John Legend: We’ve had a president [George W. Bush], and we’ve had a media establishment that has defined this era as one of conflict with terrorism and with the Middle East. That has been the prevailing narrative over the first decade of the 21st century. Because of 9/11, we allowed our politics to be defined basically by 9/11. And I would argue that that was a mistake, but it is what it is. That’s what happened.
And I think a lot of decisions, politicians’ candidacies, and stump speeches, and platforms have been defined by their stance on how to fight the war on terror. And I think that’s unfortunate that we’ve let terror define so many years of not only political activity, but also, you know, going to the airport, everything we do.
I think terrorism is in the back of people’s minds on some level. And I think that’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. That’s what’s happened.
I think when people write the history of this era, of the first eight years of the 21st century, I think the prevailing narrative will be the act of terrorism that happened on 9/11, and our response and our behavior in how we changed as a result of that. And that’s unfortunate.
Recorded on: Jan 29, 2008