“[I see as much misery from those who seek to justify theirselves (sic) as from those who set out to cause harm.]” Doc, Season 1, episode 2, Deadwood
I just started watching Deadwood tonight. It is surprisingly the source of a comment that strikes me as very pertinent today. I have quoted it, more or less, above. The braces are mine because I am not sure that I the recall the quote verbatim, but the gist is definitely there. It is powerful. We live in a society that justifies the means by the end. When you hear the news out of Washington, and as you head to the polls in November, please remember the half-truths and lies that you have been handed to justify all the wrongs in your lives today.
Why is your family’s healthcare subject to the condition of your continued employment instead of to meeting basic human needs for everyone who needs help? Think how much more productive you could be as an American worker if a significant portion of your worry were not to keep a job that might not fit you just to make sure that your children can go to a doctor when they need one. Would it not improve the overall quality of your life to know that your healthare will be guaranteed no matter your level of income? Which selfish person would argue that John Doe would not carry his fair share, leaving you responsible for taking up his load? It is already happening in the free-market system…only we charge more to care for those who have no advocates. Those of us with insurance face fixed healthcare costs. Those with no insurance are charged more and the shortfalls are passed on to us in the guise of spiraling increases in healthcare. These costs are not discussed and are hidden to keep the real issue of universal healthcare out of the realm of consideration.
Why is immigration such a significant issue to this administration? Did you hear about the town in southeast Georgia that was all but shut down by an immigration raid over Labor Day weekend? The factories were forced to close, the stores have suffered loss of sales and the housing rental market is now posting vacancy signs where no one needs a home anymore. What if you worked in a blue-collar factory and your family relied upon your employment for healthcare, food and basic supplies and your plant had to shut down because the government came in and arrested a good portion of the willing workforce? What does it really mean for us to say that we have to close our borders and build a 700 mile wall between us and those brown-skinned Mexicans? What will it really do to our own economy to eject the people who come here to do the jobs that most of us would not do anyway? Is this not really an issue of racism that is disguised as misguided economic policy?
Why are gay people and their rights such significant issues to this administration? I saw a poll this week that stated that roughly one in 3 people disapproves of gay marriage while 6 in 10 people disapprove of the job being done by President Bush. Let’s make that the referendum instead of focusing the ill-feelings and wrath of a nation on a group of people who are otherwise faceless, easy targets. Attacking the defenseless to look invincible is a tactic that is taken directly from Fascist guidebooks: tell the Big Lie and blame it on those with the fewest allies. If you buy into the argument of numerical importance, and you argue whether gay people represent 1% or 10% of the population, then I must ask you if you condone any amount of discrimination? At what point are there few enough dark-skinned people to make it ok to discriminate against them? How few Jews are needed to make it ok to blame the Jews for everything? How few Catholics or Protestants? Libertarians? Librarians? It matters not to me how many free people there are, only that they are free to live to their greatest individual potential.
Are these issues not over-simplified and used as a jab to the gut of the average American, intended only to produce a reactionary response? Each one of us is different from the next. Do you really want a morality/values/national origin police that decides how worthy you are to take part in life in this society? Maybe we need to review our world history and the persecutions that should have served as object lessons for us all. Maybe we should do that before the next Congressional elections.
Why are we fighting a war in Iraq? Why are 42 million people in the world infected with HIV and yet our government continues to apply abstinence-only requirements on any aid offered to stop this illness? If that policy is useful and workable, why do we have so many unwed teenaged mothers? Why is there little to no economic incentive and no apparent rush to develop an HIV vaccine? Why do Church leaders continue to shy away from promoting condom use? Why are our lives controlled so much more by the ebb and flow of the stock market and the profit of investors than by what is universally right?
I think it is time for a paradigm shift. We should think of what is needed to take care of our loved ones and ourselves. We should return to the basic commandment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and apply that to how we vote and select our leaders. You know what? THIS message sounds a lot like the message of Christ, not the messages of discrimination that have been spread by the administration and attributed to “religious tradition”. I say it is time to turn the liars and the spinners out on their ears before any more of us are hoodwinked. They are giving religion a bad name. We are so much more intelligent than they have assumed us to be and our hearts know the sounds of hypocrisy when we hear it.
Categories: politics healthcare immigration LGBTQ HIV/AIDS election_2006