I learned that lesson once more -- though I didn't need it -- when I read the comments about a fatal street race on
It was hardly a novel story: Two questionable characters drag-race on a busy thoroughfare. One swerves off the road near
I read every word because I once saw something that could have ended the same way. About two decades ago, I was driving north on
I still shake when I reimagine the scream of his engine. I wonder how he missed trees or hydrants or -- for that matter -- me. This was close to the
In the San Tomas crash, the authorities are going through the standard litany. At my deadline, the coroner had not released the ID of the dead man and was seeking relatives. The CHP was hoping for surveillance tape to shed more light on the race and crash.
Many of the commenters on the original story, however, were firmly in the Darwinian camp. "Stupid gets what stupid deserves,'' wrote one. "Darwin strikes!'' wrote another. You knew it couldn't be too much longer before this debate veered into the political realm.
It began with a comment from a guy named Larry, who was responding to another man's plea for compassion. "It's only pure luck this suicidal driver didn't kill several innocent people,'' he wrote. "I see no reason to give him any respect.''
That prompted a comment from another reader named Fuzzyjob, who wrote, "Typical Trump voter mentality.'' Then the fracas broke out: A commenter named Terrynsv answered Fuzzyjob by saying, "Appropriate name, that's exactly what Hillary will do if she wins.''
And then Larry ended with an injection of sarcasm: "Why do Hillary supporters only attack Trump instead of highlighting Hillary's accomplishments?'' he asked. "She accumulated a billion dollars in her personal foundation while she was secretary of state from 'gifts' from foreign countries.''
I get it: On the day before the election, the temptation to lapse into political invective is irresistible. No presidential election in my lifetime has been characterized as much by the yearning to vote against someone as the contest between
A campaign like this produces excuses for bad behavior. No matter what he or she did, no matter what you say on their behalf, it's not as bad as the other guy. Our invective is magnified by anonymity.
But I wanted to blow a whistle, and say, "Whoa.'' This is about a death on
Yes, you can detest what the guy in the Camaro was doing. But you don't have to celebrate his death. Even in this season of campaign warfare, we have more in common with each other than we think.
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