Let me finish tonight with a deep observation about mankind. Down 2,000 feet in the ground a group of 33 men not only survived for 69 days but prevailed. What a story of human faith, hope, charity and community. I know that last word drives people on the right crazy. Theirs is the popular notion of every man for himself, grab what you can, screw the masses, cash out of the government, go it alone, the whole cowboy catechism. But how would those miners have survived - the 33 of them - and their loved ones living above - if they’d behaved like that, with the attitude of “every man for himself?” This is, above all, and deep down there in the mine, about being all in this together. It’s about mutual reliance, and, relying on others not just do their jobs, but come through in the clutch. Somebody had to get food and medicine down to these guys and somebody did. Somebody had to drill that hole down to get them and somebody did. And all the time the guys down there - those 33 human souls - kept the faith. “I was with God and I was with the devil,” one of the first guys out said. “They both fought for me. God won.” So, in his way, did man. The group of miners stuck down a half-mile into the earth organized themselves. They had one guy in charge, another the spiritual leader, still another working on health, still another the director of entertainment. It reminded me, as I said the other night, of how John McCain and the other Americans survived those years in the Hanoi prison of war camp. This coming election now looks to be a process very different. What it promises to be is a huge number of Americans withdrawing their confidence in the ability to work together, to have faith in each other to build a common community. It’s headed toward being something quite un-American: a statement that we are “not” in this together. For that I blame the people who even now seek to meet their need for notoriety by nightly yelling “fire” in the movie theater - by convincing those who still have jobs that their worst enemies are those who don’t, whether its Newt Gingrich dumping on people who rely on food stamps or some senate candidate knocking unemployment comp or even stranger the one who says if you don’t like what a politician says go get yourself a gun.
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