George Duncan

Marketing copywriter/consultant, author

The quality of mercy

From Just sayin’…by George Duncan

The quality of mercy

The following was recently posted by Congressman Joe Kennedy III:

Mercy.

It is about how we care for the least among us — not how we treat the powerful.

It calls on us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the sick.

It is kindness. It is grace.

There is no mercy in a system that makes health care a luxury. There is no mercy in a country that turns its back on those that are most in need of protection: the elderly, the poor, the sick, and the suffering.

There is no mercy in a cold shoulder to the mentally ill.

There is no mercy in a policy that takes for granted the sweat, the tears, and the sacrifice that working Americans shed every day so that they might care for their families’ basic needs: food, shelter, health, and hope for tomorrow.

So when Speaker Ryan called his repeal bill “an act of mercy” last week, I knew I had to speak out.

It is an act of malice.

We, as Americans, are better than this. Every working family deserves better than this. And when millions of people have their access to health care put on the chopping block, we have to stand up to this.

Mercy, kindness and grace are not concepts with which Donald Trump is familiar. Indeed, he seems to associate those virtues with weakness – not unlike the conservative meme that hides behind the fake American principle of  “personal responsibility,” which translates to “You’re on your own, pal. Don’t look to us for help.”

Now, in the Trump/Ryan healthcare bill, we see how that plays out as they strip millions from Medicaid – the major source of care for the poorest among us – in order to further enrich the already rich at the top. Pure Trump, pure conservative ideology.

As Rachel Maddow reported in her Maddow blog, quoting from Trump’s Inaugural Address:

Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth…. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes, starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you…. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

For those who took Trump’s rhetoric at face value, and believed that he sincerely intended to be a populist champion of working people, I imagine the reality of the president’s agenda must be quite jarring. The “forgotten men and women” of the United States – the struggling people who have not “shared” in the nation’s wealth – would be punished severely by this White House agenda. The Washington Post reported yesterday:

Trump has unveiled a budget that would slash or abolish programs that have provided low-income Americans with help on virtually all fronts, including affordable housing, banking, weatherizing homes, job training, paying home heating oil bills, and obtaining legal counsel in civil matters. […]

The White House budget cuts will fall hardest on the rural and small town communities that Trump won, where 1 in 3 people are living paycheck to paycheck – a rate that is 24 percent higher than in urban counties, according to a new analysis by the center.

A New York Times report added, “The approach is a risky gamble for Mr. Trump, whose victory in November came in part by assembling a coalition that included low-income workers who rely on many of the programs that he now proposes to slash.” (The budget would be especially brutal towards struggling families in Appalachia, where Trump won by overwhelming margins.)

Those who believed the president when he said, “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer, ” said Maddow, may have missed the fine print: under Trump, you’re on your own.

This budget isn’t just unfair, it’s evil.

Just sayin’…

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