Equal Rights For ALL by David Gerrold

My usual unfriendly reminder — if you cannot stand for the equal rights of all human beings, you’re in the wrong place. Do us both a favor and unfriend me. Otherwise, I’ll have to do it when you start posting bat-guano on my wall.

I’m a cranky old man — there’s only one thing in the world I know to be an absolute truth — life works better when we care about each other.

Yeah, it’s sometimes an ugly bumpy turbulent ride, ask anyone with a teenager about that, but the adventure of life is how much we can learn from each other if we’ll just just shut the fuck up and listen to each other.

We don’t have to agree with each other — but when we take the time to understand, life works, because listening means that no one is standing alone.

Right now, millions of Americans are out of work, hundreds of thousands are losing their homes, young people are desperate for education, people of all ages need health care, women’s health issues are vastly misunderstood (because a lot of men don’t want to know about all that squishy stuff), our veterans are coming home emotionally scarred — and I haven’t even scratched the tip of the iceberg.

The generation that lived through the Great Depression learned how to take care of each other. The generation that fought World War II learned how to take care of each other. Those are lessons that they sought to teach their children and grandchildren — and for some of us that lesson sank in. Yeah, wouldn’t it be great to have a new car and a wall-sized TV and a vacation in Hawaii and all the other nice things that come with financial well-being — but I’ve never seen a tombstone that said, “made a lot of money” or “paid his bills on time.” Every tombstone I’ve ever seen has said things like “beloved father” or even something much more poignant: “we miss you, Mamma.”

That tells me what’s really important to people. That tells me what we should be thinking about in our daily lives — it tells me on what basis we should be making our political decisions. What’s going to make the biggest difference for our parents’ health care, our children’s education, the well-being of our veterans, and even the poor and homeless?

I’m not interested in what your church says. There are several thousand different religions in this country — each of them claiming to have their own personal hot line to God. And I’m not interested in the talking points that come from the Koch Bros.’ private think tanks either. That’s rich people paying rich people to tell poor people to vote against their own best interests.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said it very well: “The rich are different than you and me.” It’s true. When you can buy anything you want without having to look at the price tag, you fall into a strange alienation from reality. You lose your dependency on other people, and soon you lose your ability to relate to them as equals. You begin to disrespect them for not being as rich as you. You begin to gauge the value of human beings by wealth — and you forget that you’re a human being because you’re owned by your fortune, not the other way around.

And when a whole political party sells its soul to the highest bidders, the result is a political philosophy that is no longer about the people of America — it’s about the business of America. Cutting jobs, cutting wages, busting unions, sending jobs to China, and eventually gutting the economy that made them rich in the first place.

It’s this simple — if a hug from your wife or husband or your kids can make you forget for a moment that the mortgage payment is looming, you’ll get through it somehow, then your family works. But if you’re terrified that some out-of-work, rape-victim somewhere might be terminating a pregnancy, and maybe it’ll add three cents to your tax bill — get your head out of your ass.

This is about all of us making sure that all of us are living up to the responsibilities of having an America that works for all of us.

 

David Gerrold is a science fiction author who started his career in 1966 while a college student by submitting an unsolicited story outline for the television series Star Trek. He was invited to submit several premises, and the one chosen by Star Trek was filmed as “The Trouble with Tribbles” and became one of the most popular episodes of the original series. Gerrold’s novelette ”The Martian Child” won both Hugo and Nebula awards. – from  Wikipedia


Originally published on the National Atheist Party's website

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Comment by Steph S. on March 19, 2012 at 9:51am

"life works better when we care about each other."
It does .. yes

Comment by sk8eycat on March 19, 2012 at 2:51am

"...I’m not interested in what your church says. There are several thousand different religions in this country — each of them claiming to have their own personal hot line to God. And I’m not interested in the talking points that come from the Koch Bros.’ private think tanks either. That’s rich people paying rich people to tell poor people to vote against their own best interests."

What has puzzled me for decades is why so many people fall for the lies...enough gullibles to actually make a difference at the polls.  Haven't they figured out by now that when the candidates they have been told to vote for are elected, we all lose?  That was what the "Occupy" demonstrations were all about.

I'm dreading this election, and the one in 2016....  Robert A. Heinlein always denied that he was a "prophet," but his analyses and extrapolations have come true so often that I'm expecting a Nehemiah Scudder to pop up any moment, and take over.

We ARE living in "The Crazy Years," and have been since JFK was murdered.

 

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