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Playing Politics With Human Lives

November 11, 2017

Recent events and the reactions to them by our seemingly inept and totally unrepresentative Congress, as well as our President who seemingly lacks any semblance of human compassion or empathy for the conditions under which ordinary people in this country and world at large face in their everyday lives are conspiring to give us a situation in Washington, DC with which most of us have become extremely weary of – interminable gridlock. However, if that is the only thing keeping us from living the lives of even worse quiet desperation which would result from the enactment of the long-heralded GOP and/or Trump agenda, we may be better off having this state of flux endure awhile longer.

The mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas – textbook events which in other, more sane societies would have resulted in concrete action to lessen the opportunity for future such occurrences to take place – have resulted in absolutely nothing but more excuses by the well-compensated politicians fully owned by NRA and gun lobby saying that easy access by almost anyone not already convicted of felonies to military style weaponry is not responsible for the mayhem. Since these acts were committed by non-Muslim white US citizens and cannot be blamed on extremist Islamic terrorists, the fault is placed on our faulty mental health care system. Since the act in New York involving the use of a motor vehicle as a lethal weapon to mow down innocent people was perpetrated by an immigrant from a predominantly Muslim country, terrorism is cited by President Trump as the cause of the incident and vindication for his racist and bigoted attempts to ban such individuals from coming here in the future, as well as his call for more of them to be deported.

The arguments casting blame for the mass shooting incidents on the perpetrators’ mental state are specious at best and downright BS at worst. They are basically telling the American people that there is nothing that can be done to protect innocent people from some mentally ill person going berserk on innocent strangers (with a legally obtained  arsenal that many frontline troops would envy) short of denying people their 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Using the faulty mental health care situation as the main cause of the all-too-frequent and ever-increasing severity of such attacks is also misleading, as those elected officials in the forefront of such arguments are also those either personally partially responsible for the deterioration of our mental health care system or are standing in the way of any meaningful attempt to improve it.

The GOP-dominated Congress, with its recent almost singular focus on eliminating any and all benefits achieved for the millions of people whose access to health coverage improved under the Affordable Care Act and its more recent attempts to give huge tax cuts to the wealthiest among us as well as the big businesses who have long practiced tax avoidance of the sort that most of us can only imagine, can be seen to once again be hell-bent on exacerbating every form of economic and social inequality they claim to abhor – at least when trying to convince us to vote for them.

Hopefully this ill-advised attempt to make the tax system even more tilted towards the oligarchs and their corporations than it already is will meet the same fate as the multiple attempts at repeal of the ACA. The attempts at tax “reform” are nothing but a ruse for wholesale payoffs to the rich and their corporations at the ultimate expense of everybody else. The supply side talking points that the tax cuts will pay for themselves through an improved economy have never come true in the decades they have been faithfully spouted by the proponents of this raw deal. The pretense of not caring about increases in the deficit that will immediately take place is as false as the claim that the GOP don’t care about the debt when it is caused by profligate “defense” spending during times of war (meaning all the time). The idea is to give away the treasure then gradually bleed dry the programs that have been helping to sustain the opulent lifestyles of the rich and famous. Pretending the wealthy in some way deserve their privilege whereas the rest od us do not deserve similar blessings is also part and parcel of their talking points.

The powers that be on Capitol Hill and the White House these days are demonstrating on a regular basis their utter lack of desire to help improve the lives of the vast majority of even the people whose interests they were ostensibly elected to represent – let alone humankind as a whole. The millions of people who would lose health care (including those children in imminent danger due to lapse in CHIP), those endangered by the increasing threat posed by mentally unstable folks with guns, those missing out on educational opportunities for the sake of someone else’s profit-making venture mean nothing when their interests conflict with demands made on the politicians by their financial benefactors.

Thus, the NRA and other members of the gun lobby keep the threat of another Sandy Hook or Las Vegas alive, the insurance, pharmaceutical and various health care industries keep sapping more resources than necessary, the fossil fuel industry keeps on making us breathe in way too much smoke and destroying the planet for future generations, Wall Street ripping off poor people legally in ways that loan sharks never could in the past. All this while the merchants of death keep us armed to the teeth and fighting wars protecting the interests of the oligarchs from other people whose interests more closely coincide with our own than those we protect. The gators used to roam the swamp, but increasingly, they now roam the corridors of political power with ever less pretense that they are pulling the strings for their own, rather than our collective benefit.

The people and circumstances that have led to our current political, economic, social and environmental situation are not sustainable in anything remotely approaching the long-term. Having one of the few people in Alabama less fit than Jeff Sessions his probable successor as a US Senator from Alabama is a case in point, but the man currently occupying the seat of power at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue sets the main tone. That the only people of his own party willing to call him out on his farcical agenda are those who have decided to abandon his swamp while they continue to support the vast majority of his agenda does us little good. The recent elections may provide a glimmer of hope, but those coming next year and in 2020 will be even more telling as to if and how we may be able to take back a government by, for and of the people. Division reigns now. Unity as envisioned by the Trumps, Bannons and others of those trying to make compliant paupers by using intolerance and fake news to keep us at each others’ throats to keep us from realizing who our true enemies are would make us members of a society that differs only cosmetically from the totalitarian world of the North Korean bogeyman he throws at us as a menace.

Suggested Further Reading:

Don’t use tragedy to push visa agenda, says congressman

Shameful Trump Refuses To Stop Politicizing NY Attack With New Anti-Immigration Twitter Video

Trump blames Texas mass shooting on mental illness. With 26 dead, it ‘isn’t a guns situation’

Puerto Rico’s Dual Crises Show Its Territorial Status Is the Worst of Both Worlds

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6 Comments
  1. Claudia Davison permalink

    May I post this article on my Facebook page?

    Claudia Davison @thefairelection

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A brilliant essay and summary👍👊 as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A true democracy begins with an individual joining other like-minded people in the pursuit of a good life. Only you can change the way your nation is perceived around the world. The vast majority of 320+ million Americans outweighs the few in various capitals. Turn off the television two evenings a week and get involved with others doing their best to make America beautiful. The millions already doing good deeds are never seen nor talked about by the media. Hope you don’t mind me sharing your article with 35 social networks world-wide Rick 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I never mind sharing my posts as widely as desired. Thank you, Dennis.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Rick another blogger asked people to define America and what it means. Of the hundreds of answers he picked mine. Here it is:

      From a friendly Canadian north of your border I believe you picked up the term America from your national anthem. It was written as the War of 1812 between our nations was ending. In a more modern sense President Kennedy said “My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.” I took what he said to heart asking anyone on this planet to create a new world of law without war. He also said “Together let us explore the stars, conquer the deserts, eradicate disease, tap the ocean depths and encourage the arts and commerce.” and here you have the concept of sharing a dream from America to include the world. I may sound romantic even though I loved and continue to love the high ideal.

      Liked by 1 person

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