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Something else we've lost since 9/11

Everyone's thinking back to 9/11/2001 today.  Hard to believe that 8 years have passed.  As is the case with many people in Boston and New York, I know quite a few people who lost family members and friends during that tragedy.  It's hard to forget the feelings of fear and helplessness that we all had then.

The other thing I remember was how the whole country came together in the wake of the tragedy.  It was America at its best.  People stepping up to help out in any way they could.  We all united behind President Bush, including those of us who didn't support him.  The very large majority of the rest of the world also supported us.  I worked at a transatlantic firm in 2001, and I remember the heartfelt words of support we received from our European colleagues.  It made the world feel smaller and closer.  Unfortunately, in the US we've lost that feeling of pulling in the same direction.

I am all for vigorous debate on the issues.  Health care reform is a huge change.  Although I generally support President Obama, I have concerns about health care reform -- I am worried about how we will afford to cover everyone and how we will stop the rapid growth of health care costs.  But, the debate has been about death panels, funding abortions, health care for illegal immigrants, etc.  None of these points are in the bill.  If there are loopholes in the bill that cover these, then let's debate those.

But, when the President addresses these matters point blank to Congress and is called a liar by a member of the House, that's way too far.  And, when that House member then tries to raise money based on this improper behavior, it shows that we've lost our way. 

Even scarier is what I heard on Fresh Air yesterday.  The hatred and lies that these far right wing lunatics spew is thinly veiled racism.  The fact that they have a large audience should scare all of us.  We'll never get anything done here without fact-based political debate.  And, the hate-filled anarchistic vitriol in the name of 'America' is what fueled the biggest terrorist attack in the US before 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing.  It's the furthest thing from the tolerance that is the basis of American freedom.

We should all speak out against this type of slanted lie-filled lunacy.  And, set an example by engaging in a fact-based debate on the issues.  Thank goodness I live in Massachusetts where even the Republicans are reasonable!

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