Reserve objections for appropriate times
While the rest of America was coming together on Sunday in memory of the lives lost on 9/11, Paul Krugman was busy writing and posting a blog entry for the New York Times that took a decidedly different approach to the day. The post, entitled “The Years of Shame,” asserted that the events that followed 9/11 were “deeply shameful.” What many see as a disaster that led to a time of great unity within the country, Krugman sees as a tragedy that was hijacked by various people for personal and political reasons. Krugman’s comments have cause an understandable commotion, which resulted in former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld publicly announcing that he would be canceling his subscription to the New York Times.
Of course, we live in America. Because of that, Krugman is allowed to say things like this. It should be the goal of all Americans to foster a dialogue between the opposing sides of any issue so all voices may be heard. However, this dialogue should ideally be a respectful one, and Krugman’s comments did not come across as respectful. To call 9/11 — one of the greatest devastations this country has ever seen, and hopefully ever will see — “an occasion for shame” is to disrespect all those whose lives were lost and all those who lost loved ones. Krugman’s comments may be largely directed at the “fake heroes” who he claims seized the tragedy, but his tactless way of making these comments effectively insults everyone.
One could also argue that Krugman is committing the same transgressions that these “fake heroes” did. Is he not, in posting this blog entry on the anniversary of 9/11, seizing the memory of the tragedy to make his own point? Is he not ignoring the pain and suffering which accompanied the day, the great losses and terrible sorrows?
As we stated above, we believe that the United States should be a place of dialogue and discourse. That being said, there is a time and a place for such dialogues, especially on issues as sensitive as 9/11. Krugman certainly chose the wrong time — the anniversary of the tragedies. He also chose the wrong place — an unceremonious blog post. Krugman, a public figure himself, should know better.