I spend my days, every day, all day, watching the news, reading news stories, opinion pieces, Twitter threads, blogs, Facebook posts, listening to radio talk shows, you name it. And all day, every day, I hear Republicans' heartfelt condolences when their "fellow Americans" die in floods, fires, hurricanes, from lack of proper health care, and from mass murderers' bullet sprays.
I watch them on TV looking somber and caring, offering their sympathies, wiping away a tear, bowing their heads in prayer...
...and then blocking every effort to prevent the causes of these very same tragic events.
They're awfully good at feeling our pain on the outside, and voting against measures that would help stop our pain once they go inside, into the Big Buildings of Congress where they make their Very Important Decisions and cast votes that change our lives.
And I stare, dumbfounded, at the images on my TV screen, images of dead children, of suffering Americans, of the drowned, the widowed, the motherless/fatherless, the mourning, the maimed, the hungry, the charred, the homeless, the terminally ill, and unbelievably... the survivors who still trust these representatives to "do the right thing."
I stare, dumbfounded, at the broken, bloodied, weary, sick, wounded, shell-shocked, emaciated, waterlogged, and dead human bodies.
I stare, dumbfounded, at the defiant right wing Congress members who insist that not voting for laws that would keep some of these people alive is the patriotic thing to do, the moral thing to do.
I stare, dumbfounded, as conservatives pump their fists in victory whenever they feel they've made President Obama-- our twice-elected president-- look like a failure, because that's more important to them than taking steps to regulate firearms zealots, climate change deniers, Big Insurance, Big Banks, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Anything that keeps their pockets stuffed with cash.
I stare, dumbfounded, as they lament the deaths of infants, toddlers, students whose short lives have been abruptly ended by a "bad guy with a gun" who mowed them down... and then rally around the industry that manufactures the weapons that slaughtered those they weep for.
I stare, dumbfounded, as they prioritize profits over people, yet lament the consequences of their own irrational inaction and political train wreckage.
To these extremists, to these Obama haters, to these fearful, greedy, hypocritical, small-minded, cowardly, wisdom-stunted lawmakers who can't see past skin color, sexual orientation, gender, country of origin, religious differences, political party, social class, or economic standing, I say, for f***sake:
Don't lament... Prevent.
Prevent the unnecessary deaths, the incremental incineration of Mother Earth, the mass shootings, the untreated diseases, the starvation, the violence, the inequality, the increasingly frequent natural disasters, the oil spills, the pollution of our air and water... all of it.
Stop whining and tsk-tsking and praying and take a look at the causes, and then do something. Now. Before it's too late. Because all those big fat donations you're hauling in won't mean a thing without a livable place to spend them or someone with whom to share the spoils.
So don't lament... Prevent. And while you're at it: