I just happened to walk past the World Trade Center memorial today, which took me back to the feelings I had on 9/11. On that day we didn’t know who was attacking us, or why, or how bad it was, or even when it would end. The world was changing by the minute that day, in ways we could never have imagined, and couldn’t comprehend. It was the Twilight Zone. And then I went home today and tuned in for Donald Trump’s meeting with Vladimir Putin, and realized we’re right back in it.
I lack the breadth of scope to properly compare the 9/11 attack on America to the Trump-Russia attack on America. It’s not even a comparison that can be fully fleshed out yet because, by definition, we don’t yet fully know what this Trump-Russia attack is, or how bad it is, or when or how it’ll end. All I know is that the Twilight Zone haze I felt on that day sixteen years ago was a feeling that gradually dissipated the next day and beyond as we regained a bit of control and understanding of the situation. But without consciously realizing it, I’ve been increasingly having that same Twilight Zone feeling every day since last year.
The thing about 9/11 is that we didn’t feel it coming. Sure, everyone (except George W. Bush) knew that Bin Laden was looking to hit us in a big way and go out with a bang. But he’d hit us before, and it was nothing like that. So we went from zero to chaos within minutes that morning. But this Trump thing has been different altogether.
All along we’ve been the proverbial frog in the pot of boiling water, lacking the impetus to jump out because the temperature was rising so gradually. This mentally deranged Russian traitor game show host Donald Trump invaded us one step at a time. First he destroyed a political party. Then he destroyed the integrity of the election process. Now he’s destroying the Executive Branch. And he’s trying to destroy the United States as sovereign nation.
I still think the rule of law will prevail, because people like Trump never succeed in the end. You won’t find a single Trump-like figure in history who didn’t come to a very bad end. But in the mean time, as we try to figure out how to work our way through this daily national crisis, I’m left to consider that the Twilight Zone feeling of 9/11 has once again crept up on us all.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report