplistic like an infant to its sleep blanket.
The good news? We will, albeit slowly, leave this infantile mindset and reestablish a sense of self-worth that does not depend on self-protective fantasies. Inshallah.
August 3, 2013 by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact