February 12, 2016
around the big top

A weird parallel was drawn Monday night

Posted 10/29/09

Monday night at the informational and planning session for those opposing the Gitmo to Standish Max transfer, it was announced that for an upcoming protest, outside groups were contacted about coming along.

These included people who were protesting at “tea parties” and protesting healthcare reform in August.

I wanted to know what the parallel was here. I also wanted to know what these issues, as well as those presented by a young lady who said she would be attending a D.C. second amendment rally and a tax day rally next April, had to do with Guantanamo Bay and Standish. This young lady did answer my question, and to my understanding was joined by 9/12 protestors from the tri-city area, many of whom have vocally protested healthcare.

I couldn’t see the similarities. I said that and I was basically told “so what.”

And near the young lady announcing her rallies, another woman stood up showing a handout with the names of Gitmo detainees who helped plan the Sept. 11 attacks listed on it. She said the 3,000 Americans killed that dark day, the saddest day in American history, was reason enough to protest the detainees coming to Standish.

That’s fine. That’s understandable.

After hearing her say that, I wondered, “Is she here with the healthcare/tea party protestors who are in attendance.”

Does she feel the same way as them?

A study recently showed that 44,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance. Just the other day I read about two toddlers being turned away by doctors – one was too skinny, the other considered obese, albeit they were only toddlers.

That 44,000, in my estimate, is probably greatly exaggerated. So lets say it’s only really a quarter of those people who die every year. And let’s round down, and say 10,000 people die yearly because they don’t have health insurance.

Now, it appears to me, the people protesting Gitmo closing due to the deaths on 9/11, are also the people protesting healthcare reform, even though, using my number, 10,000 Americans die every year since they don’t have health insurance.

That’s a weird parallel to me. What do these two issues have in common?


Oh wait. One party is opposed to both. Although 9/11, the greatest tragedy ever in our country, claimed 3,000 lives in a matter of hours, and people not being insured kills (again, I’ll use my number) 10,000 every year, the deaths aren’t the same, apparently. I guess only one kind is worthy.

The people speaking Monday said they don’t want to be called fear-mongers, hate-mongers or ignorant by people in the community who feel differently than they do.

And they shouldn’t. Really what they want is for people to understand them. Understand that they don’t think this should happen with the scarce and minimal amount of information that has been released. They want people to understand what they feel and why.

Yet people they are inviting to their rally, the so-called “healthcare people,” call those in favor of healthcare reform Socialists, Communists and Nazis.

People died on 9/11. People still die because they don’t have health insurance.

Neither thing is good in my eyes.

Again, there’s one parallel.

Partisanship. It’s killing our notion of “United we Stand.” All the issues are painted with one large partisan brush.

It’s the reason peaceful prostestors at Kent State were grouped in with the Weathermen Underground and eventually shot. It’s the reason Vietnam veterans returning from a war they had no say in declaring, many of whom were shipped out not knowing the whole story, were spat upon in the United States upon return.

I’m sick of the all or nothing strategies in politics. It’s gotten so bad that a person can’t be pro-life and be an environmentalist. You can’t be pro-business and pro-civil rights.

If you’re against Gitmo detainees coming to Standish, you’re for 10,000 deaths due to people not having health insurance.

Would that be a fair statement? I hope not, but that’s the nature of the game today. And I’m not telling people to feel a certain way. But if you want to be understood, and don’t want to be called names, don’t invite people to your event who refuse to understand and call people names.

County Commissioner Ray Daniels mentioned Monday that people who lost loved ones in Oklahoma City probably felt just as miserable as those who lost someone on 9/11.

And I’m willing to bet someone who loses a loved one after a doctor says “I’m sorry, your insurance doesn’t cover this” feels pretty miserable too.

But anymore, people don’t listen to one another. We pick a party, listen to our favorite talking head spewing that party’s rhetoric or read our blogger of choice, then we say the same stuff.

Actually, not we. Because I like to think I’m not in that group. And I hope more people can start to feel the same way.

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