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Sometimes We Crash

My daughters and I were recently in a car accident. The whole thing happened behind us so we aren’t sure of the details, but so far as we have been able to discover, a driver swerved to avoid someone who was driving erratically. As he swerved, his car hit ours. He went into a ditch, and we went into a spin in the middle of four lanes of high-speed traffic. The erratic driver never stopped or even slowed down.

Everyone involved in the accident is okay.

After I got home that night and got the kids calmed down, I poured myself a glass of wine and started to think about why the accident had been so scary. Part of it was, of course, that car accidents are scary things. Part of it was, of course, that my children were with me.

But I think the biggest part of it was that it wasn’t my fault.

I was driving along in perfect weather conditions, at the speed limit, obeying all the traffic laws, wearing my seat belt, not texting or talking on the phone, not distracted by the radio or a talking child. And then, out of nowhere, the car jolted and started to spin. I was in danger — all of us were in danger — and nothing I had done had caused it. And nothing I could do could stop it.

Nothing I had done had caused it. And nothing I could do could stop it.

We all want to be safe. As the political season heats up, politician after politician will try to persuade us that he or she is the best person with the best plans to protect us from all of the scary possibilities the world contains.

We’ve already been offered a wall along our southern border so that no illegal immigrants can enter the United States or commit crimes here; a $15 hourly minimum wage so that no one will ever have to be poor again; an increase in the war on drugs in order to decrease violence; a decrease in the war on drugs in order to decrease vio…

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