We have a civic ritual for national catastrophes. The media rushes in, pointing the cameras into the stricken faces, seeking excited explanations from the survivors. Then in due course the President emerges with carefully crafted words of solace and determination to move forward, all based on the notion that this is one nation, e pluribus unum, based on shared values.
It reached a repulsive nadir with the murders in Newtown, CT, where the dead and the survivors were a bunch of elementary school kids, and the horrid media shoved their mikes and cameras into the faces of six-year old kids. Then President Obama came out with his words of solace and promises to do something maybe someday, and his appeal to our better nature: “In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.”
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