“Why, Daddy, why?”

rainey BARRETT
RAINEY

 
Second
Thoughts

When Dad got tired trying to answer my childish questions of “why” to nearly any new, youthful encounter, his standard response became “You’ll know when you’re older.” Being a trusting kid, I blindly accepted his promise of future knowledge.

Dad’s gone now. And, after my nearly four score years experience, it pains my soul to say it – he was wrong. At least so far as being able to comprehend by knowing the answers to my continued queries of “why.” If his advanced age during my growth years truly gave him understanding of hard-to-understand situations, he was really quite an extraordinary man because my added years haven’t always helped me all that much. On the other hand, maybe some things happening now beyond my ability to grasp are far more complicated and I’m just not up to the task.

Here’s one.

Why would leaders of the National Republican Party – and their elected offspring – formally adopt a position of banishing access to health care for millions of voters and their families? Even want to go to court over it? What sane reason could there be to take away life-changing and even life-saving medical care from adults and kids who now have it – many for the first time in their entire lives? Why would a political party take a position to disenfranchise Americans needing what should be considered one of those “unalienable rights?” “Why, Daddy, why?”

Here’s another. Why will both parties in our national Congress – after endless bloviating about the problem of tens of thousands of children flooding into this country seeking personal refuge and safety – why will those Washington folk go home and not do anything to deal politically or humanely with the situation? Why are they walking away?

Human-being-by-human-being, we have an entirely non-political and extremely human tragedy on our hands. Children from South American countries being used as pawns. Children with absolutely no voice in the matter being pushed and/or dragged into this country with promises of a better life. Or their parents are being threatened with death if they don’t blindly ship their kids off unaccompanied into a trip of thousands of miles filled with all sorts of life-threatening dangers.

And the Congress, from which all resources must come, is going to quit without undertaking a single effort to ease this human tragedy. Why?

And more “whys.”

Why would the governor of Texas call up the Texas National Guard to stand along that border? Why send a guardsman with tank and a rifle to face an eight-year-old child trying to surrender? Why use uniformed – and heavily armed – Texas fathers and mothers to face this flood of young humanity and what are they expected to do? Why uproot members of the Guard – trained in dealing with ecological and natural disasters, equipped to deal with armed foes in other countries but not trained in dealing with the needs of children who don’t understand what’s happening to them and who probably don’t speak English – why send the military and their weapons to deal with kids needing food, shelter and some sense of security? Why?

Here’s another “why” beyond my understanding.

Why would politicians – who sent hundreds of thousands of young people into foreign wars for no legitimate reason – now refuse to pay for the medical, psychological and educational support promised before those young people walked onto those damned, doomed battlegrounds? Why are lying politicians now going home begging for renewal of their employment while the walking wounded of Iran/Afghanistan continue to suffer? Why?

Why would Republican-dominated legislatures in eight states do their damndest to keep people who may not look like them and maybe don’t talk like them from their legal right to vote? Why?

Why are soulless, bloodless – and in some cases heartless – corporations considered to be “human” for the purposes of perverting our nation’s politics? Why are these “humans” allowed – even encouraged – to take their profits and skip out to other countries so their “human” share of the responsibility to support our national economic life is avoided? Why are these “humans” able to prosper here at great cost to real humans but not be responsible for paying for the infrastructure and other needs that make their profits possible? Why are those “humans” able to avoid the inexorable taxes all the rest of us humans must pay? Why?

We’re living in an age in which the “whys” stack up faster than ever before. We have an unresponsive national government – even an adversarial national government – that’s damaging this nation daily by inaction and perversion in the misconduct of its duties. Some of its “human” parts are denying science, education, health care, voting and other basic fact while favoring any “human” that will help finance a re-election campaign.

Our “citizen congress” has become a lifetime employment sector for too many self-serving, intellectually challenged politicians who shouldn’t be allowed driver’s licenses – much less be in positions of power to “direct” the affairs of this nation. The driver’s license analogy is entirely proper given the deep ditch they’ve driven this country into.

Running in tandem with this Potomac train wreck, too many state legislatures are following the same destructive path as they try to deprive rights and expectations of citizenship from minorities. Again, the bloodless “humans” – read “corporations” – have their greedy hands in the pot. The expectation of continuing our Republic is being replaced by the reality of an oligarchy.

Dad’s been gone for many years now. So, I ask you. Why?

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