I worry that we are living in an era of a cultural change that does not reflect our best instincts as a nation. We just, finally, ended an ugly political season. We heard more about fear than about hope. So many of us seem to regard each other with suspicion. Immigrants are outsiders and are to be feared, not welcomed. We are not one nation anymore but two. And we seem to have no interest in coming together. This is not a partisan critique, just a very sad fact.
Most of us grew up placing high value on citizen responsibility. Part of that was watching out for each other. Now it seems to be every man for himself. Nowhere is that more evident to me than in the draconian proposed cuts to Medicaid in the new healthcare plan. The proposed changes to Medicaid send a disturbing signal to the poor. The disabled, chronically ill and elderly better see the handwriting, too. . Some of us lose in all three categories. We are talking about hundreds of million of our fellow citizens and, yes, us.
I used to hear references to society’s most vulnerable and see others. Now I look in the mirror. This sick disabled old guy (getting old guy?) living in an era of social Darwinism regards the idea of survival of the fittest with some dread. Pres. George H.W. Bush’s notion of a kinder, gentler nation has been misplaced. I am sure there is much disagreement about various issues among us. I hope we can agree that this is not our finest hour.