Red State Mania

Red State ManiaSince returning “home” to Alabama, I have been extremely fortunate. Because I am able to access socialized medicine — the Veterans Administration hospitals — potential deadly medical situations have been identified and are currently being treated at no cost to me. This is a similar system our politicians utilize for themselves but deny to the rest of the nation as that would require their wealthy donors to actually pay a little more in taxes.

Today, as during my childhood, I personally know people who were left to die simply because they could not afford medical treatments and operations they needed to survive. In the sixties to make that practice acceptable, a black face was put onto “those people” who would “disrupt our Christian society and replace it with socialism.”

A local TV station in Montgomery aired the story of a “victim” maternity doctor who was ‘constantly’ being ‘defrauded’ by black women who were unable to pay for his services which caused his office to institute a pay-in-advance, before any service was actually rendered, program. To add teeth to his scheme, he was able to circulate a list to all clinics and hospitals he was associated with and place these expectant black females on a “do not admit until payment is received list.”

I remember as if it were yesterday his personal assistant being asked, “What happens to the women that actually cannot afford to pay?” I felt the answer to be rather cruel and uncaring not realizing it was about 50 years ahead of the curve for the modern-day Republican Party. The nurse assistant replied, “If you can’t afford to live, maybe you should die.”

Does the fact that my combat service guarantees me socialized medicine make me more worthy to live than other classes of people? I am of the Hopi mindset that we were all created by One and that evil reigns supreme when we forget or neglect the needs of the many for the benefit of the few. I know that on my own I certainly could not afford the medical procedures, outpatient surgeries, prescriptions that I find I now need. Others in my position will merely die in order to maintain tax breaks and profit margins for those that actually run our government. This is morally wrong and has caused dozens of individuals we know to relocate to Europe where their tax structure provides cradle to grave medical services. These people are not “Communists” or “Socialists” they are realist and just like the 1960s doctor, they are ahead of the curve on this issue.

Coming back to the (Red) states is like time traveling or peering through the Looking Glass. Up is down, right is left, hot is cold; there seems to be a yearning for the good old days of 12 Oaks Plantation. Since returning we have constantly been exposed to prejudice and institutional racism veiled in religion, specifically Christianity, and patriotism.

All this past week, due to extended stays in hospital waiting rooms, I have had the opportunity to extensively listen to the irrational propaganda of “Bubba talk radio.” The fact that the many think these radio personalities speak “the Gospel” should be a concern to every American.

In the ongoing attack on President Obama, local conservative radio hosts presented the following arguments against any gun legislation that may be proposed: “I have seen a study (never cited or referenced) that clearly indicates that more people die in America from heart attacks, while engaged in sexual activity, than by gun shot wounds…” (Pay careful attention: this is a lead in to a separate attack on President Obama.)

This arms discussion portion ended up in a segment on students being able to access free birth control, without a background check, and free abortions (no citations or references) without parental consent also without a background check which Obama would require for “law abiding Americans defending the Constitution…”

Of course, the teacher’s union was sufficiently bashed for their ‘socialistic’ ways and the evil philosophies they force upon their captive students who get their marching orders from President Obama who clearly does not respect the Constitution like that foreigner Piers Morgan, who has “no right to comment on any American issue…”

It was conversely acknowledged that we Americans have every right to meddle in the affairs of any other nation on the planet, but Piers Morgan has no right to express his own personal opinion regarding gun violence in America. “Morgan just does not understand real Americans like Ted Nugent…” and there were several lengthy segments referencing what a great American Nugent is; however, there was no mention of his November 7th Twitter: “pimps, whores, and welfare brats and their soulless supporters have a president to destroy America…”

Regarding the number of black victims of gun violence, our local sage Bubbas have that one figured out as well-it is “all Obama’s fault” for not providing black people job opportunities. Forget the fact of the Republican obstructionist killing any of the president’s proposals from becoming law, apparently when a black person is out of a job, they take out their frustrations by murdering another black person.

Then I heard something I never thought I would hear in this area regarding United States citizens who are Al Qaeda operatives. Conservatives went nuts when Jose Padilla and Bryant Neil Vinas were tried in a criminal, not military, court. Padilla was sentenced to 17 ½ years in January 2008 and Vinas pleaded guilty in January of 2009.

Conservative thought was that no terrorist should be allowed to the freedoms and system that guarantees certain rights not afforded by military tribunals. The president was blasted for supporting this civil and criminal policy as opposed to the military option.

Now that “Obama’s drones” have killed some Americans in service of Al Qaeda, these same conservatives are demanding the impeachment of the President for not allowing these terrorists  “due process under the Constitution…”

jim rhodesIt should be apparent that no matter what the President does, it will never be accepted in the ‘red’ states. I no longer recognize the great nation I grew up in. Hate and partisanship has divided us. Good Lord willing, I will recover from my illness, then I must leave again to return to any global setting where such insanity and stupidity does not exist-maybe the Hopi reservation?

James Rhodes

Sunday, 25 February 2013

Published by the LA Progressive on February 24, 2013
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