A half century ago I visited Charlottesville. I drove. Gas was then around 20 cents a gallon I think. The notion that cars and trucks were weapons in the hands of death-dealers was far from my mind. I was there to say hello to a fellow named School Merchant who had been a head counselor at camp Rabbit Hollow where I had worked a few years earlier. School was I think the first African American to attend law school at UVA.

School had been denied the right to attend a dance there. But when he protested, there was a change of mind. As it turned out School did not attend the event.

It was good that he could have.

Vehicles are the new guns

Yesterday we learned, in an era of copycat crime, casual speech and media saturation, vehicles are more and more the chosen terror weapon. Why not? They are heavy metal weapons and their entire history has been marked by endless deaths from collisions. We charitably call them accidents.

It would not bother me if cars were put on a list of forbidden products. Or if they were given reservations where people could drive their hearts out without imperiling innocents.

Predictable side-taking

Charlottesville will yield up endless condemnations.

Trump will be faulted for temporizing and not calling the premises of the Americans who organized the unify-the-right even evil. Exclusion is evil and that is a truth that all should embrace. But so toxic is our environment that we are wanting to fault either side according to our premises. A calm statement that exclusion is evil will not become a meme.

Ignoring reality

I do not think the car's complicity will get much traction. A truck did a lot of damage in Nice and that is not on everyone's lips.

Vehicles are dictators of a global sprawl design that most likely condemns the world to ongoing effects of warming. But that may be too subtle. It is no more subtle than the con-artistry in the operation of our politics.

Trump needs to modify his rhetoric

Had Charlottesville not involved a vehicle, it would have gone down as a disturbing indication that the Civil War is not over. Few injuries. The war is winding down. We may need more face to face discussion between those who so violently disagree. It would be nice too if Trump could modify his incitements. But for every negative result, there are one or two salient results like those that follow.

Evil does not require religion to be real. It is real regardless.

It is harm. Elizabeth Warren calls it thus.

And then this: Had trump said it, life might have changed a bit.