Monday, June 27, 2011

America's Last Stand

"No, we will not balance the budget on the backs of working families, the elderly, the sick, the children, and the poor, who have already sacrificed enough in terms of lost jobs, lost wages, lost homes, and lost pensions. Yes, we will demand that millionaires and billionaires and the largest corporations in America contribute to deficit reduction as a matter of shared sacrifice. Yes, we will reduce unnecessary and wasteful spending at the Pentagon. And, no we will not be blackmailed once again by the Republican leadership in Washington..."

So begin Sen. Bernie Sanders's remarks, given today on the floor of the Senate. Please read Sen. Sanders's entire floor speech, particularly if you are inclined to support the Republicans' view of budgetary issues. Perhaps you will be touched by the senator's words, perhaps you won't. If that's the case you are an ideologue and nothing will move you. I just hope that you will never find yourself in the situations that Sen. Sanders's correspondents described to him.

But if you do not emphatize with Sen. Sanders's plea and with the cry for help of those who sent their prayers to him, if you don't realize that these are not people who are looking for handouts but regular folks, who are tired of being financially raped by those who rule unopposed (not the politicians, but those that buy their services) while they themselves struggle to keep a roof on their heads, food on their table, life-saving medication in their pill-box, and gas in their tank in spite of doing everything they were told and taught to do, then maybe I should wish the same dire predicaments on you as well, for that might be the only way you can regain the humanity you lost somewhere along your ephemeral trek on this planet. No one is born without a shred of humanity.

We are, save rare exceptions, all born with the ability to feel our kin's suffering, to feel empathy for one another, to be compassionate. We are taughtby the masters of the ideology of selfishness, the children of Ayn Rand and of American biblical fundamentalism's incestuous relationship with corporate power, to look at others as if they were so different from ourselves, to think that if they need help it's because they have failed, because they made the wrong choices, because they are lazy, and because they expect the tyrannical state to help them instead of an imaginary god, be it the Christian god, or Mammon or who knows what other irrational distortion of reality.

If you are so lost in your own selfish idolatry that you fail to be moved by Sen. Sanders's words, I pity you because you are a failure to the god you worship, whatever it is, and a miserable fellow traveler in this life.

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