Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Civilization has Killed Civility

The U. S. is ill.

Never before in its history has America been so polarized with the possible exception of the Civil War era.

“One nation under…indivisible”.

That statement, or partial statement, depending upon how one looks at it, is one example of the American divide.

The divide has never been clearer and more shamelessly partisan than it is in Americans’ reaction to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This nation, for the most part, consists of two ideological groups, each believing that those in positions of responsibility whom they support can unconditionally do no wrong while those in positions of responsibility supported by the other group can unconditionally do no right.

I’m a progressive. I’m not an apologist for any political party or social movement. As such, I read and listen to what as many people as possible have to write and say.

While I’ve read and/or heard enough evidence to convince me that state and local officials are responsible for the bungled response to Katrina, I’ve also read and/or heard enough evidence to convince me that the federal government bears most if not all of the responsibility.

I’ve read enough evidence gained from impartial investigations to help me to make up my mind who was responsible for 9/11/01 and whether or not the invasion of Iraq was necessary. I believe that those who differ with me have either not read the evidence that I’ve read or won’t read such evidence because of ideology.

There have not been any non partisan investigations into the response to Katrina’s aftermath. Consequently, people who are making definitive statements of blame are doing so based upon media that is skewed one way or another.

When hundreds or thousands of American lives have been lost, it is precisely the time to “point fingers”.

If one’s house is burning and arson is suspected, while firefighters and volunteers work to save lives and property, would it not be the time for others to search for and capture the arsonists? Would it not be the time to “point fingers” or would the owner of the home be satisfied with the explanation that “there will be plenty of time to play ‘the blame game’ later”?

When crimes are committed on a national level, there undoubtedly should be those who help the victims. However, independent parties should simultaneously begin investigating before evidence is lost.

We all should be ashamed of how we treat one another, not as members of any religious sect or as non believing humanists, not as Republicans or Democrats, not even as Americans. We should be ashamed of how we treat one another as human beings.

It’s obvious to me that civilization is responsible for the death of civility.

To friendship,

“It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” – Albert Camus

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