As the great philosopher Pogo, used to say, "We have met the enemy, and he is us."
Junod takes America to task for tolerating the intolerable. We are blamed for the “habit of assent,” meekly accepting the various outrages of B/C as if America was doomed to disaster. Weapons of mass destruction, 4,000-plus killed U.S. soldiers, 150K dead Iraqis, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, torture, domestic spying, Fallujah, Walter Reed, and New Orleans are outrages that numbed America, fostering a sense of powerlessness.
“Is there any collapse that could possibly surprise us, after the collapses of the last eight years?” asks Junod. After the crumbling of the World Trade Center in `01, disintegration of the space shuttle Columbia in `03, drowning of New Orleans in `05, collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis in `07 and economic freefall of `08, “if we’ve learned anything during the Bush years, it’s that we’re not safe enough, and nothing is sacred.” Junod adds America is not “paranoid enough as even the most terrible things turn out to be mere portents of more terrible things to come.”
Global warming, for instance, signals potential environmental tragedy. Yet,
"What we’ve done with global warming is what we’ve done with the war on terror and the war in Iraq and the authorization and outsourcing of torture and the creation of a security state and the creation of an insecurity state. We’ve lived with it. We’ve gotten really good at living with things during the Bush years.”
America has moved beyond the tech bubble of the Clinton years, the housing bubble of George W. Bush into the “moral bubble” that won’t be “pricked until we take responsibility not just for the forty-third President but for our inaction—for all the agreements we’ve made without awareness, for all the awareness we’ve come to without vigilance, for all the times we’ve touched the easy, insulating button of our assent.”
Enjoy the inauguration. There is much work to be done to get Americans believing in the promise of America once again.