On taking the bridge collapse personally


Along with being told to withhold placing blame in situations such as the bridge collapse – generally told by those who are to blame, supported by the naïve – we also usually are reminded that we shouldn’t take such things personally. The implication is that all such terrible occasions are, somehow, acts of god or fate.


That bridge collapsed because of neglect, because politicians have refused to raise sufficient tax money and to pay what is necessary to keep our infrastructure safely functioning. Big-money, right wing campaign funders have demanded that, and “liberals” and “centrists” have ignored the situation or folded easily.

It is their fault that bridge went down and people died and others were injured. It will be their fault when the same thing happens elsewhere, just as it is their fault that New Orleans dikes failed, that there was a volcano-like eruption in a New York street recently, that a woman died when a piece of tunnel ceiling fell on her car in Boston, and that several other deadly infrastructure collapses have occurred during the past couple of years. It is their fault that the dangers are increasing daily.

People do make mistakes, and accidents do happen, but all of these things are predictable and, in fact, have been predicted because of the actions of the tax cutting, cost-cutting, government-hating political right.

As anyone who has been on the receiving end of gunfire knows, if someone is shooting in your direction, you take it personally, even if you are not specifically, personally, the intended target.

In the course of doing my job, I’ve been in such situations three times over the decades. Only once was I specifically the intended victim, but I took it personally each time. “That sonofabitch is trying to kill me,” is what you feel and believe. It is a rational response.

We should all take it personally, and seriously enough to raise hell until we get action.

Those sonsabitches are trying to kill us.