Wednesday, September 14, 2011

News Headlines: Compassion and Hate

I was struck by the juxtaposition of two of the top national news stories yesterday.

One was the dramatic footage of people in Utah lifting a burning BMW off of a motorcycle crash victim, saving his life. As the reports noted, the car could have easily blown up, killing the people who were trying to help.

The victim was pulled out from under the car, and taken to the hospital. He was initially reported to be in critical condition, but he's reportedly improving, with two broken legs, a broken pelvis, cuts and a burned left foot

But at least he'll live to thank the bystanders who thanked him.

On the other hand, at the Republican presidential debate the other night, moderator Wolf Blitzer offered a hypothetical case in which a young man can't or won't get health insurance, then needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care?

What's the solution? The government pays for it? Charity? Some other funding source? Just let him die?

Some members of the audience, mostly Tea Party members, cheered at the idea of letting Hypothetical Man die. 

Cheered? They cheered Hypothetical Man's death? It's perfectly legitimate to debate how to pay for health care. How big is the government's role? Or should there even be a goverment role?  Should we just make Hypothetical Man come up with the money somehow?

But to cheer at the "solution" to let the guy die instead of saving him, as many commentators have already said, is just sick. What were they cheering? If other people die, there's more money for me? That people who don't or can't get private health insurance deserve the death penalty?

I'd hate to think what other things these people think others should die for. Hey, he was unemployed for a month, and collected federal unemployment money. Off with his head!!

Here in Vermont, we continue to have thousands of people mobilizing with money, donations, elbow grease and more to continue recovering from a huge flood a few weeks ago. On the other hand, there have been a few reports of looting, thefts of relief supplies and scams.

I hope both locally and nationally, the compassionate ones, the normal ones, far outnumber the scumbags who cheer the deaths of people and steal from people who are going through an incredibly tough time.

I also hope there's serious karma for the bad people. Because I wouldn't want to live in a world where pure, 100 greed rules everything

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