The Choice: A Writer’s Dilemma

What should I write about this week?

Image: view of Cliff Walk Newport, RI

I was thinking about my topic for this week’s column and trying to figure out what I should write about. There has been so much outrage perpetrated by the Republicans this week; and well, I just couldn’t decide.  Here are some possible topics…

Should I write about the three weekend fundraisers for Mitt Romney that were held in the Hamptons – that posh playground of the 1% – this last weekend, where one anonymous wealthy woman commented (from the comfort and privacy of her $80,000-plus Land Rover luxury sport vehicle) about how we, the “common people,” like her “college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies — everybody who’s got the right to vote…” — how we “don’t understand what’s going on.” She believes that because we’re poor, we obviously aren’t as smart and educated as she is, and therefore, we totally don’t understand why the rich should have even more tax cuts and we commoners should stop complaining about how tough our tiny little lives are. Heavens! We commoners should know our place – we should be happy to work for less, and we need to understand why getting unemployment makes us weak, and why Social Security and Medicare and food stamps need to be severely cut back or even eliminated. Why, everyone knows that it has turned America into a nation of slaves sucking on the government teat! Isn’t that right, Biff?

Image via Franklin

Or perhaps I should write a fiery rant about the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania, where the mayor defied a ruling from a judge and went ahead and reduced that the town’s firefighters’ and police officers’ salaries to minimum wage – which, in Pennsylvania, is $7.25 per hour. The people who are entrusted with my life and safety and that of my children, my relatives and dear friends – not to mention my possessions – are considered so unimportant to the welfare of the citizens of Scranton that the paycheck they receive for putting their lives on the line every day is reduced to the same as the guy working at the local 7-11. This terrifies me – and makes me very angry. Remember, we’re talking about people who routinely run toward burning houses and bad guys with guns, while the rest of us run away – and the city of Scranton considers their lives to be worth a salary of only $7.25 an hour? Really?

What else happened this week? Oh, yes. The Republicans in the House of Representatives are wasting our time and our taxpayer dollars with another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I completely understand that the Republicans are pissed off beyond reason that Chief Justice Roberts “betrayed” them by finding the mandate in the ACA to be constitutional (as an aside, this was a provision implemented by Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, and the Republicans didn’t lose their minds then. I’m just saying.), and I’d get a vote or two from that unreasonable group to repeal the ACA, but THIRTY ONE??? Really? Thirty one votes in the House to repeal the ACA? That’s just ridiculous. Should I write about that?

I hear that Governor Rick Scott (of voter purge fame) in Florida has covered up the largest outbreak of tuberculosis in the U.S. in 20 years (according to the CDC). This news came out nine days after Gov. Scott shrank the budget for the Florida Dept. of Health and closed the only hospital in the state that specialized in treating tough tuberculosis cases for the last 60 years. Yep.  The outbreak (so far) has been in Jacksonville, Florida’s homeless community, where more than 3,000 people have been exposed in Jacksonville’s homeless shelters. I’m sure those TB germs will stay put in the bad neighborhoods in Jacksonville, and none of the rich will have to worry about catching it from anyone, even as they step over the homeless on the streets. That topic might be worth a rant.

And then there’s Mitt Romney. Perhaps I could write about how Mr. Romney is now claiming to be what he calls a “New Democrat” – like Bill Clinton. This one floored me; the absolute irony of the candidate of the most extreme, most insane Republican Party in history campaigning on being just like Bill Clinton. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. Hmmm. Maybe another article about “Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up”…?

Oh, hell. I can’t decide. You know, maybe the Mayans were right. Things couldn’t get much crazier….or could they? There are still 6 months until December…