Post Classifieds

Evil Doesn't Look Like Anything

By Phil Chevalier
On September 28, 2011

If the Republican debates are any indication, America wants

blood. Not only that, but foreign blood seems to have lost its appeal; for some people, the time of America's great purging has drawn nigh. But yeah, socialized healthcare

is totally one of the Third Reich's scariest political contributions. Sometimes hitting your head against a cement wall can be cathartic. Feel free to give that a try right now if it suits you. I'll wait here. For those of you simply

unaware—or who are perhaps conscientiously objecting to

what is turning out to be an absolute charade—here's what

I'm talking about: two of the three biggest applause breaks

in the debates have been markedly pro-death (the third was

anti-gay). One was in response to Rick Perry's uncontested execution record as governor of Texas, and the other followed a question to Ron Paul that posed the mere possibility of an uninsured man dying from t r e a t a b l e

causes. The a u d i e n c e me m b e r s ' cheers sent

a clear and telling message: "Let them die!" Be it out of

some deep frustration about waiting in lines, or maybe

simply profound boredom, America wants to see bodies hit the floor. It's freaking me out. It's hard to pin down what

we're dealing with here, but I sure hope it doesn't creep

onto Xavier's campus disguised as discourse. With

the political season gearing up, conversations have the

potential to get aggressive. By all means they should

—there's a lot at stake. We should remove the notion

of Social Darwinism from them altogether though, especially when masked by the seemingly innocuous

libertarian fantasy of freedom without limits. I have a theory that we've played a historical trick on ourselves. As a nation, we have positioned ourselves as the enemy

of anyone who adopts the political philosophy of oppressing

their own people. It's the stated justification for pretty much every war in our nation's history, including those Civil and Revolutionary. We then see ourselves as so opposed to

evildoing that the idea of us being capable of harboring our

enemy's indifference toward death — or even, in this case,

enthusiasm — seems absurd to most people. For some reason, when Americans cheer to end people's lives they think they're cheering for things like freedom and justice.

Don't mistake me for one of those nut jobs who shows up at town hall meetings having photoshopped a Hitler mustache on the president's face. Trust me, I hesitate to even use the Nazi comparison—it's just that the parallels are so eerily subtle and for that reason incredibly fascinating. I only mean to say that we would be wise to remember what ought to be the most valuable lesson

taken from Nazi Germany, which isn't that advocating

for strict regulations on population or having no love for big

business should be associated policy wise with the deaths of over six million people, but rather this: evil doesn't wear

a sign on its chest, and it always comes masked by good

intentions. All I'm saying is be careful. Conversation has this tendency of glossing over matters of life and death with the same matter-of-fact tone appropriate in discussions about the economy. This might very well be because, for some people, the two are completely indistinguishable.

Perhaps I'm being too dire, but like I said, the cheering freaked me out.


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