Who is to blame for the sorry state of discourse in our nation? Is it the Democrats and their obstructionist ways? Is it the Republicans and their hate-filled speech? Is it Hollywood and their privileged denizens spouting invective and salacious rumors? Is it ISIS and their wicked terrorist ways seeping into the fabric of our culture? Is it Russia, hacking America in ways we cannot fully understand yet?
Is it us?
All of us?
Yup. Johnny Depp made a joke that an actor hasn't assassinated a president in a long time. It was a bad joke, not in construction, but in timing. Like Caitlyn Jenner suggesting that liberals can't shoot straight. It follows the functional rules of humor, but fails to consider the audience.
All of us.
We are all currently walking around barefoot on broken glass, elbows extended and eyes straight forward. And somewhere out there, Kathy Griffin is wandering about apologetically with the severed head of Donald Trump and Ted Nugent is asking us to forget about all that "suck my machine gun" business and get back to civility. While the "President" continues to tweet about tapes of conversations that may not have occurred or existed and Hillary Clinton says passing this new version of health care will make Republicans the party of death, we wait for the next shoe to drop. Who will say something regretful this today? What will pundits be vigorously debating over the coming week?
Why would we argue about the suggestion that Black Lives Matter? Of course they do. Fighting over what doesn't get said these days is almost as big a fuss as the trials of the things that do get said. Written. Replayed. Endlessly in a loop until something more upsetting comes down the wire.
Twenty-five years ago, Rodney King asked, "Can we all get along?" That was before Waco. Before Oklahoma City. Before Columbine. Before 9/11. Before Sandy Hook. Before Orlando.
Judging by the evidence, I would say, "No."
Which is a shame, since when we do, life is so much better.