We can all agree there is division in our country between liberals and conservatives, between parties and ideologies. In some respect, the divide is growing since a larger percentage of citizens do not support the agenda and policies that our new administration is promoting. Most of their policies appear to benefit only the rich and many adversely affect women, children, elderly and the disabled.
It is surprising that there have not been more violent clashes between liberal and conservatives than we have seen. Tempers and frustrations are high. During the Presidential campaign, hateful rhetoric encouraged people to commit acts of violence. Hate crimes have increased dramatically this year with a rise in white supremacist groups as well. This past week a crazy liberal man opened fire with an assault weapon at a baseball field against the Republican representatives who were practicing for their Congressional rival game. One Representative was critically injured. Immediately, both parties in Congress expressed healing words and prayers to bring the country together during this tragedy. Certainly, that is well and good, and we all wish speedy and total healing to those who were shot.
However, Dr. William Barber insight-fully brought up many great points on the AM Joy MSNBC show today that highlight the tragic hypocrisy of these politicians ( I am using many of his solid points). They urge us to pray for one another, but turn around and prey on minorities, sick and elderly by their legislative action! It’s a legitimate point that needs to be explored and is part of the reason for the division between parties!
This very hypocrisy portrays a disconnect between rhetoric of improving the lives of the American people and policies that would do the opposite. How can some of the legislators call themselves Christians, following Jesus’ principle of helping the ‘least of these’, turn around and vote for bills that will force millions of children, the elderly and disabled to lose healthcare and food stamps/meals on wheels? How can we watch a white American man commit an act of violence, but try to pass a ban against people from another country who are Muslim? How can we see our Attorney General, who is there to uphold the laws of the land, say that he has held no inquiries on the cyber-attacks by the Russians? How can we listen to conservative rhetoric that blames liberals for violence, when it was the Presidential candidate himself who said he would cover legal fees if people beat up others in the audience? The majority of liberals I have encountered are peaceful, including their marches and protests, and do not use words to incite violence, including Bernie Sanders, whom I supported.
Representative Scalise, who is recovering from the recent attack with critical gunshot wounds, might want to ponder his ideologies while he is recuperating (and we do wish him a full recovery). He sponsored legislation that would mandate marriage only between a man and woman. Does he realize the officer who saved his life is a lesbian hero and would that influence him to change his decision in the future? Also, he voted to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a disastrous new bill that will kick millions from healthcare coverage? Will he now want to give everyone the same good medical coverage/care that he is receiving in the hospital? Would he deny others of the care he has received? He also voted to repeal the ban of semi-automatic weapons. Will he reconsider that after being shot by one? The baseball game he was to play in raised millions of dollars for charity, yet at the same time the very legislators who played in that game have voted on deleterious bills that adversely affect the lives of millions of people who don’t earn a decent wage, nor will be able to afford healthcare in the future, and so much more. This is just the tip of the hypocritical tragedy.
Let’s hope that this latest tragedy provides a time of introspection for our legislators on many of the topics that Dr. Barber brought up with perhaps a change of heart on many of the legislation that is on the table. That would be a good outcome!