Let me finish tonight with what sane people learned this week.
By sane, I mean people able to pay attention to what they see, aren’t afraid to see and don’t get it confused with something they’re convinced of but didn’t happen this week.
Here we go!
I learned that people on the right want the picture of the dead Osama bin Laden plastered all over the universe. They don’t care if it incites anger, insults whole nations; get teenage Muslim kids to become radicalized. In fact, I think they’d “like” to stick it to them and see how loud they squeal, see how many bees leave the hornet’s nest.
Normal people are put off by violence and death. Hillary Clinton in that picture in the Situation Room should be sent around the world to show that, though the U.S. did what it had to do with bin Laden, it doesn’t particularly enjoy the killing of people and certainly not as a spectator sport. What is it with the Republican right? Sarah Palin wants that picture out. She says it’s part of the mission. What mission? To encourage easier recruitment of Arab youth by the terrorists - you know teenagers who grow to, say, age 20, and kill themselves as suicide bombers.
You’ve got to wonder whether the Palins of the world, those on the right who want to get that picture of the dead bin Laden out there, really want to keep stirring up this “war of terrorism” because it’s something they can get really get their heads into, can rouse their right-wing brigades with.
What else did we learn? We learned that clear-thinking people, those not bound up in prejudice and tunnel-vision, give credit where it’s due. They’re not afraid to see what they see. They give Obama credit for this success in catching the bad guy and the intelligence and military services solid admiration as well.
They don’t crouch down in the fetal position because they don’t like what’s going on around them, and just snap back at pollsters and say George Bush deserves praise and Obama doesn’t. How deep is the hole these people hide in?
And, most of all, we saw this week that America is protected by some very good and very competent people. They don’t get on television. They don’t say crazy things to get attention. They don’t say - Hey! Look at me! They just roll out of bed in the morning - sometimes really early - show up to do the job and consider themselves lucky to be serving a country like ours.
This week, much like that terrible week in September a decade ago, we remember men and women like this - sometimes so close we can touch them - who are like those dutiful firefighters who went running up the stairs when everyone else was running down.
They are still there, we know, of course, grander in their exploits this week, so often courageous just in showing up for work each day. That’s the big thing we saw this week, that we are as lucky to have these gutsy countrymen and women as we all are to be Americans.