Sunday, September 6, 2020

#250 / Listen To Camus

Marjorie Taylor Green, Republican Candidate For Congress in Georgia.

Roger Cohen, a New York Times columnist, is battling the coronavirus. Cohen revealed this yesterday, in his column in The Times. It is clear to me, from reading the column, that this is not turning out to be an easy struggle. Cohen is putting a brave face forward, but the way I read his column, he has no certainty that he will beat off the contagion and survive: 

The virus is deadly serious but plays games. A little relief to tempt you into activity — then it smites you with a cudgel. I felt better last weekend until I tried a peach tart. It’s eerie to experience texture without taste. A Coke with ice and lemon was no more than fizz. My body was a stranger. It was out there somewhere, fighting. The fight demanded all its energy. There was nothing left for me.

Amidst his description of his own, private battle, Cohen talks about what he sees as another plague, one that has infected our political, social, and economic life, a plague that has penetrated deep within our body politic. In talking about that plague, Cohen quotes Albert Camus

I stared at the walls. I thought, my world is gone. More than half a life lived in the Cold War, who cares about that any longer, or the values it bequeathed. A phrase of Albert Camus came back to me: “The most incorrigible vice being that of ignorance that fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill.”

Cohen's Saturday column was still in my mind as I read a recent Associated Press story titled, "Georgia congressional candidate's post removed for inciting violence." The image that accompanied the article, which appeared in the San Jose Mercury News, is shown above. 

Listen to Camus, says Cohen. Listen to the Bible: "Thou shalt not kill." 

A politics that promotes and exaults in violence and killing is deeply infected. Let us cleanse ourselves of this contagion!

And NOT by violence against the "other side," whatever "side" you're on!

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