Thursday, December 31, 2009

Dec. 31: Four Days That Changed a Decade

By Sylvia Gurinsky

This decade, commonly known as the "aughts," (but labelled by me as the "oys,") is coming to a close. The analysis by journalists, historians and just about everyone with an opinion has just begun.

When all is said and done, three days above all will have influenced this first decade of the 21st Century, and possibly many decades beyond:

*Dec. 12, 2000: The day five members of the United States Supreme Court gave the 2000 U.S. presidential election to George W. Bush - even though Vice President Albert Gore won the popular balloting.

They came to that decision after a month and five days of legal wrangling and a mob scene, a predecessor to today's "Tea Party" groups, that stopped the ballot count in Miami-Dade County.

There's no telling how long it will take to repair the damage the Bush Administration did to this county or to the world.

*Sept. 11, 2001: The day that shattered any illusions about this country's invincibility, in so many ways. A day we are still paying for, and will continue to pay for in the future.

President Bill Clinton warned about the possibility of such a thing almost two years before it happened. Others, including former Senators Warren Rudman and Gary Hart, gave more specific warnings - unheeded warnings - in the months leading up to the attack.

Almost a decade later, a number of Americans either still don't understand, or refuse to accept, this country's responsibilities at home or abroad. Unfortunately, too many of those Americans either have held, hold or aspire to hold elected office.

*August 29, 2005: The day the wool got pulled off most eyes.

That was the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast. That night, a breach in the levies outside of New Orleans led to most of the city being inundated with water by the next morning. Incompetence and apathy at the local, state and federal levels were exposed, for all the world to see.

*Nov. 4, 2008: The day hope won.

Never mind the current struggles. President Barack Obama's election took this country a giant leap forward, into full acceptance of a multicultural society. In some ways, it was a counterpoint to the first two days named in this blog posting.

It was also a reminder that the United States goes forward, sometimes in spite of itself.

May the next decade, somehow, continue to bring this country, and this planet, foward.

1 comment:

Our captiva said...

Boy, are you living in a fantasy world. Don't bother with the facts, just make it up as you go. Do you really think anyone will come back to read your stuff when you disprespect your readers as you do? We are not stupid. And I voted for Gore/Lieberman; guess I was only half wrong on that one.