LOS ANGELES, April 17, 2013 — Only two days after a a pair of detonated bombs killed people at the Boston Marathon, a letter laced in ricin was sent to U.S. Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi.
There is no evidence that these events are in any way related outside of timing. Yet there is a precedent for these types of “follow up” bad acts. After 9/11, several members of Congress were sent letters containing Anthrax.
Authorities intercepted the letter to Senator Wicker long before it reached his office and he was not in any imminent danger.
There is no immediate motive for the attack on Mr. Wicker. He is an evangelical Christian, who is socially conservative. While this could provide a possible explanation, Mississippi is one of the most conservative states in the nation. The letter was mailed from Memphis, Tenn., but early reports identified the sender as somebody from Mississippi who frequently sends letters to newspaper editors.
Before looking for the silver lining, the obvious black cloud question has to be asked: Why?
Where and when did American society break down to the point that political discourse comes in the form of trying to murder a sitting senator through poisoned envelopes?
Former Georgia Governor “Give ‘em Hell” Zell Miller has in the past lamented of a “Deficit of Decency.” From classrooms to cultural institutions, there seems to be less reverence for all forms of authority. James Dean was a “rebel without a cause.” He would be tame by today’s standards.
Throw in worldwide terrorism and a collapsing global economy, and despair is metastasizing faster than the original bad news itself.
Yet as awful as recent events have been, there is a ray of hope.
In the wake of the Marathon bombing, donations to Boston blood banks are skyrocketing. This surge of blood donations will allow the hospitals to do as many transfusions as are necessary due to the Marathon tragedy.
As concerned as Gov. Miller and many of us are, what we saw in the people of Beantown was a surplus of decency.
This is who we are. This is the American character. For every American who sees Senator Wicker as a “bible-thumping zealot,” there are so many more people who see him as a sincere, devout man who truly believes and practices the Judeo-Christian value “love thy neighbor.”
There is hate in this country. Yet those who hate are in the minority. How else does one explain so many people donating time, money and blood to people they do not know? How else does one account for Senator Wicker receiving many more letters in white envelopes containing no powder but plenty of words of encouragement and love?
The fact that so many people are horrified at these acts of pure evil is evidence that the goodness on which America was founded still exists.
We lost three people in the Boston Marathon bombing. We lost nearly 3,000 people on 9/11. What we have not lost is our American sense of honor, integrity and belief in ordinary Americans to rise above evil by simply offering outstretched hands to complete strangers.
We have not lost this country. Too many people want to save it. Americans don’t throw in the towel. They take the towels and use them to wipe away the tears of others.
While the families of the victims will never be the same, they will know they are cared about by their fellow citizens. It will not bring their loved ones back, but it will provide some semblance of solace.
Americans are a just people, and justice will come to those who terrorized Boston runners and a Mississippi senator. That justice will come from citizens all over America who have had enough of evil. Evil thrives when good people do nothing.
America crushes evil because when it matters most, ordinary people will roll up their sleeves and do right.
America survived Pearl Harbor and 9/11. With help from God, we will get through these twin terror acts stronger, tougher, firmer, more resolute, and yet still as decent and compassionate as ever.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.”
Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS.
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