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Subject: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: joeman on 01/25/11 at 6:59 pm

I feel the time frame between those years is a lost era, especially in the political world.  When 9/11 hit, people were behind George W Bush and wanted the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden.  Bin Laden tapes were across the news back then, and America was now contemplating on invading Iraq.  Before Iraq was invaded, the government was looking for reasons to invade Iraq aka WMDS, torturing, and Saddam negotiating with the Taliban.  I think people were figuring out the US wanted to invade Iraq for Oil, especially with other nations codemning the US on how they were going to handle it.


Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: Mat1991 on 01/25/11 at 7:29 pm

Wasn't there also an economic recession in the early '00s? If it persisted until 2003, then that must have been a pretty big political issue, too.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: joeman on 01/25/11 at 7:34 pm


Wasn't there also an economic recession in the early '00s? If it persisted until 2003, then that must have been a pretty big political issue, too.


I don't think it was that big of a recession.  I knew people that lost jobs after 9/11, but I was working since 2000 and I didn't notice anything big financial wise.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: Mat1991 on 01/25/11 at 7:36 pm


I don't think it was that big of a recession.  I knew people that lost jobs after 9/11, but I was working since 2000 and I didn't notice anything big financial wise.


I know that it was a pretty mild recession. I was watching some Youtube videos of Today from 2001, and they made lots of mentions of a recession.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: 80sfan on 01/25/11 at 9:14 pm


Wasn't there also an economic recession in the early '00s? If it persisted until 2003, then that must have been a pretty big political issue, too.


By 2003 I think, the recession was over.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: Foo Bar on 01/25/11 at 10:39 pm


Wasn't there also an economic recession in the early '00s? If it persisted until 2003, then that must have been a pretty big political issue, too.


Yes there was, but it was (a) so mild it didn't even meet the two-consecutive-quarters-of-GDP-decline criterion to even count, (b) NBER said it might not have even counted without 9/11, and they were the ones who said it was from 2001-2003.

Fortunately, because everyone blamed it on 9/11 instead of Those Evil Bastards In Whatever Political Party They Didn't Vote For, neither party could make political points off the recession, and it wasn't that big a political issue. 

What was a big political issue was the upcoming war, and when we'd stop screwing around in the UN and just do what we knew all along we were gonna do and get it over with.

https://chart.bigcharts.com/chart.asp?symb=spy&time=15y&freq=1wk&size=3

A few days after the invasion of Iraq, on the day that a sandstorm slowed the fastest mechanized advance in military history by a few hours, the word "quagmire" was uttered on the evening news.  And that day marked the higher-low that confirmed the bottom of the stock market decline that had started with the dot-com crash in late 2000.  (The dip in 2001 was 9/11, the two dips in 2002 were on rumors of peace breakthroughs.  When the bombs started to drop, the markets started to move up.)

http://26.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l2urgjQ61b1qa9w0ao1_400.jpg

Photograph from an unknown source ca. 2007.  Truer words never written.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: Brian06 on 01/26/11 at 8:57 am

This was like the "era of fear", all that was in the news was terrorist threats and the "imminent threat" of Saddam's (non-existent) WMD. I remember Bush going in front of the UN and the passage of "1441" and the inspections with Hans Blix or whatever, it was all for show EVERYBODY knew he was going to invade, it wasn't a question of if but WHEN. One of the worst moments of the Bush presidency imo then came on May 1, 2003 when the idiot dressed up in a flight suit and declared the mission in Iraq accomplished when it had just started.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: tv on 01/27/11 at 11:33 am

I don;t know much about that political era but I would like to have seen a Tom Daschale/Trent Lott led US Senate. I didn't get to see that era.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: tv on 01/27/11 at 11:45 am


I don't think it was that big of a recession.  I knew people that lost jobs after 9/11, but I was working since 2000 and I didn't notice anything big financial wise.
Yeah I remember car sales in the US didn't lag at all from the 1999-pre 9/11 levels in 2002 and 2003. I think part of that happened because 0% financing was all the rage with with the Domestic 3 Automakers post 9/11-early 2003 maybe and Toyota and Honda were still great sucesses. Compare that with the financial crisis and housing bubble that burst that destroyed credit and car sales slipped from 16 million in 2007 to 10.3 million in 2009. I actually bought a brand new car on the night of September 10th, 2001.

I remember the "incentive wars" in 2004-2005 with the Domestic Big 3 that was part of the reason that they went bankrupt except for Ford of course.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: whistledog on 01/29/11 at 7:30 pm

If you're gonna post political topics, you need to do it in the Politics section

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: 80sfan on 01/29/11 at 7:34 pm

It was the best of times, it was the worse of times. Now I can't quite put my finger on who originally said that.  ;D

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: 80sfan on 01/29/11 at 7:36 pm

2001's still had that optimistic 'internet boom' feeling to it; then came 9/11.

2002 was just another year personally, but does anyone remember the washington sniper that year? The anthrax attacks?

2003 was fun, but then came Iraq war.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: sonikuu on 01/30/11 at 1:01 pm

Pre 9/11 2001 was an optimistic country, but definitely becoming more laid back and other such things.  The internet boom was over by this point and a recession had started even before 9/11, so it didn't quite have the boom time feeling of before.  Still, it was a fairly laid back and happy time compared to what came after.

Late 2001 to early 2003 was absolutely awful as far as politics and current events go.  Let's recount what happened over this time period: 9/11, Afghanistan War, anthrax scare, DC sniper, space shuttle Columbia explosion, the SARS scare, the Iraq war, and the general fear of terrorism.  A lot of the problems that we saw later on in the Bush presidency had their roots in this time period too (Iraq war of course, lack of focus on Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, etc). 

Late 2003, 2004, and most of 2005 (pre-Katrina) were tame by comparison!

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: Creeder on 02/06/11 at 10:24 am

2001 to 2003 was so optimistic era. Patriotism was so big back then. The whole world was with America on the War on terror.
Yes, there was some fear and mourning for the 9/11 victims, but there was a feeling that America can beat the evil terrorists.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: ProfS on 02/20/11 at 2:52 pm

I think this was a very dark time. In general I think the US was just in such a funk. 2002 especially just seemed like such a bleak year.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: bchris02 on 02/20/11 at 9:23 pm


I think this was a very dark time. In general I think the US was just in such a funk. 2002 especially just seemed like such a bleak year.


Really?  It seems like the late '00s were much darker.  2008 and 2009 were the bleakest years in my memory.  The entire country was in fear/panic mode in the fall of 2008 (reminded me of the months after 9/11 minus the patriotism).  In late 2008, a lot of people were questioning whether this nation would even continue to exist, or if civil unrest and anarchy would break out.  2001-03, with all their problems, were golden compared to 2008-10.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: Samwise on 02/21/11 at 9:41 am

I remember that being a terrifying time. There was the fear of terrorists, of course. But for non-conservatives, there was also fear of our fellow countrymen who were suddenly being whipped up into this nationalistic fervor. You're all referring to it as "patriotism," but I think an essential part of patriotism is loving your country enough to correct its leaders when they're doing the wrong thing. The post-9/11 climate was not patriotism. It was nationalism. Blind, unthinking nationalism backed by fear and a venomous rage.

I was against the war, but felt afraid to speak out. Whenever I suggested the mere possibility that invading Iraq might not be the best way to defeat terrorism, people accused me of hating America, of being on bin Laden's side. Bush was on TV, saying, "If you're not with us, you're against us." People took that to heart. Any questioning of George W. Bush automatically meant you wanted the terrorists to win. And of course, Bush never considered not going into Iraq. Millions of people all over the world could march in protest - literally the biggest anti-war march in the history of the world - and it meant nothing. I felt threatened and impotent.

I heard about rising hate crimes against Muslim-Americans - or Arab-Americans and who were just assumed to be Muslim. Attacks against Sikhs and Hindus. A lot of stupid, misplaced rage. The PATRIOT ACT established that the government could spy on average citizens without a warrant. Our government set up secret prisons. Locked people up (Arabs and Arab-Americans, again) without a trial or even any evidence. Tortured people. And still, the news talked about anti-war liberals as though we were the bad guys. As though 9/11 justified literally anything the United States would ever want to do. Kerry could only come close to winning the election by playing the "I love war more than you!" game. I feared we were sliding into fascism.

I remember when Green Day released American Idiot and I couldn't believe they were playing it on the radio. I felt like I'd been holding my breath for years and could finally exhale. But I didn't lose my sense of dread for the future until about 2006-2007, when large numbers of people started to turn against the war, and against Bush. Although the really obnoxious thing is that, while everyone changed their mind about Iraq, they all acted like no one could have possibly known that it was a mistake going in, and all those people who'd protested the war way back in '03 were still just a bunch of hippie commies who hated America.

Only when Obama was elected did I once again feel hopeful, and comfortable in my own country. Like I belonged. Like I didn't have to be a war-loving right-winger to have a place in my home. Now, of course, the Tea Party's going around openly talking about "watering the tree of liberty" and threatening revolution with the full support of mainstream Republicans. So I'm still worried.

I will always hate bin Laden for murdering those ~3,000 people. (Not to mention all the other people he's murdered.) But I think I hate him still more for scaring us enough that we abandoned our values. He turned us into a country of terrified animals, backed into a corner, foaming at the mouth and lashing out randomly, viciously, at whomever came too close. He wanted to make us afraid, and he made us so afraid that we gave up our civil liberties, the very freedoms that our country was founded on. And it didn't end with Obama's election. Didn't you hear? Congress just extended the PATRIOT ACT. Guantanamo Bay still hasn't been closed down. And the same liberals who once vilified George W. Bush for these crimes are now giving Obama a pass for letting them continue, just because he's Blue Team. I'm not sure we'll ever get our civil liberties back.

The terrorists won.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: tv on 02/21/11 at 12:44 pm


I remember that being a terrifying time. There was the fear of terrorists, of course. But for non-conservatives, there was also fear of our fellow countrymen who were suddenly being whipped up into this nationalistic fervor. You're all referring to it as "patriotism," but I think an essential part of patriotism is loving your country enough to correct its leaders when they're doing the wrong thing. The post-9/11 climate was not patriotism. It was nationalism. Blind, unthinking nationalism backed by fear and a venomous rage.

I was against the war, but felt afraid to speak out. Whenever I suggested the mere possibility that invading Iraq might not be the best way to defeat terrorism, people accused me of hating America, of being on bin Laden's side. Bush was on TV, saying, "If you're not with us, you're against us." People took that to heart. Any questioning of George W. Bush automatically meant you wanted the terrorists to win. And of course, Bush never considered not going into Iraq. Millions of people all over the world could march in protest - literally the biggest anti-war march in the history of the world - and it meant nothing. I felt threatened and impotent.

I heard about rising hate crimes against Muslim-Americans - or Arab-Americans and who were just assumed to be Muslim. Attacks against Sikhs and Hindus. A lot of stupid, misplaced rage. The PATRIOT ACT established that the government could spy on average citizens without a warrant. Our government set up secret prisons. Locked people up (Arabs and Arab-Americans, again) without a trial or even any evidence. Tortured people. And still, the news talked about anti-war liberals as though we were the bad guys. As though 9/11 justified literally anything the United States would ever want to do. Kerry could only come close to winning the election by playing the "I love war more than you!" game. I feared we were sliding into fascism.

I remember when Green Day released American Idiot and I couldn't believe they were playing it on the radio. I felt like I'd been holding my breath for years and could finally exhale. But I didn't lose my sense of dread for the future until about 2006-2007, when large numbers of people started to turn against the war, and against Bush. Although the really obnoxious thing is that, while everyone changed their mind about Iraq, they all acted like no one could have possibly known that it was a mistake going in, and all those people who'd protested the war way back in '03 were still just a bunch of hippie commies who hated America.

Only when Obama was elected did I once again feel hopeful, and comfortable in my own country. Like I belonged. Like I didn't have to be a war-loving right-winger to have a place in my home. Now, of course, the Tea Party's going around openly talking about "watering the tree of liberty" and threatening revolution with the full support of mainstream Republicans. So I'm still worried.

I will always hate bin Laden for murdering those ~3,000 people. (Not to mention all the other people he's murdered.) But I think I hate him still more for scaring us enough that we abandoned our values. He turned us into a country of terrified animals, backed into a corner, foaming at the mouth and lashing out randomly, viciously, at whomever came too close. He wanted to make us afraid, and he made us so afraid that we gave up our civil liberties, the very freedoms that our country was founded on. And it didn't end with Obama's election. Didn't you hear? Congress just extended the PATRIOT ACT. Guantanamo Bay still hasn't been closed down. And the same liberals who once vilified George W. Bush for these crimes are now giving Obama a pass for letting them continue, just because he's Blue Team. I'm not sure we'll ever get our civil liberties back.

The terrorists won.
Oh so did you forget when when the Dems shoved the health care bill through against Americans? Glad you acknowledged the Patriot Act thing though. I did acknowledge the Republicans passed a bill banning planned parenthood funds for the rest of the fiscal year. I did ackowledge that. My congressman voted yes on it so I will not be voting for him anymore.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: 80sfan on 02/21/11 at 9:08 pm

I think that 2009 and 2010 were the bleakest years of the new millenium so far!

Even if there's trouble in 2011 with the economy or politics, 2011 doesn't seem as slow or dark for some reason.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: ProfS on 02/25/11 at 11:53 pm

2009 and 2010 don't seem as bleak to me even though the economy was/is bad. From 9/11 to 2003 it seemed we were in so much fear of terrorism.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: popguru85 on 03/03/11 at 11:33 pm

as stated numerous times in different posts, it was a period of uncertainty. Most people didn't know what was going to happen after 9/11. There was an underlying current of possibility of another attack and whether america could find Bin Laden, Whether THe US should invade Iraq, etc. It was a " let's wait and see what happens" mentality. After sometime in 2003 we became obsessed with trivial things again (Kobe Bryant, Paris Hilton, MJ's trial, etc.).

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: ProfS on 03/04/11 at 11:37 pm

You are right that we did become obsessed with trivial things again. I think that got really severe in late 2004-early 2005. The US has always been obsessed with celebrities but it got worse at that time and has continued to this day.

Subject: Re: Political Climate between late 2001 to mid 2003

Written By: SuperDude526 on 04/25/11 at 8:27 am

The only remembrance I have of politics entering my life during this earlier part of the decade was my social studies teacher warning us that Saddam definitely had nukes and that he was gonna launch them at the U.S. ;D

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