It is difficult to say what’s harder to believe: that is has been 11 years since the 9/11 atrocities, or that national security has become an irrelevant issue in the most consequential presidential election in decades.
The first observation reminds us that today is a day of remembrance: of the loss of nearly 3000 of our fellow citizens; of the bravery of those who willingly gave their lives to save others; and of the heroism of the men and women who put on the line all that they have. That includes the love and well-being of their families, on whom the burden of American national security has been imposed while the rest of us go on with our lives — too often, without giving them a first thought, never mind a second.
No matter which political party has been in power since 9/11, there has been a great deal of bloviating about “the rule of law.” It is as if we had evolved beyond anything so crude and benighted as armed force and national interest — especially national defense. Let’s remember today that we have the luxury of living under something resembling the rule of law only because dedicated Americans sacrifice themselves to confront evil — in this case, the adherents of an evil ideology, Islamic supremacism, that is closer to the law of the jungle. The rule of law has precious little to do with why we have gotten through 11 years without a reprise of 9/11. A better explanation is that terrorists who have been captured or killed cannot commit more terrorism.
On the matter of evil, it is good to remember that it exists. Evil is not a misunderstanding, a cultural gulf, or a natural reaction to political policies adopted in pursuit of American interests or Israeli self-defense. That brings us to the second observation: the fact that national security concerns are absent from the 2012 campaign, even with tens of thousands of Americans at arms in distant hellholes, even with tens of millions of Americans enduring the increasingly overbearing government that has been the cost of heightened vigilance in an era when barbarism is met with political correctness.