Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Quality of Friendship

Within this past week I have had the unpleasant task of unfriending someone on Facebook that I thought was a good friend.  We have all been through this, and it seems to be happening a little more often these days.  As I suppose is the way of friendships that end badly, it made me furious.  Hours afterward when I had settled down I was aware of a cold constricting hand around my heart.  The sensation was fear.

The situation was briefly this.  He had posted a list of Mitt Romney’s good works, I suppose you could say.  For instance, volunteering to work in his father’s gubernatorial campaign, to work for the Olympics and as a missionary in Paris for the Mormon Church.  I understand that this is a requirement of the Mormon Church.   It was also noted that Mr. Romney had not taken a salary as Governor of Massachusetts nor as head of the Olympic Committee.   I am sure he hardly missed the money.

 When I suggested that it was easier for Mr. Romney to volunteer large portions of his time then it was for me to volunteer in a rape crisis center, not to mention a number of free clinics, 20 years out of 41 years working 40 to 60 hours per week on the trauma deck, in the ICU or ER my friend became abusive.  He scolded me as a partisan whose opinion was of no value to him.

I began to think about the fact that Mr. Obama’s service as a community organizer working on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised of Chicago far from being respected was ridiculed during the 2008 election.  I realized that Mr. Romney’s Cadillac charitable work on behalf of his father and the Mormon Church in Paris, not Bangladesh, Africa or South America where many of my friends in the Peace Corp had served, was hardly equivalent to Mr. Obama’s work.  Our president came out of law school with a mountain of debt and no silver spoon in his mouth.  I believe it was a sacrifice for him to give of his time – his Harvard Law School graduate time – to people who had little or nothing to give back.  He could have gone anywhere and began to make a great deal of money if he had chosen to do so.  If he was paid serving the community it wasn’t much.  However, like the docs I worked with in the crisis center and the free clinics he probably volunteered much of his time and skill. 

That’s when I got it, and that’s when I got frightened.  It is not about volunteering or charity.  It is about who is being served.  Governors, the Olympic Committee and the Mormon Church matter.  The poor people President Obama served do not matter. 

By the Living Goddess can it be any clearer?  It was like looking through a magnifying glass at the platform of Romney and his prolife-antihuman mascot Ryan.  When some people matter and some people don’t, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” becomes nothing more than an empty campaign slogan.  Liberty, equality and freedom become the property of the privileged and are lost to the common, work-a-day world.

Is it possible that people like the person to whom I was speaking this past week are so deluded as not to realize that unless they become instantly as rich as Romney and his friends at the time of his election they will become instantly part of the common work-a-day world that does not matter?  I suppose they must be since they are confused enough to judge President Obama a failed leader never taking into account the record number of filibusters orchestrated by the amoeboid Republican Senate leadership and the obsession with other people’s wombs in the House that has effectively stopped the president’s efforts to do anything on behalf of the American people.  Apparently, they also missed the information that a cabal of Republican leaders met under cover of darkness on the night of Mr. Obama’s inauguration and vowed to make him a one term president at any cost.  The power was to be theirs.  The cost fell to the American People.

I paraphrase Chris Carter and the final episode of his “X-files” when I say; the devil is just a person with a plan.  Evil, true evil, is a collaboration of people.  We are staring it in the face.

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