D. Johnson Letter - 08/21/09

This is written in response to Darrell Huckaby's column published on Aug. 16.

Apparently some Republicans think the Bill of Rights was created to allow the rich and powerful the right to hire "protesters" to shout down the public's right to have a civil exchange of ideas with their congressmen and senators. when newsmen spot the same "protester" mysteriously appearing the same day at the next scheduled hearing in another city, with the same placards, the same scripts to read, and the same "spontaneous outrage," trying to prevent any honest exchange of views, is this democracy?

Special interests want national health care stopped! Pharmaceuticals are a money machine. When I was director of mental health services for several counties in another state, we got psychotropic medications at cost (3 cents per capsule) when the retail price was $1.05 per capsule! When Americans began buying American-made medications at half price in Canada, George Bush stopped it. (But he didn't tell anyone that he was a major stockholder in the company).

A few years ago in a nearby county, a young mother of three little girls died. Her husband worked extra hours to pay for child care, and under this stress, had a heart attack. He had no insurance at his new job but needed heart surgery immediately. Despite his critical condition, he was sent by ambulance to Augusta as an indigent patient. On the way there, he died. Three little girls lost both mother and father because here, health care isn't available unless someone makes a profit. Is this what the Republicans are fighting for? America is the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't provide national health care. Unless the wealthy can exploit the desperation of others, we can't have health care!

Several years ago, oil was discovered off the shores of Norway. There, they believe that the natural resources of the world belong to humanity. They didn't sell oil rights to anyone, but held it as a public trust, and invested its earnings to benefit its people, with better schools, excellent medical care for everyone at no cost, and they even bought some resorts in Spain so the elderly could spend their winters on the shores of the Mediterranean.

Not all Americans believe that exploitation of the public is just "good bidness." Many of us believe that the purpose of government is to enable the people to do for themselves what they couldn't do individually, cooperating for their common good. The Republican Party believes in dividing people, and protecting those who exploit humanity.

In 1920, 1924 and 1928 we elected Republican presidents, dedicated to letting big business do as it pleased. In 1929, the stock market collapsed. For a decade, unemployment, homelessness, malnutrition, disease and death ravaged our land. Franklin Roosevelt, the next president, established controls so the stock market could never again become a casino, gambling with our economy and dragging the whole nation down with it.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan campaigned to "get the government off your back," (never mentioning that he was only addressing the very wealthy.) The controls and regulations were lifted - and surprise, surprise! After three more Republican presidents, we had another crash. During those years, however, the wealthiest people in the world siphoned $5 trillion out of our federal treasury, through tax breaks, federal subsidies of their corporations, and federal contracts without competitive bids. These corporate gangsters stole enough money from us to buy a home for every family in America. Now they're angry, because someone shut off the tap.

R. Dean Johnson