And it seems they are largely killing themselves. Two Princeton Economists announced their findings on Monday, showing that the mortality rates for white Americans had soared over the last decade and a half - at a time when mortality rates for just about every other racial and socio-economic group had declined. Alarming in and of itself. But what is most disturbing is the cause for this increase in mortality: I would be lying if I didn't see a connection between this and the rise of Fox News and the rabid right Republicanism exemplified by the Tea Party. I would also be lying if I didn't see evidence of this sort of tragedy unfolding among some of my own acquaintances. I've already seen one friend drink himself to death in his early forties. Two others have lifestyles that can only be described as borderline-suicidal through alcoholic self-medication. The only bright spot in their particular cases is that neither of them happen to own firearms.