human behavior

Twisted Politics

Posted in American Culture & Politics, Health & Medicine by humanb on March 21, 2010

You’ve probably heard about the man with Parkinson’s Disease, a former science and technology lecturer at Ohio State, who was berated at a Tea Party protest against healthcare reform, for wearing a sign that read:

“Got Parkinson’s? I Do and You Might. Thanks for helping! That’s community!”

One protestor said to him:

“If you’re looking for a handout, you’re in the wrong end of town. Nothing for free over here, you have to work for everything you get.”

And still another…

“No, no, I’ll pay for this guy. Here you go, start a pot. I’ll pay for you.”

This last guy proceeded to place a dollar in his lap before throwing another dollar at him and screaming:

“I’ll decide when to give you money!”

I couldn’t help but think of this incident when President Obama spoke to the Democrats in the House today before the historic healthcare reform vote. To the Democrats he said:

Something inspired you to get involved, and something inspired you to be a Democrat instead of running as a Republican. Because somewhere deep in your heart you said to yourself, I believe in an America in which we don’t just look out for ourselves, that we don’t just tell people you’re on your own, that we are proud of our individualism, we are proud of our liberty, but we also have a sense of neighborliness and a sense of community and we are willing to look out for one another and help people who are vulnerable and help people who are down on their luck and give them a pathway to success and give them a ladder into the middle class.

I don’t think it’s an unfair characterization to argue that Democrats are fundamentally more communitarian than Republicans who huff and puff about the death of small town values out of one side of their mouth, while rabidly defending a merciless “you’re own your own” individualism out the other side.

To be a Democrat is not to shirk personal responsibility, but to support thy neighbor as thyself, to support thy nation as thyself.

Don’t – get it – twisted.


5 Responses

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  1. DarrylW said, on March 22, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Love this post, humanb. It challenges all of us to put humanity before political affiliation, or any other superficial association.

  2. al said, on March 22, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    hey i like that (Obama) quote. i thought of you when i heard the news on ABC radio this morning =)

    • humanb said, on March 22, 2010 at 10:43 pm

      Yeah this legislation is actually enormous – politically, economically and culturally. Fingers crossed the legislation can be strengthened by a public option within a year and by more serious cost-cutting measures.

      • al said, on March 23, 2010 at 3:12 pm

        Yes, so I gathered! I’ll look on with interest.

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