Last night there was one point that everyone could agree on. The lack of interest, on the part of the general public, for current events, history, geography, foreign policy...........and on and on and on.
Jen shot me off an email this morning with Bill O'Reilly's take on it.
The iPod People
By: Bill O'Reilly for BillOReilly.com
Thursday, Jun 01, 2006
In a world as complicated as ours, there's no way we can really understand what's happening unless we're willing to make an investment of time. But many of us simply will not do that. We are too involved in our own lives, too busy, too distracted, and too apathetic to pay attention to most vital issues. Thus, huge problems like illegal immigration and energy dependence go unsolved for decades because the powers that be know we're not paying attention.
The rise of worldwide terrorism is the best example of the powerful failing to be proactive. President Clinton knew al Qaeda was growing in strength and militancy, but failed to warn the nation. When President Bush took over in 2001, he also mostly ignored the festering threat. The result was 3,000 Americans dead in the street.
Ask yourself this question: Before September 11, 2001, had you heard the name Osama bin Laden? Did you know anything about the Taliban? Even those of us in the news business had little frame of reference about those killers. So there was virtually no pressure on Clinton and Bush to do anything.
Although to be fair, while I knew who Osama was and I knew what the Taliban was. I wasn't pressuring anyone. 9/11 could not have been prevented if only regular Americans paid more attention. But I completely agree that they should.
One very troubling thing that I came away with last night. When a young BU student is seeking to learn...........they are getting Irene Gendzier and her skewed view. I'll be the first to admit that I am pro military, pro OIF/OEF, Republican, Bush supporter (still have the bumper stickers on the car).........but I look for the other side. I listen to NPR, I read stories in the NYT, I attend events such as last night. I feel that the bulk of the people in that room last night (panelist and audience) are very closed off to the other side. Demonizing suporters of the war..........claiming that I support the GWOT because I fear muslims and I can't distinquish between a person and the acts of their government, etc.
4 years ago