You are right about how Americans handle 911. How tragic it is to see a Republic full of adults who find it easier to believe whatever is put forth for them (like good little consumers) than to get to the bottom of it for themselves.
Just yesterday I got one of these emails about some terrible computer virus going around, and in the email it said that Snopes.com had confirmed the report. So naturally, the first thing I did was to go to Snopes to see if that was true. To my amusement, I found that Snopes had called it a HOAX. And in that one instant, my life was made easier. No need to forward the email to all my friends. No need to apologize later for having forwarded something untrue. No smudge on my reputation.
It's a matter of one's paradigm about truth....whether one insists on it or not.
But what's really scary is how many people willingly believe the lie even after it has been proved false. This is indicative of mental disorder. And our Republic is awash in it.
Even on the most benign issues---such as, say, putting a stop to deficit spending---won't most voters tell you that this is highly important? Yet when they vote, they may well have NO idea the candidates' stance on deficit spending. There is a disconnect between their knowledge and their actions.
It's like an in-the-know cow standing in line at the slaughter house, telling his friends, "Yep, we really shouldn't be in this line, but what are you gonna do--turn around and run?" And so it is that we plod boldly "forward" in America, with any other choice of direction having been pre-judged as out of the question.