Fear, anger of hard-working misdirected, says reader
To the Editor:
I was so happy to join my fellow Democrats in Oconee County last week at an Anti-Health Care Rally at Veterans Park. I began my three minutes at the open mike with "I'm a Democrat and I look at this planet as my home and all human beings as my brothers and sisters." During those short minutes I was screamed at and called a quite interesting assortment of names like "freeloader," “socialist,” “fascist,” and "communist."
After the rally, I spoke to one of the many older white men in the crowd. He was kind, soft-spoken, and articulate. We both talked and listened to each other for quite a while. How pleasant and refreshing it was...until he made a comment about those "worthless human beings." Thoroughly taken aback, I abruptly ended the conversation.
After much pondering over what I heard that day and trying to get at the very roots of their antipathy toward us who want every American cared for, I arrived at the following:
These older white men have worked hard, saved their money, and put themselves in the position in retirement to continue supporting themselves and their families as they think all worthwhile Americans should.
This means they have earned all the perks, like Medicare. “Earn” is a very important concept to them. They see the “worthless human beings” as having made poor choices and thus living as they deserve, with little money for college or health care, not to mention food and shelter. “Choice” is also important in their lexicon. These men have made good choices, and so have earned the perks.
I think that the gist of the distinction is that these men are fearful, and I mean all the time. Their very sense of self, of being valued, useful, and competent, is being challenged, especially as they helplessly watch their portfolios, and thus much of their own self-esteem, drop in value. This fear has risen above the surface and blossomed into open hostility most recently because they have been convinced that health care of the masses means their existing wealth and perks will be taken from them. And they are convinced that it is the poor who will take it. Thoroughly manipulated by those they admire, they demonize the poor and also us who would support the poor
They do not see that it is Wall Street, health insurance companies, big business, and the like who are already reducing their hard-earned wealth and sense of self. How can we turn their rage against these real perpetrators? Unless we do, the Left will always go it alone on the human issues.