so long as we can say this is the worst

For all I know, Lance Mannion could be 32 years old. If so, however, he is wise well beyond his years.

Republics are hard to keep. This one has lasted a lot longer than any of the men who founded it expected it to, and it could disappear in a wink of the eye. We’ve survived because all along there have been people who insist on our surviving.

Shakespeare’s Sister asked if I can remember when the situation was more dire. Of course I can. I grew up convinced that World War III was a daily possibility. When I was a little kid and an altar boy I served the funeral mass for a boy not all that much older than me who’d died in Vietnam. My earliest political memories are dominated by Richard Nixon and Watergate.

The name Samuel Alito scare you?

Try this one.

Henry Kissenger.

But I don’t mean to sound like I’m sitting next to you in the emergency room while you wait for the doctor to treat your broken arm and saying, You think this is bad, sonny? Why once I broke my arm in three places and sprained my ankle at the same time, and that was while I was on my way to the hospital to have my burst appendix taken out.

Things have been worse and could be worse, but we’re still in the ER, aren’t we?

Yes. Yes, we are. It hurts…a lot. But we are still here, aren’t we?

And worse I may be yet: the worst is not
So long as we can say ‘This is the worst.’

-Wm. Shakespeare, King Lear, Act IV, Scene 1

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