Friday, July 17, 2015

That's not what good people do

It's that classic "what if" scenario: The pilot of the aircraft you're riding in suddenly becomes unconscious and unresponsive. Someone needs to take the controls and land the plane safely.

I have never in my life flown a plane. I have never taken a flying lesson. I've only seen this scenario on TV, and it looks pretty exciting. How hard can it be?

Being at the front of the plane, I'm first in the cockpit. I lock the cockpit door behind me, shove aside the pilot, and strap into the seat.

At the door are other passengers, pounding on the door. "I have a pilot's licence! Let me in!" one of them shouts.

But dammit! If I land this plane I'll be a by-God HERO. Nobody's taking that away from me.

A mountain looms ahead. Our trajectory is taking us directly into a cliff face. But nobody's taking this away from me. I'll just do this nifty maneuver I saw on TV and …

****

Well, I was trying to do the right thing: land the plane safely. Can you fault my motives? I didn't WANT to explode on that granite cliff. We just kinda did.

That doesn't make me a bad person.

****

But you see it actually does make me a bad person. An extremely bad person.

I knew that I didn't know how to fly a plane and I knew that someone else on board did. I saw that mountain looming ahead and understood that we were going to crash. I saw how my ineffective attempts to avoid the mountain weren't working at all.

But I was hell-bent on getting that glory, and so I killed everyone on board.

For my vanity.

****

Politicians who have steered the country into a cliff are likewise bad people. They know that their actions are logically, ethically, and Constitutionally untenable, but they do them anyway.

They see the cliff looming ahead and they refuse to listen to sound counsel on how to avoid it. THEY will do the steering, come hell or high water.

For their vanity.

Good people don't do that. They just don't.

No more rhetorical cover for the affable people who haved steered us into a cliff.

They're actually not good people.

Sorry, but there it is.

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