“September 11 is one of our worst days but it brought out the best in us,” proclaimed Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander.
Today is the 16th anniversary of that terrible day . . . arriving as Hurricane Irma smashes into Florida and with fresh memories of so many acts of kindness and heroism by first responders and minuteman citizen volunteers alike rescuing folks from the recent flooding in Houston caused by Hurricane Harvey.
“These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat,” then-President George W. Bush told the American people that frightful evening. “But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.”
He was correct about the people of this country. All kinds of folks stepped up in a myriad of ways to help.
But what about the government?
Well, the “public’s trust in government,” according to Pew Research, “which was mired in the 30% range through much of the past decade, doubled in the wake of the attacks.”
That uptick wasn’t to last. Public disgust with the federal government reverted to form. By 2015, reports Pew, “Only 19% of Americans today say they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right ‘just about always’ (3%) or ‘most of the time’ (16%).”
Well, have you met the Washington politicians?
And can our country really be “strong,” as Mr. Bush declared, if government cannot earn the trust of even one of every five Americans?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.