The Lazy Way Out

TombstoneThe cheap shot is the lazy man’s way of circumventing grappling with a problem. The dismissive quality of the cheap shot reveals a person’s nature, character, and current inability to problem solve, strive and attain.

So, where am I going with this?

In the recent Tea Party/Republican Party Q&A hosted by CNN, Wolf Blitzer asked a hypothetical question about an uninsured 30 year old man who would die without medical treatment he could not afford. The question basically was, should he have to die?

Actually, this is not just an abstract, hypothetical question.

Nearly 45,000 deaths in the U.S. every year are associated with lack of health insurance, according to a study this year by Harvard Medical School and Cambridge Health Alliance published by the American Journal of Public Health.*

Source: National Nurses United

The audience reaction was appalling beyond belief. Several people in the audience yelled, “Yes!” and laughing, perhaps in some way an affirmation of those who yelled out, was heard. Basically, Ron Paul, who was asked the question, agreed. He blundered some nonsense about taking personal responsibility, a concept which might better be tolerated if all Americans had the capacity to work in jobs that afforded them health insurance, medical care, basic housing, and food.

But the middle class is shrinking because jobs are leaving this country every month while corporations sit on record piles of cash. (Yes, Apple should hang its head in shame that it sits on $70+ billion without creating jobs in this country. Other corporations are doing the same. The prevailing opinion seems to be that business is waiting to get Obama out of office before creating any jobs.)

“Just let them die.” is the lazy way out, revealing an immaturity unacquainted with human death and human suffering. This calloused attitude pulls back the curtain on hearts without compassion, completely insensitive to the suffering of others. “Just let them die.” isn’t rugged American individuality, isn’t demanding and defending personal responsibility; rather, it’s complete greed and selfishness.

This attitude, like the extermination of the American Indians, is about taking everything for yourself at the expense of your own humanity. Today however, the American Indians are replaced with the poor, the hungry, those who can’t find jobs with livable wages, those 49.9 million Americans who have no insurance, the elderly who, even with medicare and retirement plans, still can not afford their medications every month.

It’s really easy to just blame these people for their predicament and declare they should be left to die. But mark these words: save for the fabulously wealthy, the arrogant, immature, inhumane, caterwauling among us are just one serious illness or accident away from bankruptcy, joblessness, and terrible suffering. No human being deserves to be treated without dignity and compassion.

Then, in another demonstration of taking the easy way out, Pat Robertson actually advocates divorcing your spouse when s/he gets Alzheimer’s disease.  Just make sure s/he has someone to look after him/her. Remarry.  Move on.  When the interviewer drills down and specifically asks about the vow, “till death do us part,” Robertson basically says, “yeah, but she’s dead already.” What about all of the blathering about how sacred marriage is?! I see, sacred until you don’t want it to be sacred because it costs you something.

I don’t recognize my country any more. I don’t recognize faith practice.

How low will this nation sink to live a life that’s “all about me.”

* I see this as simply corporate-sponsored murder for the sake of profit margins—nothing short of criminal conduct.