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May 2, 2011

It’s okay to cheer.

Filed under: Politics — Chris Chaten @ 9:20 PM

“Then this is a day of Independence

For all the Munchkins and their descendants…

Yes, let the joyous news be spread The wicked Old Witch at last is dead!”

-The Wizard of Oz

It’s okay to cheer. We are not our enemy.

David Sirota at Salon.com argues that we are becoming bloodthirsty, that this cheering and flag waving is ugly, and we should just sit at home and reflect.  He is wrong.

We are not the same as the terrorists who aim to capture and kill our soldiers, our journalists, and our citizens. We are not the Western equivalents of the Al Qaeda sympathizers who burn the American flag and revel in death and destruction for its own sake.

We are cheering an event that was a necessary milestone to victory.  We aren’t cheering just for Osama bin Laden’s death but for the possibility of future peace.

True, this is a time for reflection; but reflection and elation are not mutually exclusive. If we didn’t cheer, I’d worry about a collective apathy.

The chants of “USA! USA! USA!” shouldn’t have to be justified.

Outcomes, emotions, and reactions are not binary.  Let’s allow for some nuance.

Our military notched a win for the good guys. We eliminated the single greatest threat to our way of life, and we secured some justice for his victims.  I’d say that’s something to cheer about.

Ding, dong.

-Chris

1 Comment »

  1. I agree we should cheer. Cheer for the elimination of the single greatest threat to our way of life. Cheer for the hope of keeping more Americans alive — both overseas and at home. However, we should never cheer for the death of a human life. We might recognize that his death was instrumental in achieving a greater peace, but the death of another should never be a source of joy, no matter how terrible that person’s actions were. And I can’t help but disagree with the President’s comment that “justice was served.” Justice will never be served for the families of the victims of 9/11.

    Comment by Liz — May 2, 2011 @ 10:22 PM

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