I rarely talk “politics” with casual acquaintances, not for a lack of trying. People just don’t seem to care or feel comfortable engaging in conversation about such topics. That said, it seems that the topic of Bin Laden’s death is big enough to overcome that. I’ve had dozens of conversations in the past two days about it with people with whom I strongly agree, strongly disagree, or exchange little more than a “hello” every other week.
The conversations have been heated but positive. It is clear that the destruction of this symbol of terror has lifted a weight off the shoulders of so many Americans, including myself. Bin Laden is dead, and that feels good. Period. At this time, I almost don’t want to think about costs, about anything, and just enjoy the moment, the realization that this icon of evil is gone.
I think a lot of Americans feel good in this way. It reminds me that there is a common uniting thread that runs through our nation. Each of our moral systems are more alike than they are different. Each of our lives, from the smallest blissful detail to the biggest tragedy, are more alike than they are different. A beautiful set of photographs by Mark Laira illustrates this idea brilliantly, two examples of which are shown in this post.