Commentary

Weapons of War Murder Innocents in Ukraine & Uvalde

One could say about this week the old adage, “It is always darkest just before dawn.” Cynics offer a revision that says, “It is always darkest just before it goes completely black.”

But as one who is, I confess, a hopeless but not a foolish optimist, I am willing to step up with an argument that this time, the old adage about an impending dawn may have merit.

God help us, I hope I’m right, because otherwise this week has been one of the most gut wrenching assaults on just ordinary human sensibilities as one might want to experience. It’s due, of course, to the mass killings of mostly 10 year-olds at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Atrocity has been piled upon atrocity in this case, as if it could get any worse than the cold-blooded killings, themselves. Finding out that many young victims could have survived by just routine police, much less human, action at the site has made the whole thing significantly worse.

Would that we never, ever become jaded in the face of such atrocities. One might say this is the most important aspect, worth praying for: “May I never become the kind of vacuous monster that neither perpetrates such an action, nor that becomes indifferent to it.”

The behavior of the usual cast of Republican politicians in this instance has been over the top for hypocrisy, lying and dissembling. If the likes of Sen. Cruz or any of the others gets away with their tiresome, indefensible crap in this case, then another good prayer might be that they eventually get their just desserts.

One doesn’t wish bad things on anyone, except maybe for those who’ve committed to what is supposed to be public service, and who subsequently betray that trust in the manner so many of these Republicans have been exhibiting lately.

Sadly, confessing to knee buckling cowardice in the face of a deadly challenge is more authentic than all the nonsense talk we’ve been subjected to about actions being based on “wrong decisions.” Sheer cowardice is a much worse thing, to a sick male-chauvinist mind, than bad judgment.

So, what is worse, a blind devotion to Trump, or to a weapon of war in the hands of an angry 18-year-old? Sadly, they may be manifestations of the same thing. They grow out of the same sentiment that has driven Putin to destroy the lives of millions of Ukrainians on behalf of …. what? Of some bizarre combination of electrical impulses in his brain?

How is Putin different from a teenager standing with an assault rifle before a classroom full of helpless, innocent children, methodically gunning them down? In our country, justice ostensibly took the form of those hundreds of uniformed law enforcement officers paralyzed right outside of that classroom door in Uvalde.

If anything, I fear most that we’ll find out that some form of racist hatred helped guide the officers who did nothing in that incident, that it wasn’t just paralysis, but willful negligence that caused the horrible outcome.

Maybe Trump didn’t cause the Uvalde massacre, but the fact that we, as a people, allowed such a sociopath into the White House whose selfish and violent behavior served to place a stamp of approval on the ugliest of racist and sociopathic behaviors in our population is a terrible judgment that has been inflicted on us.

Putin didn’t cause the Uvalde massacre, either. But it is well known that the Russians saw it in their strategic interest to back the gun lobby in the U.S., to help fund and to boost the NRA. Why?
It’s because he seeks to break down the social order in the U.S., just as he for decades worked to shape a culture in the U.S. that produced the Trumpian nihilist persona in the general population.

The enemies of democracy, whomever they may be, have recognized that morality and values are the linchpins upon which democracy relies.

Convince a population that morality and values are impediments to an idealized individual’s quest for autonomy and a gamut of irrational thoughts and behaviors, and you have sewn the seeds of fascism.