To mark the holiday I am tempted to remain in mute horror, wordless outrage. But let me give it a few words. The people running our executive branch are villains. The people running our legislative branch are neglecting their responsibility to check that villainy, and are hence fully culpable. These people are doing horrible things in the name of our country, and I will not let the past and ongoing political and systemic problems of that country, some of them grievous, unconscionable, tempt me into shoulder-shrugging bothsidesism. We have never been perfect. Perhaps we have never even been great. Actually, the fact that we are individually and collectively flawed is a basic premise of every religious tradition these people purport to respect. None of this absolves us of the responsibility to try and be better. There is no a priori assumption that just because we’re America we will always get a functioning government that isn’t actively trying to kill us. Our government is exactly as contingent as everyone else’s, and it hinges on real ethical questions. I will not let them muddy the waters: I am against everything these people are doing, and I’ll say it in any platform I have and to anyone who asks. Happy Fourth. Don’t set the woods on fire.
10 Best of 2014
January: Wyoming and the Open
February: New Mexico and the Holes
Notes on The Accounts