Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Opinion

May 6, 2014

We the People: Fear and Loathing

CROSSVILLE — “This country is headed in the wrong direction.” We hear this frequently these days. To some it means returning to a former period of time in this country’s history when white men ruled. The same might be said about the U.S. House of Representatives and, to some extent, the U.S. Senate.

For instance, Senator Alexander is worried that the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” if passed, might result in the fact that women will be paid MORE than a man. Heaven forbid that a man might suffer the same discrimination women have suffered in the workplace throughout their working lives. Women have surpassed their male counterparts in education and skill development in many areas and should be paid more than many of their male counterparts. The bill failed in the Senate. The old white guys continue to rule.

Republican dominated state legislatures have, over the past few years, continued to enact laws to prevent women from seeking abortions. They refuse to consider the consequences of sending women back to the alleys of the 1950s. This is already happening in Texas, one of the most repressive states in the country when it comes to upholding the reproductive rights of women.

The men who cause pregnancies continue to escape responsibility for their actions. Congress continues to cut programs that help poor and middle class women rear the children they bear. Many Republican women legislators thoughtlessly promote the ideas they are fed by their male counterparts. These are women who can afford to do what they need to do to protect themselves. Considering the number of abortions that married women have had over the years since Roe (and before), would we be surprised to find that some of the most outspoken women against abortion in politics have had one at sometime in their lives?

“What would our Founding Fathers do?” is the battle cry of those most concerned with their Second Amendment rights to bear arms. Meantime, constitutional rights to privacy and the right to vote are crumbling in many states.

Thus, states with Republican dominated legislatures are enacting “gun rights” laws while refusing the needed Medicaid funds to take care of poor “gun rights” victims. Guns in schools, guns in parks, guns everywhere because “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” We are, in some places, rapidly returning to those wild west days when “drawing down” on the person who offended you was the way to settled your disputes. We have seen, lately, that you can be killed for texting your babysitter or for not doing a job you were hired to do.

“We are headed in the wrong direction.” Think about what the words really mean the next time you say them. Does it matter to you that in some really important areas of life we have fallen far below many developing countries in our ranking? We are only “Number 1” in the world, anymore, in having the largest military. If you don’t want to live in a country where fear and the repression of women, the poor, and the middle class is the norm, then you need to help change our direction.

 

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