THE KU KLUX KLAN and the Bill of Rights. Moby Dick and drugstore paperbacks. Abraham Lincoln and Richard Nixon. The Mississippi River and Coney Island. Reinhold Niebuhr and Aimee Semple McPherson. The Vietnam War and the Peace Corps.

Out of many, one. The question, of course, is: one what? The hope of the world? The despair of the world?

Anybody who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 is unlikely to forget it. The U.S.S.R. refusing to call back its freighters. The U.S.A. refusing to call off its blockade. The world going to sleep at night wondering if there would be a world to wake up to in the morning.

One misstep is all it would have taken. One misstep is all it will take. 

-Originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words

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