Ronald Brownstein has penned a column for the National Journal which describes the 9/11 decade as one of the worst decades in American history.
It only seems that way from the vantagepoint of September 2011. There is a “Lost Decade” that stretches between 9/11/2001 and 9/11/2011. The forward march of “progress” mysteriously ground to a halt.
This is a great mystery to American progressives: every progressive knows that history moves in only one direction. It is America’s destiny to become a more progressive nation over time.
Inequality is supposed to wither away. Intolerance was scheduled to disappear. Society is expected to become more open and liberal on the social issues. Barack Hussein Obama was The One who was going to lead us to the Promised Land.
And why is the White House so cocky about Obama as a TV draw against quick-draw Rick Perry? As James Carville acerbically noted, given a choice between watching an Obama speech and a G.O.P. debate, “I’d watch the debate, and I’m not even a Republican.”
Racial disparities are supposed to go away with enough government attention. Liberal democracy was going to triumph across the whole world. Religion would become a relic of the barbarous past of the human species.
These things were all foretold by … they were foretold by progressives who lived in the moment and who expected an endless series of triumphs and who never gave much serious thought to what the future would actually look like when it finally arrived.
It is inconceivable to American progressives that history could suddenly and unexpectedly reverse course. Strange things begin to happen. The world starts acting in ways that were completely unexpected and defy all progressive models.
Conservatives start to break out the champagne. We never believed in this foolishness.
Where are the pharaohs? The Roman emperors? The crowned heads of Europe and the sultans of the Ottoman Empire? The first secretaries of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union?
The presidents of the United States and the prime ministers of Europe will one day join them in the museums of the 22nd century.
The decade that will unfold between 9/11/2011 and 9/11/2021 will prove to be the most challenging decade in American history. In fact, each successive decade will prove more challenging than the last for at least the next half century, as the magnitude of the crisis facing Western civilization comes into full view.
The long term consequences of the bad decisions made between 1945 and 2011 are maturing and bearing their fruit now. What does that fruit taste like? They are already enjoying its delicious flavor in Greece and Britain.
It won’t be long now until we get to enjoy it here in the United States. I’m betting the liberal establishment doesn’t make it to 2021.
I’ve never been a gambler either.