Mary Pitt: An Epidemic Of Feelinglessness
An Epidemic Of Feelinglessness
By Mary Pitt
When one engages in political dialogue, in person or in print, with persons of differing opinion, there is one great punch line that those on the right use as a final damnation of those with a more liberal viewpoint, that Liberals CARE and Liberals FEEL. This is to indicate that caring and feeling are foolish and impractical traits that should be wiped out of the American consciouness. One does not need a very long memory to recall that, in the year 2000, the presidential candidate, George W. Bush, felt it necessary to qualify his declaration of "conservatism" with the adjective "compassionate". However, since he assumed the Presidency we have seen little that passed for "compassion" and the act of "caring" or "feeling" has become a virtual act of treason in the minds of his adherents.
When confronted with opposition, a "liberal" will inquire as to the reason for your views and attempt to understand your thinking and attempting to persuade you with his own reasoning. But when you confront a "conservative" with opposition, he will emohatically question your patriotism, your sanity and even, perhaps, your genetic heritage. It appears that absolutely none of the conceptions of any Liberal is correct and you will find that you will be promptly given the guidelines necessary to correct your perception. That lesson will sound much like this:
It is neither patriotic or politically expedient to care that we went into Iraq based on false information or to feel that those in power knew at the time that it was a lie. We went, we won, and it feels good, so don't you rain on our parade by saying that it was unneccessary! Don't feel the pain of the nearly 1600 sets of parents who will never see their children again and don't care that tens of thousands of other young American men and women will come home irreparably broken, never to live normal lives again. And. further, don't even think about the Iraqi people who have been "caught in crossfire" or "mistakenly shot" but are dead nonetheless, despite the fact that "it isn't our fault". The ragheads probably had it coming anyway.
And, for Heaven's sake, don't EVER take your eyes off the glories of war and bringing freedom to the nations of the Middle East! If we do, we may see what is happening all around us, in the good old US of A. Don't think about the fact that 18,000 people, citizens of our own "super-rich" country, died in the past year because they couldn't afford the needed medical care. Don't feel a pang at seeing a neighborhood school that is old and in horrendous condition, fenced and guarded like a penitentiary, where little children, in fear for their very lives, are expected to learn to become responsible and productive adults. Accept as a fact that the great majority of black males can expect to spend some prison time for something at some time in their lives and that many black girls can look forward to becoming single mothers when barely into her teens. It doesn't matter. Move on.
Support the plans of the President and his economic advisors to borrow 11 trillion dollars over the next ten years to destroy Social Security because the nation is already so deeply in debt that repaying the "trust fund" money would cause a hardship, though it is an amount considerably less than the cost of replacing the entire system with a new, improved "privatized" model. Don't look too closely at the pending "bankruptcy reform" which would allow people to lose their homes due to their inability to pay extraordinarily high medical bills, and don't care about the fact that even the very elderly could find themselves homeless as the result. Don't care that the Medicare and Medicaid system is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy while we fight over Social Security. The Medicaid budget is already insufficient and further cuts are planned so that the very poor, already suffering from the loss of jobs and faced also with the loss of employer-paid insurance coverage, will be turned away and will add to the numbers of the dead from the lack of health maintenance.
Ignore the news items that reflect badly upon our government in the enforcement of the Patriot Act. Forget the attorney in Portland, Oregon, who was arrested in error on suspicion of being somehow involved in the train bombing in Spain, carted off to an undisclosed location where he was held for a long time in communicado before it was discovered that a mistake had been made. OOPS! There are NOT prisoners who have been held at Guantanamo Bay for YEARS without access to courts or to any opportunity to protest their innocence. And, if there were, they were treated kindly and should enjoy their vacation on the Caribbean, with room service, no less.
All this support for the President, his corporate cronies, and his favoritism toward the enrichment of certain corporations at the expense of our freedoms and the resources of the American people would not be possible without turning the compassion switch to OFF, with ceasing to feel and refusing to care that, at the same time our own nation is being destroyed from within, atrocities and international crimes are being committed in our names. Now, if only it were possible to teach us stupid Liberals how to accomplish it. Somehow we're just too dumb to realize what is in our own best interests.
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is self-employed
and active in the political arena. Her concerns are her
four-generation family and the continuance of the United
States as a democracy with a government "of the people, by
the people, and for the people". Comments and criticism may
be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org .