Most folks don’t proofread remarks tossed up on Facebook. But this was Nietzsche, and I didn’t want to get Nietzsche wrong, lest the forces of darkness he dabbled in come flapping out of a fissure in the earth and get me.
I had posted my Saturday column about Donald Trump coming down with COVID-19. It skewed toward kindness. Sorry, I had to work quick, and find decency a handy default position, particularly now. You rarely regret kindness. Rarely slap yourself on the forehead the next morning and wonder, “How could I have been so decent?!?”
Yes, it bothers some. “We’re showing him more empathy than he’s shown us,” complained an assistant professor at Loyola. “He has never called for any kind of remembrance of coronavirus victims or personally sought to console survivors.“
True enough. But since when did Donald Trump become our moral pole star?
“That’s how it should be,” I replied. “‘When battling monsters,’ Nietzsche tells us, ‘make sure that you do not become a monster.’”
Quotes have a way of being distorted. So I checked the source, “Beyond Good and Evil.” Easy enough to find, aphorism No. 146: ”Whoever fights with monsters should make sure not to become a monster in the process.”
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