Saturday, June 21, 2014

Charles Krauthammer has lost it

Although I usually don't like to post personal attacks, I'm going to make an exception in this case. On June 16, Charles Krauthammer wrote a column entitled "Sox-Rays, Revenge American Style." I'm certainly no Krauthammer fan, but this column was so inane and ridiculous, I wonder if he has completely lost what little reason he has left.

The focus of the column involves an incident in which Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price deliberately hit Boston player David Ortiz in retaliation for "showboating" after scoring two home runs in a game the previous season. Krathammer praised Price for waiting so long to take his revenge.  Here is a quote from the column:

"What is so delightful about this classic act of revenge is both the length of the fuse — eight months — and the swiftness of the execution: one pitch, one plunk, one message delivered. Revenge as it was meant to be: cathartic, therapeutic, clean, served cold. No talking it through. No sublimation by deep breathing, reason or anything in between. No arbitration, no mediation."

Just when it seems the column couldn't get worse, it does:

"We Americans, children of so young a country, can barely fathom such ineradicable grievances. We did give the world Tonya Harding and the Godfather's horse's head in the bed, but the best we can do outside sport and fiction is "Remember the Alamo." Wonderful sentiment, but with Mexico now a best buddy, hardly a battle cry.

No. We'll do our vengeance on the playing field, thank you, where unwritten rules apply and the frisson can be enjoyed with Bud in hand. So mark your calendar. Next Sox-Rays encounter: July 25. Here's hoping Price is pitching."

I can't help but wonder if Krauthammer gave any thought to the possibility that Ortiz could have been seriously injured when Price intentionally hit him full in the back. Or did he consider the example this type of behavior sets for American children participating in sports? Do we want these kids to value sportsmanship or become thugs willing to attack their opponents when things don't go their way?

Many on the far right claim America has lost it's moral compass. I don't dispute this claim, but in my view it's the acceptance of unbridled corporate greed, racism, homophobia, income inequality, gun violence, climate change and refusal to provide a social safety net for the poorest among us that personifies America's moral decline in the eyes of the world. Isn't it those on the far right who are most willing to turn a blind eye to this country's failings while they mock those on the left for caring so much.

Krauthammer's column goes beyond glorifying an act of violence, it trivializes the terrible human suffering people of other nations experienced in the name of revenge. Price's action in hitting Ortiz with a pitch is neither justified nor acceptable. Krauthammer's belief that it in anyway demonstrates American superiority suggests it is Krauthammer's who has lost his moral compass.