what could have been said after 9-11

As I was mowing the lawn this afternoon, I began thinking about all of the things that could have been said by our president in the immediate wake of the 9-11 attacks. Here, in no particular order, is a list of the ideas that came to mind. If Id had more time, I would have prettied them up and written them out as a speech. I had to cook an Amish chicken and watch the Sopranos though

1) We are a strong and resilient nation, one that will rebound from this tragedy, as we have from others.

2) We will strike back against al-Queda with the full force of the greatest military force ever known. We will hunt down those responsible for these attacks and bring them to justice.

3) We will recommit ourselves, not just in name but in action, to the spread of democracy throughout the world.

4) At home, sacrifice will be called for. As the future of our nation can clearly no longer be tied to the countries of the Middle East, I am asking each of you to do your part in cutting our nations dependence of foreign oil.

5) My challenge to our automakers in Detroit is to, within two years time, never produce another single-family vehicle that gets fewer than 35 miles per gallon on average.

6) My challenge to city, state and municipal governments is to think creatively and to get people to use public transportation. If youre a civil servant, I want you on a bus at least once a week. Those of us who can, need to lead by example.

7) My challenge to employers is to explore work-at-home options when possible. If you have employees that you feel are capable of working two days a week from a home office, then try it. If youll do this, we will change the tax laws so that you can write-off high-speed internet connectivity for those employees.

8) My challenge to everyone else is to carpool, bike or walk whenever possible.

9) I am asking Congress to pass a fifty-cent per-gallon gas tax in order to fund the most ambitious scientific endeavor undertaken since John Kennedy challenged our nation to put a man on the moon, a Manhattan Project for alternative, renewable fuel sources. And, I am asking every corporation and institution of higher learning to allow their people working in related fields to join us if we call on them.

10) With the realization that we cannot do this alone, we will seek to strengthen old alliances and build new ones. In order to see this accomplished, I will personally visit ten countries in the next two weeks.

11) We will never compromise our shared belief in liberty, period. We will not seek to trade away our freedom for the illusion of security, ever. We will, of course, be more diligent from this day forward, but we will not loose sight of the vision outlined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our ancestors died protecting these rights and we will preserve them.

12) We should have done these things before, but, as it often does, it took a terrible event like this one to wake us up. My hope is that the people who perished, and those who will no doubt pass in the coming years, will not die in vane. With our memories of their courage to inspire us, I am sure that we can accomplish great things, undreamed of things. We can begin to build a better world, one more open, more free There will of course be the temptation to build walls, to insulate ourselves, but this route can never be successful It may be difficult to accept at this time, but might I suggest to you that what has happened here in the United States is not merely a horrible event, but an opportunity for us to set a new path and to lead the rest of the world toward a better future.

And then Id go on to mention global warming, health care, education and employment I know this probably sounds really stupid to many of you, but I felt like writing it, and, since this is my site, I did. I just cant help but think that we wasted an opportunity in the wake of 9-11 to make significant positive change. Instead, our administration took advantage of the circumstances to sell us on an unnecessary war… There was a moment in history when we could have done anything, and we chose incorrectly. Now, well be dealing with the ramifications for the rest of our lives.

And, again, Im sorry that I didnt have time to work each of these items to beautiful and glimmering point. Instead, you just got my first draft. Hopefully, that was good enough If I left anything out, leave a comment.

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