The highlighted line has been referred to repeatedly in the Pit thread about Justice Scalia’s death, but is it always true? I can see it having some vague, hippy validity when said about a child in a war-torn land starving when food is kept from her by the fighting, but does it still work when a nasty old man dies in his sleep in the lap of luxury? Or a different nasty old man who caused the deaths of thousands of innocents is shot down like a dog in his bedroom? Or a nasty young man gets killed while trying to prevent an aid convoy from reaching that little girl? These seem like wins, not losses.
As a counter-quote I will turn to a lesser poet, R Dean Taylor, who said, “If a man ever needed dying, he did.” Personally, while I’d prefer that Scalia had retired and spent his declining years in the bosom of his family rather than stinking up the Supreme Court, he chose the only alternative his beliefs would allow. I shed no tears over his death, only wishing it had happened years ago, and I know this shows me to be less nice than I could be, but if his death improves the lives of people I know and like, how else does it diminish me?