Sunday, August 30, 2009

There Are More Things In Heaven and Earth . . .

Liberal. 1. Having, expressing or following political views or policies that favor civil liberties, democratic reforms, and the use of government power to promote social progress. 2. Having, expressing or following views or policies that favor the freedom of the individual to act or express themselves in a manner of their own choosing. The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.

Edward M. Kennedy was a Liberal. He was not a Fascist or a Nazi. Those two philosophies are at the opposite end of the political continuum, to the right in point of fact. He was not a Marxist, a Socialist or a Communist. He was not a moderate or a conservative – he didn’t advocate the value of money or rigid social structures over people. Teddy was a humanist, an altruistic advocate of social justice. He loved this country because he realized that his and all liberal visions of social justice can best be realized here.
Over a period of nearly 50 years he promoted, penned and passed some of the most important human rights legislation in the history of our government or any other. From Civil Rights to Voting Rights, from Equal Pay for Equal Work to increasing the minimum wage and much more – Teddy was there. The man never worked a day in his life, outside of government, and yet he was the best friend the working man or woman ever knew. Certainly better than all the “real Americans” who would flush the unions down the drain without a second thought and consider a living wage a burden on business.
Senator Kennedy believed that everyone should have decent housing, food to eat, an education and health care. It is in keeping with the dark irony of his tragic family that he should die before seeing the work of his life completed. I am afraid that his vision of health care for everyone has followed him into the grave at Arlington. It will take ten Democrats to carry his mantel, and we don’t live in a world that cares about social justice anymore.
The elderly stand up in town hall meetings and screech about socialized medicine while collecting Medicare. Seems to me that they don’t give a damn whether or not their children or grandchildren have health care. Idiots wear guns to Presidential venues. What are we suppose to make out of that in a country that has assassinated four presidents, with thirteen near misses and a couple of questionable? Here’s what I make of it. Me-me-me-me-me is the Gregorian Chant of the infant soul. I hear it everywhere making it even more poignant that Teddy’s great voice is silent.
For people who don’t believe in reincarnation take a look around. There are people showing their ass daily, mostly on T.V., who could not possibly have gotten so stupid in one lifetime. I do believe in reincarnation. I hope Teddy comes back, although I can’t imagine why he would want to.
The rose above is a pristine white hybrid tea. Like all white roses this one suffers in the heat of summer. It burns and fades early. Yesterday morning as Senator Kennedy’s funeral began the rose opened and defied the blazing sun. Within several hours the rose unfolded in a cacophony of shades of pale and sweet rose scent. The name of the rose is John F. Kennedy.

Flower Comments

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What in the Hell are They Fighting For?

I have been watching these town hall meetings closely. Between the bouts of nausea and anxiety I keep asking myself, "What in hell are these people fighting for?" Could it be the broken health care delivery system on the verge of implosion? Could it be the multimillion dollar profits of multimillion dollar corporations? Is the working class just a collection of stooges following the ultra rich blindly against their own interests in the name of the Constitution? Could it ultimately be that these angry, shouting mobs of ageing adolescents are stupid enough to believe in intellectual excrement like death panels and government spies in the exam room, and if so are they moronic enough to believe that I or any other medical professional would stand still for such things? What arrogance. What condescending presumption. What a total lack of respect for their fellow human beings. Is this the heart of Christian-Middle America - selfishly defining the world and their fellow citizens exclusively in terms of their vested interests, fears, neurosis and insecurities?

This is all so pathetic. I keep seeing people standing up and tearfully shouting out that they want their country back. Where exactly do they think it has gone? Could this be code for, "I want a white face like mine back in the Oval Office?" Is it possible that we are going to deprive millions of our supposedly beloved countrymen of health care because we haven’t come to grips with our bloody bigotry? There is a sorrow here deeper than any sorrow I ever observed in the psych ward; deeper than any sorrow I ever felt for an alcoholic who killed his family because he was too drunk to know what he was doing; deeper than the sorrow I felt in the OR watching a surgeon repair the tortured veins of an HIV positive, teenage addict. It is deeper because everyone knows that booze and junk lead to addiction. However, we treat hate - the greatest of all mind altering substance - as if it had no deleterious properties, no long term effects.

I see hate, and little else, in these town hall meetings full of rage and belligerence. Hate is addictive, and we are addicted. We hate our government, until a hurricane comes. Our politicians hate the government, but don’t mind sucking off the government tit for thirty or forty years. We hate our president. He is turning the economy around and has cut our taxes, but we hate him still. His face is black. He has a funny name, and certain fools say he was born in Kenya. I remember when certain jug-heads in the House attempted to change the law so Schwarzenegger could run for president. Of course, he is pasty white. We hate other countries. We have savaged Britain and Canada for the last six months because of a health care system they like and we know, "but slenderly," as Shakespeare said. We hate one another. The Sarah Palins, Glen Becks, Rush Limbachs and other unmedicated wack jobs keep this going with the right people and the wrong people; the good people and the evil people; the real Americans and the interlopers; God’s people and the devil’s. They have built a narrow world boarded by anger, hate and resentment with few options. Their followers living within those boarders even hate themselves it seems to me.

President Obama is the president of open boarders and expanded options and possibilities. He forgives his enemies and turns the other cheek. These are Christian virtues, I am told. I wouldn’t know. I am a Pagan and I leave forgiveness to the Goddess. She controls the laws of karma, and deeds return in increments of three. Turning the other cheek makes no sense to me. Never turning my back on the enemy does. I admire Obama, and I am terrified that while attempting to help this country he will be hurt. I am pretty certain that we aren’t worth it.