February 2011

A nation of hypocrites

By Galen Larson

I was under the impression that I lived in the United States of America – united we stand, divided we fall. Instead I find we are selfish, inconsiderate, mean-spirited and hypocritical – certainly not united.

There are people out there who say they love this country but hate – sometimes even refuse – to pay taxes. That’s akin to saying, “I love my children but they can fend for themselves. I take no responsibility for their survival.”

Isn’t it strange how we come together in killing? If our leaders say we need to invade some country and kill men, women, children, the elderly, in the most heinous ways, we strut and cheer and send someone else’s child to do it. The Iraq debacle cost untold billions, not to mention the sacrifice of 4,500 of our troops, plus the injuries to another 125,000, many of whom will never be completely healed. All to invade a nation that most of our schoolchildren can’t even find on a map.

We portray ourselves as a Christian nation, yet blithely ignore Christ’s teachings. We teach compassion on one hand and deliver destruction with the other and hide behind his name in the process.

When we are asked to help those in need through health insurance, food, clothing, shelter or jobs, we turn our back and place the blame on the victims. When someone can’t afford an operation or is about to lose his home because of medical expenses, we have chili cookoffs, pie sales, quilt auctions to raise a pittance, making the ailing feel guilty and still not raising enough to give any meaningful help except to our conscience.

Yet when we could come together and contribute as a nation to make a genuine difference to those that need medical help, we balk. We not only turn our back and a blind eye but blame the infirm for their conditions. We don’t seem to understand the saying, “There but for the grace of God go I.” If we can afford our former war president’s establishment of health care for the Iraqis, and I think we should as penance for the havoc we wrought on them, we should be more than willing to keep our fellow man in that great nation as well.

I, thanks to all of you out there, have universal health care. I can go to any of my hospitals in the nation, give them my last four Social Security digits and in minutes have my prescription filled or health problem attended to.

So the guidelines to provide such health care are there — if those we elected to lead us just did their duty instead of paying off their bribes from the lobbyists. We could continue to be the greatest nation in the world instead of slowly sinking into the mire of dictatorial nations. Look at the world around us and see which countries provide health care for all and which don’t, and ask yourselves which group we want to emulate.

I am tired of speaking to someone in India or the Philippines if my phone goes out. I don’t want onethird of my ground beef coming from countries that don’t have FDA regulations. I don’t care to purchase catfish or shrimp farmraised in the sewers of China, Vietnam or Cambodia, even if it is a dollar and a quarter cheaper than those raised under our own guidelines.

Now, if we had risen up when jobs were going offshore and fought to keep them here, we would have enough tax money in the coffers to pay for health care, the repair of our infrastructure, and armament for the military, and we could once again be proud of ourselves.

By the way, my health care is provided through the Veterans Administration. If I remember right (and it was 60 years ago), the war we were fighting then was for freedom from Communism. One can’t very well be free when one cannot afford to be sick.

Our crybaby Speaker of the House is the same person who handed out checks to his pals from tobacco companies that sold a product that increased the cost of health care for this entire nation. He supported the corporations going overseas and using our taxes to pay for the move, supported the misguided war and its expenditures, now blubbers that there is not enough money to care for the health of our citizens. Will the real Christians please stand up and defend themselves from these imposters? A number of our presidents, both Republican and Democrat, have tried to pass universal health care. It wasn’t defeated by the people, but by the lobbyists for the insurance companies that keep hiking premiums.

A friend of mine just found out theirs is going up to $900 a month. You would have to have a chili benefit every week just to make the payments. We could afford health care for our citizens if we just refused to spend a billion a month killing people in Afghanistan.

Galen Larson, a veteran of the Korean War, writes from Montezuma County, Colo.