Opinion Piece by Steve Vertlieb: The call a few days ago by a Texas politician for the elderly to sacrifice their lives for the “common good” so that our national economy may return to normal smacks of the origins of barbarism. The horrifying pronouncement by a duly elected leader, sworn to protect and defend democracy for all of America’s citizens, is born of bigotry, ignorance, and fear. It is a deeply troubling echo of a time not so very long ago when the lives of the elderly were considered expendable… in order to preserve the status quo … when those whose ethnicity and color were deemed threatening to the national economy … and when hatred and irrational blame contributed to the mass murder, mutilation, persecution, butchery and genocide of countless millions across the waves.
The American dream is based upon the premise that all men, women, and children are created equal in the eyes of God, and that everyone is entitled to pursue and achieve their dreams and happiness. Selfishness cannot be allowed to replace selflessness in what was once “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” It has been correctly stated that people are the same all over … that we are all children of a singular, universal, and loving God. We share our humanity with every soul who dwells upon our planet. No one is better than anyone else, and no one’s right to live, to love, and to pursue their sacred dreams for happiness can be deemed unimportant or insignificant compared to the so called “common good.”
The right to exist is, and has been, a cherished principle wherever freedom and democracy have flourished. It is with the abandonment and willing sacrifice of those ideals that a land of dreams descends into a land of nightmares, and surrenders to the basest desire for merely individual gratification and paltry survival. In times of danger and the threat of persecution, we must embrace the elderly and the fragile with loving arms, protection, and reverence for all that has come before us, continuing to remember that our greatness for generations has been based upon the strong shoulders of those who have loving permitted us to stand upon them.