Friday, March 17, 2006

What Will Tomorrow Say?

From Leonard Pitts in the Miami Herald:

You cannot be a student of history without ruminating on some of the more dubious episodes of the American past and wondering how in the world such things were allowed to happen.

Was the whole country napping when Joseph McCarthy’s bullying, innuendos and lies cast a pall on this nation and made a mockery of the Constitution? Didn’t anybody speak out when Franklin Roosevelt sent Americans to concentration camps? Where were the good people when Americans of African descent were being lynched in horrific numbers and the president and the Congress stood by and did nothing? You read about these failures of will, of courage, of spirit and you keep asking . . . how? How could that which is so obviously wrong now have been so quietly accepted then?

From that question, it is only a short hop to another, more pressing one: What will tomorrow say about today?

I think I know. I think tomorrow will ask how we could have shrugged off the very real possibility that the president broke the law. I think tomorrow will want to know how we could have meekly and quiescently allowed our civil rights to be abridged. I think tomorrow will be perplexed by our tolerance of obvious incompetence and brazen untruths. I think tomorrow will wonder how we could have turned blind eyes and disinterested ears to mounting evidence that the war in Iraq was predestined and Sept. 11 just a convenient pretext.