God bless this fucked-up/angry-ass/torn-asunder/straight-gay-and-somewhere-in-between/decadent-and-devout-and-lovin-it country. Personally I'm disgusted by what this president and his party have dragged us through, but I live in one of the few countries in the world where most of us believe that how we treat our enemies is a litmus test that tells us who we are. I'm heartened by how the people I would have most likely pegged as cynical "survivalists"--who believe that giving up "essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety" is justifiable--recall again the better angels of their nature and ask themselves (if no one else) "what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"
You know who's with me on this? Milt Bearden, a former CIA operative who defended the rights of a member of the "Evil Empire" way back when Osama was our friend. He seems disgusted by the current take on the Geneva Convention. "We are a better nation than that," he writes.
I love a country where fine people struggle to find the best outcome and not the easy responses to hard questions; where I can disagree with the choices of good men, but still understand and believe that those choices were made in good faith.
I'm a foolish idealist, I know. A romantic even. I've talked about honor without shame and I believe that faith demands certain things of me and that those things are in almost direct opposition to what Jerry Falwell says I should do. As an idealist, though, I'm told that I should get used to being disappointed.
Today, though, I can't help but being happy.
What brings this on? What makes me hopeful? I'll tell you. It brings joy to my bleeding heart to know the fate of one of the country's most influential men will be a chew toy fought over by the son of a doorman and a cab driver.
In many countries, we wouldn't even have had this trial. Power would have prevented it.
For all the bullshit of the power-hungry bastards (born with at least an aftertaste of silver on their tongues) who run the country, they must in the end rely (as they do again and again) on those who've earned their way. This isn't populism. This isn't "proletariat über alles." It's simply happiness at being once again reminded the U.S.A. is a strange and amazing place and those of us who can claim it as our home are some of the luckiest people in the world.
No matter what party or principles you claim, you cannot avoid being cheered by this fight if you truly love the idea of the American Dream.