It has only taken twenty seven days for the news of the 35W bridge collapse to be completely pushed from the front page of the Star Tribune. Twenty seven days. The victims' bodies have been recovered and, while their families still mourn, the rest of the city appears to have moved onto other things. Today, the Star Tribune is focused on the recent storms, Gopher Football and the State Fair. I had so hoped that the bridge collapse would serve to illuminate the problems we are facing in this country. I imagined that people would recognize that we can't continue to spend billions of dollars on war when our own country is in decline. I had believed that people would speak out and demand more...more from politicians, more from each other, more focus on long term solutions rather than quick fixes. When I recently read that Governor Pawlenty's popularity actually increased after the bridge collapse, I knew that I had been a fool. There is no outrage. Somehow, the people of Minnesota have been pacified with visits from national leaders and promises of federal funds for a new bridge, a bridge that will be better than the one that fell. I can't help but wonder why the American people settle so easily for less than we deserve. We deserve the truth. We deserve accountability. We deserve a promise of action that is not only about this bridge but about every problem that we face that affects our quality of life. We deserve so much more than we will never have because we are content to close our eyes and trust.
It turns out that I am not the only fool.