Thursday, September 08, 2005

Pride and hatred will be the death of us

I have been very dismayed by the political partisanship that has sprung up in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It seems so many politicians and many of their constituents are walking lock-step with their party and refusing to take responsibility or blame anybody in their party for the unpreparedness that contributed to so many deaths. They seem more focused on absolving their party from blame and passing the blame to the other party than on joining together to help those suffering in the devastated areas. Many newspapers and internet news and commentary sites are also not presenting the whole truth, having a pre-set slant before writing the story, so that we who really want to get to the bottom of things have to dig around to figure out what's really going on.

We could get into an endless debate on this post about what happened and who's responsible. And there may be a clear winner. But I have read many stories from both sides over the last several days, and those firmly beholden to their point of view have refused to give an inch. They are either right and are certain about it, or they are wrong and they refuse to admit it lest they damage their pride and/or their party.

Remember Happy Days? On one episode, Fonzie had trouble saying he was wrong, but eventually he did the "cool" thing and fessed up. For him not to do so would have hurt even more people. I have been wrong many times, and usually don't hesitate to admit it. If we as a nation continue to value saving face over doing the right thing, it we focus on hating those we disagree with over loving them and trying to speak the truth in love, then we will perish.

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