Consider George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Rudy Giuliani, and Ann Coulter. What do they all have in common, besides the fact they are rabid conservatives who have contributed nothing positive to our country? They all became more prominent, and held higher power and prestige after the September 11, 2001 attacks. While America picked up the pieces of that terrible day, they rose above it all to become the mitochondria of the right.
Because of those horrific attacks (which were the result of Republican-led negligence):
1. George W. Bush’s popularity soared to 90%, setting the stage for two wars and a re-election, which was centered around combating global terrorism to prevent “another 9/11.”
2. Dick Cheney launched a war on morality and international law with the use of torture, all in the name of preventing another 9/11. Now our national standing is forever stained.
3. Rudy Giuliani “united” New York City after 9/11, catapulting him into the national spotlight as a conservative hero against terrorism. Now, Giuliani has rendered himself irrelevant with his race-baiting and paranoia. Because of his fame from 9/11, we will be stuck with him until the day he dies.
4. Ann Coulter became internationally “relevant” with her “invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity” comments regarding Muslims. She also took it upon herself to make fun of the 9/11 widows who she thinks are “enjoying their husband’s deaths so much.” Like Giuliani, she has rendered herself irrelevant.
All of these Republicans rose in the ranks of national prominence because of 9/11. Their careers benefited because they kept a tight grip on America with constant fear-mongering and rising nationalism. In their mantra, if you dissented against them, you were a traitor and a terrorist sympathizer. They kept getting elected and they kept getting their spots on TV because people were frightened. The American people wanted to be reassured that 9/11 would never happen again, and the ones who were the best at post-9/11 propaganda were the Republicans.
Because of 9/11, Republicans were back in business, and for a long time. As the United States naturally becomes more progressive with a younger population and an influx of forward-thinking immigrants, the GOP would virtually be obsolete if it wasn’t for that terrible September day.
Speaking of immigrants, you can thank post-9/11 Republicans for our flawed and stagnated immigration system. Because of their propaganda surrounding foreigners, we needed to put more money in the border, send everyone back, and close our borders because of “terrorism.” Yes, the two middle aged parents with their three small children fleeing Mexico are in the same boat as ISIS and the cartels, according to the GOP. If they were brown, they weren’t welcome. If you’re not white, you might as well be a terrorist. This rise in latent racist nationalism continues today, even as President Obama uses his executive authority to fix our broken immigration system. It’s no wonder why so many conservative Americans are hostile to anyone foreign.
The events also beautifully lined the pockets of the GOP (and almost bankrupted the country) with their two wars to “fight” terrorism, which greatly benefited their political machine. And why wouldn’t you be for the war? If you weren’t for “getting the terrorists,” you supported 9/11. The Republicans actually had us convinced there for awhile. According to Gallup Polling, between March 2003 to July 2005, the majority of Americans supported sending our troops to Iraq. After that, America quickly grew war weary.
But now here we are, 14 years after those terrible attacks and the GOP thinks they’re making a comeback. Cheney and Giuliani are appearing on almost every Sunday show, spewing their “we gotta’ get the terrorists” talking points. People are still listening to them, even though they have been conclusively proven wrong.
September 11, 2001 was the worst day for our nation. But it was the best day for the Republican Party. It wasn’t the attack itself that ruined us. It was the response, and the fear, in the long run, that ruined us.