Threats, Elder Abuse and the Electoral Process

I took my mother to the doctor yesterday for a routine procedure, you know, one of those routine tests we all dread upon reaching a certain age.  I had reached that age myself about four years ago, having had the same procedure.  I swore I would never do it again when I remembered just how vile the prep was.

Drinking koolaid and spending a lot of time in the bathroom reminded me of the preparation for this election.  Let’s just say, politely, that it produced a lot of waste.

Just look at the number of illegal donations accrued and spent in the Obama campaign.  This is nothing short of obscene.  The fact that there is absolutely zero accountability for it is even more so, especially since the money was spent lavishly to elect a man who believes that it is my patriotic duty to pay more in taxes so that he can spend more and “spread the wealth around” to people who have not worked for it themselves.

If he truly believed it, he would have shared his resources with John McCain in order to be fair.  But fairness flies out the window when the liberals are the ones who are asked to share.  They only share what belongs to all of the rest of us:  our money.  They keep their own cash to use at their own discretion.  And then vote more of our money into their own pockets, so that they can tell us what they are going to do for us.  But only if we do what they want…which is to re-elect them.

But I digress.

We don’t really need a scope, as my mother and I did, to reveal several things that are very wrong with us.

Here are some troubling questions.

In recent years how many feminists have so willingly, so publicly bashed a member of their own gender with epithets like “she’s not a real woman” and “how  could she have brought a defective child into the world” just because she was named to run for political office? 

How many would be presidents have proclaimed that if a woman makes a mistake she shouldn’t be punished with a baby? 

How many black and white voters are voting for Barak Obama to “be a part of history” or to appease guilt over past wrongs?

How many people are voting against John McCain because he is “too old”?  or against Sarah Palin because she is “too Christian”?

How many people are voting to put more tax dollars in their pockets when they have not paid any taxes at all?

How many Jewish voters are “persuaded” by their grandchildren who “schlepped over” to encourage their older relatives in Florida to vote Obama?

Which brings me to the real issue that troubles me.

We have fissures.

Families are split.  Communities are divided.

The entire nation is fractured.

And it is divided along the lines of race, class, religion, gender…and age.

And because age has been raised as an issue in this election (and because both I and my mother had birthdays last week), I feel obligated to talk about it.  Our young people are going to face some very difficult decisons in years to come: decisions about how to allocate resources, how to provide medical care for aging and elderly parents and grandparents, how to preserve their own families while caring for the needs of those people who have cared for and supported them.

And when Social Security and Medicare go belly up, which they certainly will since no one in Congress has had the guts to attack the problems inherent in the system, it will be too late to bridge the yawing chasm between the young and the old. 

We can see the beginning of the fracture right now.  Already younger people are pressuring their elders to do what the younger people want. 

And the older people are caving.  Just look how many of them have been dumped and abandoned in assisted living facilities, moved out of their homes and deprived of their possessions by their “well meaning” children who are assuring only themselves that they are acting in their parents’ best interests.  After all, safety first….mom and dad just cannot be free to do as they please.  They might hurt themselves…or someone younger. 

But what is happening when the older people are dependent?

I am going to share something sobering I overheard in the waiting room at the doctor’s office.  This is the exact conversation between a woman, probably my age, and her senior citizen mother, who was, no doubt, undergoing the same procedure as my mother was.  Here it is:

Mother:  I am going to need you to take me to vote tomorrow.

Daughter:  I will, but only if you are not going to vote for McCain.  I’m not going to take you unless you are voting for Obama.

Does anyone else have a problem with this response?  Can I hear some outrage here? 

I wish I could say that I spoke up loudly to say, “I’ll take you!”  Or, “That’s elder abuse!” 

But though I was incensed about it, I lacked the courage to do it in front of the other two people who were also waiting in that room.  So I decided to write about it instead, knowing that I would have a much larger audience.

I just wonder how many other American citizens out there feel the same pressures.  Or hear the same kinds of threats from their own self-serving children.  Or who, by their own uncurbed excesses and self-indulgence, have been the example for their children’s and their politicians’ do-what-I-tell-you-to-or-else attitudes?

Could it be that we raise self-indulgent children and elect self-indulgent leaders because we want to indulge ourselves and eschew our personal responsibilities for our families…and for ourselves? 

I myself would not even dream of suggesting such a thing to my mother.  And neither of my children, now in their mid-twenties, would suggest such a thing to me. 

We know that we are free.  And we gladly accept the responsibilities associated with our liberty, even if it means that none of us get a cent from the federal government for retirement or medical care.

In fact, all of us would prefer not to. 

Because at the rate things are going, receiving any government monies may well lead to the ultimate demise of all freedom.  If you need evidence of that, look closely at any institution that accepts government funds. 

We need to consider what we have to give up in order to get it.  And don’t do it…no matter how much it costs us.

If only that poor woman in the waiting room had done so.  She might have been able to keep her voice…and her vote. 

Because many adult children, like that daughter, are going to cut their parents off just like the doctor cut off those growths that had the potential to kill my mother.  They are going to see their parents as a drain on the resources, a cancer that needs to be excised in order for the body to have a chance to survive.

After all, they rationalize, they want to live too.  And if they see the expense burdensome, many of them will try to push it off somewhere else…

Or silence it themselves.

But some of us, given the hard personal choice, would choose to be fiscally bankrupt and exercise our responsibilities rather than allowing ourselves to be morally bankrupt by avoiding our duties.  Consider it an “outgrowth” of our own freedom.

One we hope our own children will model for the next generation.

Who would have ever thought that a colonoscopy could reveal so much about all of us?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s