O tempora

I found the to-do over the New York Post “chimp” cartoon unbelievably depressing.

The idea that there are all those racists out there is extremely useful to some people. It explains why black people have problems and our rulers have the right to rule us. They are, after all, morally superior, and the rest of us have to be restrained from the horrible things we’re itching to do.

Such a view is behind the self-understanding of important sections of our population. The will to see the other as evil has become basic to how we are governed, and so far as I can tell it’s only getting worse. Its personal and social function makes it absolutely unbreakable.

(In case you haven’t guessed, I think it’s bizarre to claim that the cartoonist and editor at the Post thought the cartoon was about killing the President and the resulting concern that someone else would have to draft long shambling unprincipled pieces of legislation. At the least, it’s a gross breach of civility: a rejection of the comity needed for free and cooperative government.)

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