Photo from ochairball.blogspot.com
My respect for Ezra Klein has always been high. Now it's through the roof.
...the single hardest thing I've read about the shooting in Tucson, the piece that made me angriest. It's a 2007 New York Times “Vows” column about the marriage of Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly. This is the part I can't get out of my head:
"They began a long-distance phone and e-mail friendship during which she would sometimes coach him on dating other women. ('Call her the next day to say thanks, even if you didn’t have a great time,' she once said.)"
Gabrielle Giffords is a real person. She's been on bad dates. She's wondered why men didn't call her back. She has slightly old-fashioned ideas about courtship. She isn't just a symbol of democracy or civility or senseless violence.
It seems like the job of the writer in these situations is to search for some meaning, or try to counsel calm, or try to rationally analyze the various ways the country is reacting to the tragedy. But that's not how I feel. The shooting was awful and it makes me sick to my stomach whenever I think about it for too long and nothing will put it right and it's not like human beings have suddenly paid off their cosmic debt: More bad things will happen to good people in the future.
Source: Ezra Klein
The focus of politics may be... well... polity and not any individual human being. But Klein gets that for all that, politics is still made out of human beings. Good for him.