I can understand why people are anxious about their financial situations amidst our economic problems, possible loss of jobs, uncertainly about sufficiency of retirement funds, and resentments of people better off. But I cannot comprehend the bitter hate things that are being circulated by Republicans and others. When I was a college student Republicans were honest and decent people. There is a public housing project in NYC named after Robert A. Taft, presidential candidate, who had realized that adequate housing for the lowest economic strata would only be possible if built and paid for by government. The Taft family had tried to do such with family funds of their own and found that private funding simply could not do the job.

Today one can scarcely read a paper, listen to radio, or watch TV without encountering cruel and lying slanders of others. We are barely removed from the suicide bombings and killings by the mad fringe of Islam which has persuaded so many (most likely depressed ones) to sacrifice their lives to commit mass murders. The U.S. is at the fringe of such conduct with its bombings of innocents in Afghanistan and elsewhere — blind bombing from on high all too often. What qualitative difference is there in such killing practices apart from the fact that the Islamist ones are generally carried out by persons whereas ours are anonymous. Decent people of both these religions are protesting such killing, but their voices are drowned out by the explosions that win the news coverage and that has almost become a form of public entertainment — more ads sold by killing than by healing or care for others.

I imagine that most of us are aware that there is a spectrum of attitudes among us humans ranging from compassion and care for others at one end and murderous psychopathy at the other. The broad middle range can unfortunately be tipped one way or the other by what they encounter in the way of experience and news coverage that praises killing of ‘enemies’. It is this broad middle that really is frightening in that it can be influenced by the haters who put forth the vicious materials that we are watching spread here in the U.S. The Nazis among others played this game of the ‘big lie’ repeated endlessly until it had captured the public opinion of Germans and too many others as well.

How can we possibly break through once again to decency and sanity among our publics?

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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