I was just listening to Rachel Maddow's playing a tape of the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra announcing to the audience that President Kennedy had been assassinated. Cries of despair, shock and pain are heard immediately as the audience reacts to the tragic news. The conductor then announces that the orchestra will play a funeral dirge which elicits more shock and consternation from the people.

Imagine that same news today. Imagine that announcement at a sporting event, or a concert or other public event. Imagine the announcement in the chambers of Congress.

There would be cheering.

Not everyone, of course, but a not insubstantial number of people today would see cause for celebration and would not be shy about expressing it.

Am I too cynical, or has it really gotten that bad?

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