In the figures of completely normal American college students turned terrorists and of torture done at the hands of American soldiers, we are forced to come face-to-face with our own capacity for destruction -- a capacity that is playing itself out in our economy, in our foreign policy and in our very chances for a future on this planet.
This week brought evidence that America continues to evolve in positive ways. On Monday, NBA player Jason Collins came out, becoming the first openly gay male athlete in a major sport. Collins' trust in the American people was rewarded, as the response to his revelation was overwhelmingly positive. Too bad that same trust isn't shared by Washington, which continues to operate out of fear. Gun control seems dead, despite decreased support for Senators who voted against universal background checks, and increased support for those who voted for them. Likewise, this week President Obama reiterated his desire to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay -- where a hunger strike has spread to 100 of the 166 prisoners still being held there without a trial -- but he's done very little to make it happen. Unlike Collins, whom he called to congratulate, the president doesn't seem to trust us to rise to the occasion.