The news, from all sources is filled with stories about the sad plight of Haiti trying to dig out from the catastrophe of a major earthquake. Not only that, but virtually all news organizations give people directions and advice on how best they can help in the relief effort.
It seems that planet earth is never short of natural disasters in one form and another. And yet, the spirit of the human race never ceases to dig a little deeper and give a little more. We never get “disastered” out thank goodness.
As usual, the American people give generously. Although personally devastated by financial difficulties, most people can see that their situation is blessed in comparison to that of others in far worse circumstances. The rest of the world also gives from the heart as well, and there is no basis, it seems to me, to make claims of who does more or not as much.
You no doubt already know whom I address. The favorite sons of the fundamentalist crowd, Rush Limbaugh and Pat Roberson, stand forth as bastions of hatred, arrogance, elitist right, and deep felt lack of compassion. Each in his own way tarnishes the fabric of American generosity and empathy. It is a shame.
If you had not heard, Limbaugh, using the time of dawn itself as reason to rail against the man he hates more than anything, Barack Obama, manages to turn the Haitian tragedy into some “Obama boon.” Rush claims that this event gives Obama the opportunity to “appear” the humanitarian and to shore up his street cred with “light skinned and dark skinned” blacks. Later he suggested that people should not donate to the Red Cross through the White House link, because Obama would be somehow skimming money for his campaign or otherwise using the donors as new contributors to court.
He also claimed that the American people had already aided Haiti in their taxes. The clear implication is that Limbaugh Americans should not contribute to any relief. And no doubt plenty of red-neck, fundamentalist, trailer trash will nod approvingly. Somehow in their pea brains, they will associate this with being really really Christian along the lines of one of my most favorite nut cases from high school, because Jesus made it clear that not all are worthy of help. Yeah, right.
Pat Robertson on the other hand, takes a different though just as cold approach. This, he claims is but another example of God’s wrath on people who refuse to follow him, at least as Pat believes they should. “They made a pact with the devil” he claims, and God is set on destroying this people. He said similar things about 911 and about Katrina. Pat likes a punishing God. Everyone Pat hates will get theirs in the end, and he is gleeful at this prospect.
I guess one of the thoughts that comes to mind as I sadly view these two men, is where are those that control their access to the public in all this? Is it so much and only a matter of cold hard dollars of profit?
Rush has a radio show. I don’t know what idiotic right wing corporation owns his radio network. There are plenty of ultra conservative choices. However, Rush moves well beyond conservatism. He moves to the lowest common denominator as it relates to the public. He seeks the haters and those who are living the American dream and don’t want to share any of what they have. He tells them their hatred, their racism, their homophobia, their selfishness, are all right. They are somehow the American way, part of real freedom and equality and especially patriotism.
Pat does the same thing. He encourages his constituency, such as it is, that it is right and proper to judge and to rebuke those who disagree with you. He counsels that they are right and others wrong, and anything just short of violence is good and allowable to make others get in line with their agenda.
But both of these men have forums they don’t own. They are not in control of whether or not their filth enters the national airways. That decision is made by corporate CEOs. The decision, unfortunately, is made by those who view dollar signs before integrity or truth. And they seem to care less that absolute and utter lie and hate is being preached here. They condone and are implicated in that preaching.
They can of course claim that they are merely making good business decisions based on their responsibilities to share holders. But we know that that is another lie. The banks made the same claims, yet made horrific decisions designed only to line their own pockets with gold. In the end, these people make decisions on what will get them the most the fastest. Even if you are ultimately fired and never work again, you have more money than Midas to soften the blow as you sip margaritas on your own private island in the Caribbean.