Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

The material I post on this blog represents my views and mine alone. The material you post on this blog represents your views and yours alone.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Manipulative, Mendacious and Misinformed Menagerie

It’s depressingly clear that bleating sheep are listening to chattering parrots which are fed crackers handed out by crafty and self-aggrandizing orangutans. This is unfair to the animals being referenced, but it nails the source, flow and targeted herd of those opposing health care reform.

Perched in skyscraper treetops above the hurly burly of real life, secure in times of hardship as well as prosperity, imperious orangutans ultimately call the shots. The orangutans of Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Profits ask not what they can do for the citizens who create the luxurious penthouse tree tops they permanently inhabit. Their vision for those below begins and ends with the flattening of life into a bottom line. For the orangutans it’s all about business. And the crumbs falling from the cake they enjoy from on high are used to satisfy those who only think crumbs, have only experienced crumbs, only expect crumbs.

Pointing sharp talons at imagined and conveniently created enemies, blathering on and on with crooked tongues, the parrots of paranoia squawk incessantly from the echo chambers of talk radio and the Fix News channel. Chattering their way to the bank, they deposit droppings of exaggeration, bluster, and communal indifference along a twisting, worn path laid down long ago by the orangutans, their cracker dispensing masters. The path they screech and preach is beaten dusty by naive and nervous sheep.

Protesting mindlessly, denouncing everything from imagined “death panels” to a nefarious plan to “take away my medicare” and replace it with a government program (!?!), the uninformed, misinformed and don’t inform me sheep, bleat out their ignorance of the facts. Primed by the parrots, patronized by the orangutans, this much-handled herd turn their backs into ever-stiffening rods, their brains into one-way sponges, and their hearts into stone. They mistrust democracy because they only understand the narrowed, self-interested world molded for them by those who fear democracy.

This is the animal domain of the healthcare opposition in America. You may enter it out of curiosity and frustration, but it deserves nothing but contempt. You cannot reason or compromise with sheep, parrots and orangutans. Health care reform requires that we choose to exist outside of this menagerie’s uncaring indifference.

We must have health care reform that recognizes those in need but who go without; health care which protects those of limited resources who live each day with anxiety and pain; health care reform which serves the community at large because we are a community not an animal reservation.

Orangutans will bellow, while reaching for more, ever more: “Inefficient! Unfair. Dangerous.”

Parrots will bob and sweat, prattling on: “Un American! Socialism. Hitler. Be afraid.”

Sheep will be sheep. But perhaps between bleats they will admit that the luck of a healthy childhood and a crisis free old age is not guaranteed. Adults recognize a family’s medical needs shouldn’t depend on luck. They acknowledge that erratic luck is no substitute for a health care system serving all, available to all, and paid for by all.

When we achieve this as a nation community, we will be expressing to all and to ourselves the power of democracy and the core of our humanity.


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