While there were a lot of political oberservations that needed to be made in relation to the recent tragic shooting in Arizona, I kinda feel like we’re beginning to find that comfort groove again. Some boringly consistent themes are being repeated ad nauseam and it’s starting to bug me.
After Obama’s low-content “why can’t we just all play nice” speech the gears started to turn. Something more productive than threadbare conventional plattitudes has to come of this.
Must be my own perverse nature. You see, some of my biggest heroes have been the guys who f*cked up, but then went on to perform monumental acts of contrition, and in the process redeeming not only themselves but the whole world. From the (now lapsed) Roman Catholicism of childhood I still can remember St. Colmcille, whose penance for instigating a bloody war was exile and a mission to non-violently preach the love of Jesus Christ to the people of early Scotland.
But I also learned about guys like Robert Kennedy, who started his political career as a stage for the Red-baiting Joe McCarthy but ended it campaigning against the Vietnam War and racisim.
Funny, but I can’t really think of any outstanding examples from our own generation. . . . Nope, not a one. In fact, the more and more I think about this, what I come up with is a list of unexpiated national sins rather than triumphant redeemers. Here is my extended meditation on the topic:
Metaphorically (not literally—don’t get me wrong here), America seems doomed to a kind of Hell. Something like the third-world collapse it brought upon Mexico via NAFTA. Here is my list of unexpiated sins that are hastening our doom:
1. Vietnam: Thank you, Mr. Johnson! (D-TX)
2. Watergate: Nixon (R-CA) abandons morality for power in a naked criminal break-in that wasn’t even necessary to win the 1972 election…
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