Think about it: 19 hijackers on four different planes, using box-cutters, were able to scare and intimidate 246 people into passive observers as the terrorists took control of the planes and successfully crashed them into three targets.
Of course the passengers on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania, mounted a counter-attack, but it was too late. The cockpit doors were closed and locked. It is easy to say we would have fought back, knowing what we know now.
Think about it: there were 13 passengers for every terrorist. Sure a few passengers may have lost their lives in the initial charge, but if every passenger knew that death was certain if they risked nothing, people would have risen up out of their seats, swallowed the terrorists in a torrent of fists and elbows and turned those box-cutters against the perpetrators of 9/11 within seconds.
An important lesson should be drawn from September 11th. A very few people can instill enough fear into the masses to subdue numbers many times greater than the perpetrators.
Think about the Native Americans, who far outnumbered their European conquerers on this continent, at least initially. If they had only known. Instead, they accepted peace agreements and were destroyed by blankets contaminated with Small Pox or night-time raids and broken promises.
As a species, we tend to have our moments of herd mentality. How often have you seen hundreds of people waiting on one line or for a Porta-Potty when an alternate entrance or bathroom is open just 100 feet away? How often have you seen a group of people following each other rather than thinking independently and striking out according to reason?
If I were on one of those planes, knowing everything I've ever seen in the movies and remembering everything I've heard about other hijackings, I too would have stayed in my seat or followed the commands of the hijackers.
We are in one of those historical moments, folks, where a very few bullies (or terrorists) are attempting to bully us into submission with nothing more than the threat of violence. Yet the threat of violence these tea-baggers wield, is nothing compared to that actual violence our health care system will continue to exact on our people if they win. Letting them win is like letting hijackers fly you into a building.
We can't afford to follow the commands of those who would hijack health care reform. Like the terrorists of 9/11, the tea-baggers are very few compared to their would-be victims: the number of Americans who support robust health care reform.
The most recent polls on support for the public plan option show that 76 percent of Americans favor the public plan. A recent New York Times poll showed--despite their attempt to spin this as "growing concern"--that 66 percent of Americans fear they will lose their health care if the government doesn't act.
Nevertheless, a small number of terrorist tea-baggers, using box-cutter tactics, are scaring us into submission as they attempt to take control of health care reform, divert it, and send it into the side of a tower at 500 miles per hour.
Take a look at an example of the box-cutter tactics some tea-baggers are using. Here is an email from one of them (although I doubt a US Marine has so little confidence that he or she would need to write an email like this; more likely it is one of the fat, out-of-shape staffers working for the tea-bagger campaign):
"You socialist f---s have the nerve to say stop the violence at the town
hall meetings when they weren't violent until you p---ies showed up
because your n----- leader obama said to?????? When we have ours in
Racine, Wi, I want you there. I want one of your little b----- to put
his hands on this Marine. I want one of you to look or talk to me
wrong. I'll be the last thing your ignorant faux body guards will
remember for a very long time. You can f---ing guarantee that."
Are the box-cutter tactics working? Yes. "The escalating language and threats," the Huffington Post reports, "have caused union officials to grow
increasingly worried about the possibility of serious violence at these
town hall gatherings."
A very few hijackers are scaring millions of union members into stepping down and shuffling away? I don't think the unions will ultimately back down. Unions have historically faced violence and threats of violence and carried out their campaigns with courage and bravery.