BOSTON (CBS) – One of Mark Twain’s most famous observations, that “common sense is very uncommon,” has never been more relevant.
There are plenty of examples of the near-total absence of common sense to choose from, but you can’t do any better than the ridiculous episode on a United Airlines flight Sunday night, where police officers inexplicably roughed up a passenger who had randomly been chosen to give up his seat because of overbooking.
If you haven’t already seen the video, it depicts this older gentleman, apparently a doctor, politely but firmly refusing to give up his seat, as had every other passenger.
Instead of maybe sweetening their offer to try to coax him or someone else, airline and police officials decided to drag him out of his seat, then proceeded to drop him so his head struck an armrest, drawing blood and knocking the guy groggy.
Then, as onlookers berated the cops for this idiotic display of arrogance and overkill, they dragged the poor man down the aisle by his legs.
I am pretty sure that every decent cop in America looked at the video and just shook their head. These guys took a touchy but peaceful situation and turned it into something violent, an utter failure of common sense, let alone decency.
And then, of course, it was the United CEO’s turn to make a huge unforced error, apologizing in a statement only for having to “reaccomodate” the victim.
That’s what they call a mugging these days in some quarters.
You know – the quarters where common sense has long since moved out.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: