SOBs are not guilty; they can sleep good every day. From the start they proclaimed their allegiance to rich and powerful, their service to the elites and their unlimited conformity to anything. Whatever they called that- realism, rationalism, conservatism, - all of that is just smoke in the mirrors. Spiritual comfort is their God and they deserve their beauty sleep. Not us.
Carl Jaspers defines four types of guilt:
1. Criminal guilt- the guilt coming from the violation of the formal criminal laws
2. Political guilt - the belonging to the state which commits crimes against people.
3. Moral guilt - the responsibility before your own conscience.
4. Metaphysical guilt l- feeling responsible not only for your own behavior but for the behavior of the others.
Empathy is the primary feature of any progressive- the feeling of connection with other people. We failed them, not for the first time and not for the last.
Some people say that we have no power. Of course, most of us are just couch warriors. But we could and we should have supported those among us who tried to do something; we could push Cindy Sheehan to become a national figure, we could insist that no matter how we discuss the Middle East it should be starting with the destructive role of the US, we should acknowledge the #2- political guilt of the society which uses the poisonous fruit of unlawful activity of its own government, we should try to atone. As we did not- we are guilty.
We are so nice, dear progressives. Every our statement we start with, 'I am not...' I am not a socialist, I am not a supporter of extreme, I am not against the free- market. I am not against the religion.. What are you for, brother? Does not any off us feel that by stating our helplessness we in fact join those who do carnage? That's #4 and we are very much guilty.
If through those 4 years we had pushed Obama to devise a Gaza- Israel dialogue, to push for it in force under the strict statement that NEVER AGAIN there is any carnage, if that dialogue would state unequivocally that Gazans and Israelis were equal in our eyes- then maybe what had happened would not have happened. But we sat on our tuheses and lamented about our own little problems- and guilty we are. It is a criminal guilt because although there is no law to punish us, there is a law we violated- we denied our own humanity.
I am continuing the message I conveyed in my article ' American Guilt'
It is your fault, brother. 'Your human relative called for you and called for you but you pretended not to hear. Then in despair he took a gun and then you said, "I hear him, let's kill him." Those are the quotes from Irvin Shaw's 'The Young Lions', the WWII Novel where an English priest reminds the British about their humanity. Now, if that does not convince you of your guilt, here is a voice of true American once again like a trumpet:
'One of the practical lessons inculcated by the history that has now been
released is that no duty is more certain, none more important, than a
free and fearless expression of opinion by all persons, on all
occasions. No wise or philosophical person would think of complaining of
the diversities of sentiment it is likely to develop. Such diversities
are the vital principle of free communities and the only elements of
popular intelligence. If the right to utter them is asserted by all and
for all, tolerance is secured, and no inconvenience results. It is
probable that there were many persons in 1692 who doubted the propriety
of the proceedings at their commencement, but who were afterwards
prevailed upon to fall into the current and swell the tide. If they had
all discharged their duty to their country and their consciences by
freely and boldly uttering their disapprobation and declaring their
dissent, who can tell but the whole tragedy might have been prevented?
and if it might, the blood of the innocent may be said, in one sense, to
be upon their heads.
Charles W. Upham
Popular intelligence. Duty to their country. Free communities. Blood upon their heads. Do you hear that, my dear folks,. the apostles of fair and balanced approaches? How does it feel to be unworthy of Martha Corey and John Proctor? They risked more, oh much more.
Acknowledge your guilt, my brother and sister- progressive and go on. Try to atone, try to compensate, feel lucky that you can. Feel happy that you can feel guilt, remorse, anger, rage, power to change. Most people do not have that luck; they have no time to feel even guilty because they do not know if they get up alive tomorrow. And if someone calls you a bleeding - heart liberal- do not hesitate to snap back, "At least I have a heart."
Now for some practical solutions. How about making it very clear to the President that his historical legacy forever will be associated with dead children if he does again what he did in Y2009- nothing?