When Did Life Become So Cheap?

“Superman: Is that how a warped brain like yours gets its kicks? By planning the death of millions of innocent people?Lex Luthor: No. By causing the death of millions of innocent people.” — Christopher Reeve and Gene Hackman, from Superman: The Movie

The quote above is one of my favorite movie quotes of all-time because it shows the silliness of evil. Said with a straight face, by the embodiment of comic’s evil genius, it is what badness would say in its purest form. Because nobody in real life would actually do it without being called evil, the line gained its comedic value in about 1980. 

Twice now, in the last 6 months or so, politicians have planned or contemplated doing the very thing that comics’ evil genius could never manage to do: cause the death of millions of innocent people. 

For months and months, Congress has tried to make millions of people lose their insurance, and therefore their healthcare and then their death. Yesterday, President Trump — perhaps off the cuff, perhaps not — talked about “fire and fury the likes of which the world has ever known” when confronting the North Koreans. 

Though the reality seems otherwise, these leaders are supposed to be the good guys — the people we respect and follow because they represent the best in us. To be fair, Kim Jong Il is saying the same thing, as did Boko Haram, as did Isis. Yes, there are crazy or evil people in the world. When did our leaders get to be them and why? It’s an intellectual thing. People believe in an ideology, and believe that it justifies violence, murder, and mayhem. But here’s the thing: unless you’re a comic book character, if your ideology makes you think it’s okay to kill people on a large scale, it’s a bad ideology.  Let’s try to find another one. This one’s not working.

Resisting with Peace,
John

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