This is the essential question: 2,000 years after Jesus supposedly set the tone and 200 years into the fragmented, half-empty/half-full American experiment and only now we’re pretending to give a damn for the basic well being of our fellow citizens? Only now our better natures are barely, just barely, edging out our resentment, suspicion and fear? But only sometimes? What is wrong with us?
What's wrong with us, young Mark, is that there's an ingrained primitive selfish fearful dark side in our natures that only the better amongst us have learned to suppress in the name of progress and compassion for our species. This has been a constant battle since first we stood erect and will be so until the second to the last of us dies. The last man standing can do what he wants.
Do not misunderstand. I was hugely relieved to hear health care reform, as fraught as it is, actually made it through a brutally divided SCOTUS on the meagerest of razor-thin technicalities, despite a firestorm of ignorance and anti-Obama hate from the right. I am thrilled to know that bloated, bloviated old Antonin Scalia, who despises pretty much everything you and I stand for, is sneering himself to sleep right now. I truly believe an awkward lurch of progress has been made.
It remains astonishing. When we cheer in a streets over such basic advances, we are, in essence, celebrating the amazing fact that a good intention can still defeat a hateful regression, despite how the battle seems eternal and, at least lately, the forces of ignorance seem to have gained far too much ground.
As for the rest, well, it seems we’re still running wild in the schoolyard, barely suppressing the urge to smash each other over the head with a bat. Hell, we just reached the point where we can finally hand each other a Band-Aid without asking for a life savings, blaming a Mexican immigrant, or longing to punch a Supreme Court justice in the face. Progress, ho.
Left out a coupla words, I think - progress despite the ho's.