It takes a special man to be the person who gets Americans to dance and cheer a death.
And Osama bin Laden was the man, a mass murderer who spread hatred across the globe.
Images of people in the Middle East hitting the streets and cheering deaths are not uncommon to hit the TV, but that is not something you see in the U.S. We go out and cheer World Series wins, Super Bowl victories. Sometimes, I'm looking at Lansing, we go out and dance and cheer when our teams lose.
But over someone dying? That's not something we see every decade. In fact, when notorious killers are executed, even child killers, there will be protesters out, objecting to capital punishment. There may be counter-protesters, happy with the execution but not cheering death. It's political activism that got them out.
People may have been happy that Timothy McVeigh was killed, but I don't recall cheering and dancing.
When wars start, we don't rush out to cheer and dance; rather, we go inside and watch the news. When the first Gulf War started, people either ordered or stole cable to watch CNN.
We comment, complain, support, question. We cheer when our troops come home.
Osama bin Laden was just a man. But what he did, what he supported, and in some way, what he started, well, that got our attention. And we waited patiently and we rejoiced when we learned that justice had been served.
No complaints that it took so long. Minimum disbelief. No arguing about methods and overall objective. Makes that birth certificate issue seem quaint, silly and ancient.