Most Americans know something is terribly wrong. Not since the Great Depression has there been such despair, disdain, and disillusionment. Many people are directing their disdain at the national government. Others blame the media, corporations, banks, or even climate change. It seems most people have their favorite culprit. When times are tough, people tend to look for someone or something to blame and it is no different today, although we may be entering a new era.
In the weeks following September 11, 2001, most Americans came together because there was a common enemy. That unity was short-lived because it was covering up deep ideological divisions in the country. On one side of the divide are Progressives who believe we are on the path to an inevitable shift to a command economy in which central planning, taxation, and redistribution will continue to increase. On the other side of the divide are Libertarians, who believe we are in the throes of a depression caused by central government mismanagement and spending that is setting the stage for restoration to what they consider to be the original American foundation. Each of these groups has a vision for the future of the Country. Which of their visions will prevail?
September 11th 2001 was an opportunity for Americans to deepen their spirituality. After a brief moment of mourning and a more extended visceral commitment to military action, Americans recently have started to break through their denial and complacency and begin to rediscover what they should have already appreciated. Our Republic and indeed life itself are fleeting and fragile. The economy is in crisis. The world is fragmenting. Everything seems to be changing. Americans have lost their illusion of control.
For many Conservative Americans the election of President Obama, a political Progressive, intensified their fears, while many Progressive Americans were already experiencing a lack of control during the Conservative Bush Administration.
As a means of reclaiming control, many heretofore apathetic Americans from the political center have become more involved in the political process, which has also increased community tensions. Some have characterized this increase in activism as a reawakening of the silent majority, which is a regenerated common sense coalition. The common sense coalition, which today is comprised of mainstream Americans who are economically conservative and increasingly spiritually inclusive, could determine the direction of the country.
Consequently, while many observers may see the current heightened climate as tenuous, if not scary, it is really a sign that more people are participating in our democratic process because the trauma of September 11 inspired them to act. If we can get past this tumultuous time of disillusionment and blame, better days may be ahead for America because the right people are beginning to take charge of the country. September 11, 2011 created great pain and perceived loss of control for many Americans, but like all emotional trauma, it also created an opportunity for post-traumatic growth.