Read one newspaper daily (the morning edition
is the best
for by evening you know that you at least
have lived through another day)
and let the disasters, the unbelievable
yet approved decisions,
I don’t need to name the countries,
ours is among them.
What keeps us from falling down, our faces
to the ground; ashamed, ashamed?
— Mary Oliver, “The Morning Paper” in A Thousand Mornings
- Sources: Poem: Thank you Whiskey River. Photography: Newthom
- Post inspired by Frank Bruni in A Culture of Sore Losers: “But there’s more at work. The refusal to grant victors legitimacy bundles together so much about America today: the coarseness of our discourse; the blind tribalism coloring our debates; the elevation of individualism far above common purpose; the ethos that everybody should and can feel like a winner on every day. Our system for electing presidents is indeed a mess. It estranges voters and is ripe for reform. I explored that last week. But pushing for change is different from rejecting any unwelcome outcome as the bastard fruit of a poisoned tree. If grievances are never retired, then progress has no chance. If everything is rigged, then all is fair, not just in love and war but on the banks of the Potomac, where we can look forward to four more years of inertia and ugliness.“