You probably can recall the evening of the last day of the year 1999 as the clock struck midnight and America entered the 21st century. What a euphoric feeling for all Americans as we witnessed the beginning of the third millennium. What a momentous occasion and what a brilliant opportunity to set the stage for a transformation that could restore this nation's sense of direction and purpose.
Now 11 years later we Americans are trying to figure out what happened or, better yet, all the things that didn't happen. How did this nation that appeared to have the wind at its back, seemingly on a course of great achievement, abruptly turn in a completely unexpected direction that has now taken it into a national crisis? In a little more than a decade America went from the beginning of an exciting new era and a brilliant future to one of the lowest points in its history.
To try to determine what happened and how things went so badly, let's review the sequence of events that took place, some of them a part of normal evolution and some created by shallow, illogical and irrational thinking.
The first and most damaging mistake was made by the American people when they elected G.W. Bush as president in the year 2000. History may record this bizarre election, in which the U.S. Supreme Court blatantly awarded the presidency to Bush, as the beginning point of this nation's current downward spiral. I still can't believe that the people of America actually put a person with such limited qualifications and level of competence into the White House; but we can't turn back history, can we?
It didn't take long for Bush to turn America into the wrong direction. After the tragedy of 9/11, when logical and rational thinking could have used intelligence and U.S. Special Forces to find and eliminate those who committed that foul act, Mr. Bush unleashed the full fury of the U.S. military in the attack, invasion and occupation of Afghanistan; and there we are, to this day, stuck in a giant quagmire.
After that disastrous decision, Bush followed up with yet another even greater one when he again unleashed the fury of the military in the attack, invasion and occupation of Iraq, a war that has now been totally been proven to have been completely unnecessary and unjustified. The U.S. and the people of Iraq have paid a tremendous price in lives and precious resources because of that debacle.
After these two horrendous decisions and misguided military actions, what did the American people do? Well they, once again, elected Bush to a second term in 2004, guaranteeing more and more wars and military actions costing the nation hundreds of billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars. I can't even begin to try to understand how the American electorate made such a horrendous mistake, but it did and this time without the help of the Supreme Court.