Whatever happened to the bridge to the 21st century?

"I look at things, I look at people, and...they just don't feel right"
— Guinan: Yesterday's Enterprise, Stardate 43625.2

One doesn't need to be a Trekky or a SciFi Junkie to remember Whoopi Goldberg's performance in the role of Guinan, a member of the El-Aurian "listener" race, and hostess of the U.S.S. Enterpise's famous Ten-Forward lounge, in Star Trek: The Next Generation (STNG).

The quote above is from "Yesterday's Enterprise," an episode of the STNG series, in which a rift in time has landed the flagship Enterprise and her crew in an altered reality. No longer on a mission of exploration, diplomacy and scientific discovery, the U.S.S. Enterprise has become a ship of war. A war which has resulted in the loss of 40 billion lives. Guinan feels something is out of place and that the Enterprise is not where it's supposed to be, not doing what it is the Enterprise is about or what it was meant to be doing. Things don't feel "right" to her. Things are "not the way they're supposed to be." The bridge, the crew's uniforms, their attitudes...

I do not have the extra-sensory perception of an El-Aurian, but this is very much how things in the real world, here at home, are starting to feel to me. Instead of a universe where America is assuming leadership in dealing with some of the very, very serious issues facing the planet (like here and here,) we are being ruled by a self-proclaimed War President (who misled the country into an unprovoked, and counterproductive war in Iraq) and an administration, whose modus operandi essentially seems to be that the planet is screwed up anyway, every one for oneself, America first, and f**k the rest of the world.

I just can't believe it! I can't believe this is the direction the country is being steered in. I can't believe anyone, any administration ever, would care to behave in such an irresponsible and short-sighted way, let alone get away with it. And I can't believe the People is standing for it.

This is wrong. This is very wrong!

I am reminded of an incident, many years ago, about a nightclub that had caught fire in the town I lived in. Some of the people there, the truly heroic ones, helped other, sometimes returning into the building many times to rescue those who had been left behind. But then, reportedly, there was also that one man who broke a bottle and used it as a weapon to clear a path for himself through the throng as he made his way toward the exit.

Those are the times when true leadership and concerted intelligence and collaboration is called for. Not the kind of brazen, in your face, "me first" policy this administration has been displaying.

This is not America.

Not the America I know.

Not the one I want to believe in.

What gave? Who dropped the ball?

We all know who burned the Twin Towers...

But, who burned the bridge to the 21st Century?

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