As I sat in that darkened movie theater and watched the artful retelling of the evacuation of Dunkirk, I could not fully engage in this historic ode the the men and women of Britain in 1940. I kept thinking about our "President." I kept thinking about that greatest generation, and wondering why we can't seem to Make America Great Again. Or anything, for that matter.
What might have been our finest hour, as Congress gathered on the steps of our capitol to sing "God Bless America," came and went. There was a lot of hand-wringing and sideways justifications of supporting our troops but not the war. Which one? The one in Afghanistan? The one in Iraq? The one on Drugs? The one on Christmas? If the enemy was, in fact terror, then we have come up on the short end again. Part of the way we have ensured our ultimate victory in the war on Drugs is to make them legal. I saw my first billboard for a marijuana edibles company on my walk home from the movie. Please understand I find this a refreshing bit of signage, and a cultural advancement. Much in the same way that I would find legalizing terror, making it a cash crop, would be a victory too.
But that's not what America does. Not currently anyway. We certainly don't want to be the city where the next bomb blows up, or the next mass shooting occurs.
But what if we truly decided to go after the bad guys, like we did in World War II? Instead of allying ourselves with the "willing," we go out and get ourselves the biggest, baddest anti-terrorist army the good guys can muster. Swing for the fences. Wouldn't that be better than the periodic updates from somewhere in the Middle East that a drone has killed a leader of this group or that, as a new one springs up in its place. We are fast approaching the sixteenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, and if we use that as the starting point, we've been after these guys longer than the television version of the Korean War. America's version of the war in Viet Nam lasted seven years. By most anyone's measure, we're into overtime when it comes to the War on Terror.
Does it really take a war to make a country or generation great? I sure hope not, but it does seem that our "President" doesn't back off from a fight, no matter how ridiculous it is. America's president about the time that Winston Churchill was exhorting his countrymen with words like, "We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender," was Franklin Roosevelt. FDR was a pretty good little speechifier too. He said "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." And if you expound on those thoughts, why would we even bother fighting terror?
Why not just legalize it.