Today is September 11, aka 9/11, a date that still resonates in infamy. Where are we as a nation 14 years after those terrorist attacks? We have waged two wars, more or less inspired by our anger over 9/11. We killed Osama bin Laden and struck a strong blow against Al Qaeda, but now we have an even more monstrous enemy in ISIS. We were brought together as a nation 14 years ago, but now we are polarized again. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, artists announced that “irony is dead,” but now irony, compounded by cynicism and nihilism are ascendant again. Postmodern relativism was also supposed to be dead in the period of moral clarity right after the attacks, but now relativism has resumed its works of demolition.
So did the terrorists win? Or was it just our naivete that collapsed with those towers? Or was it something more? Or have we settled into a long war against terrorism that we realize now will not be easy and that will take a nation-wide patience? Or what?