Tragedies often unite us. Our hearts break for the people of Oklahoma, and many of us have already donated to charities such as The Red Cross or The Salvation Army in an attempt to help those who are suffering. Compassion for others and unity in suffering are part of why I still believe America is a great country. The greatest country.
Contrast this unity to the political divide that has become a seemingly unbridgeable chasm over the past several years. Pundits both left and right use every possible news story to bash their opponents and support their own agenda. Outrage has divided us, but could outrage unite us? It seems that may be the case.
On Monday, May 23, 2013 Lois Lerner appeared before a House Oversight Committee investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups and made the following statement before invoking her Fifth Amendment rights:
“I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”
I have watched these hearings in disgust. Not only because IRS officials Steven Miller and Douglas Shulman seem to have fallen victims to a sudden case of selective amnesia, but because of their unbridled arrogance and disrespect as they appeared before congress. These people who have the power to ruin your life if they so choose have to audacity to believe they are above the law. Untouchable. And while it seems the IRS exclusively targeted people with conservative views, outrage comes from both sides of the aisle. Liberals and conservatives can finally unite against a common enemy: the Internal Revenue Service.
Jon Stewart is hardly known for his conservative leaning political views, but I thought he sums up our collective outrage very well here: