When things go badly, I often look back and retrace the steps that were taken – by me, by my loved ones, by the electorate of Wisconsin, to see where things went awry. I do this with tragedies small and large, historical and current day, tracing the path back to what life was like before things were awful, if there ever was a before.
The noble claim would be that I do it out of obligation to those who have suffered, but the truth is probably closer to this: if I ever travel back in time, I’ll know who to stab.
This train of thought is handy; it absolves me of guilt and it makes me feel righteous. I can look at the status quo and pretend that I had no part in it. I can eschew the responsibility that I inherited the day I was born, the day I