War: 1 American Values: 0

Deborah Branscum: “Nobody’s perfect. We are all sinners, as my late uncle Carroll Gene, a Southern Baptist preacher, liked to say. I know that is true. But for most of my life, I have been able to believe, with pride, that there are some things that Americans perfected. Like baseball, and caramel apples, and civil rights. Sure, other countries could claim they were democratic but we were really good at it. And there were some things we simply didn’t do as Americans. Like torture prisoners. Or jail people without a trial. Or deny people human rights. That’s what I believed, anyway. But the tactics used in the war on terrorism have destroyed my belief that we’re especially good at civil rights and especially bad at torture.”