Why you should care
Happy Fourth of July, America. We think.
In America, from sea to shining sea they’ll be shooting off fireworks, and the kids will ooh and aah, and the grayer-haired among us might even feel a bit like kids for a moment. Especially if you give us some sparklers to mess with. Please give us some sparklers to mess with: The last few weeks have wizened us.
A young man who hates black people murdered nine parishioners at church in Charleston. The families of his victims forgave him. The president sang “Amazing Grace.” The Confederate flag came down in spots (for shame that it took blood on the church floor to make it come down), and a bunch of rainbow flags went up, because the Supreme Court said gay people can marry. Also, Justice Antonin Scalia gave new meaning to the phrase “jiggery pokery.” Call us crazy, but in these times we find comfort in Eugene S. Robinson, who this week helped synthesize some of this for us: Hate lives, he said, and we’d do best not to forget it. We also found some comfort in Sanjena Sathian’s piece on the Open Church in Baltimore, a black congregation that’s wrestling with just how open to be. Read it here.
Then there’s presidential campaign season, which seems to be shifting, already, into high gear. First: So many Republicans, so little time. A while back, Emily Cadei took note of some of the presidential wannabes who can’t go home again — which is to say, governors with White House aspirations who suffer dismal popularity ratings in their home states. Sorry, Bobby J, we’re looking at you. Second: Everyone assumed Hillary Clinton had the lock on the Democratic nomination, some to the point of consternation. Arianna Huffington warned against the “inevitability myth” in this publication a few months back. Lo and behold, another contender does seem to be springing up, in the form of a crotchety old white man. This week, Allen McDuffee wondered whether Bernie Sanders can resuscitate socialism in this country. Read it here.
So much drama in America these days, but we haven’t gone completely myopic. Of particular concern are the debt crises in Greece and Puerto Rico. Are they ripples on the water, as columnist Simon Constable suggested this week? Whatever the case, we’ll note that Greece has long had debt drama. Read about the first Grexit here.
And we’ll take that sparkler now, thanks.