In Washington, D.C. on Friday and Saturday, thousands of people gathered for a protest march. Sounds like a refreshing development in a nation too long silent against governmental abuse of power. Except for one thing, however, that thing being that these people came out in force to object to health care, a good thing and a wise use of government power. Not a peep about the anti-American Patriot Act that suspended the right to a writ of Habeas Corpus for those accused of a crime, the heinous war of aggression against Iraq or even to question the wisdom of attempting nation building in Afghanistan at the expense of our only original mission there, to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. No harsh words were uttered about the use of torture by Americans or the fact that New Orleans has yet to be rescued from a devastating storm that occurred four years ago.

There was nobody in Washington saying a word about the people who handle all the money, the financial industry bosses and insiders, those who cheated, lied, stole or were criminally incompetent and yet got to keep their jobs. No one saw fit to mention that the nation’s financial sector is basically unchanged from when it almost self-destructed in 2008 except for some cosmetic shuffling. None protested that no effort has been made to replace the goons in suits with honest business people. There are plenty of those remaining in the industry, men and women just as appalled as the rest of us at the predatory way their businesses have been run.

No, none of the above seemed to concern Friday’s protestors. Their anger was curiously directed at America’s efforts late in the civilization game to provide health care to every citizen, just like every other wealthy industrialized nation. Many made the point that the government was attempting to get too big, to nationalize the health care industry and to dictate to individuals how much and what type of medical services they could receive, none of which is actually happening. The things that did happen for 8 years prior to the current administration must have been okay to these people since the voices of outrage were relatively silent while this nation for the first time ever attacked an innocent nation unprovoked (unless you count having a disagreeable dictator as a direct provocation, in which case we will be very busy forever).

The malls of D.C. were quiet when Shotgun Dick Cheney and his puppet Bush The Younger attempted to dismantle the Bill of Rights, threw New Orleans an anchor as it drowned and transferred untold trillions of dollars of wealth from the working classes to the very wealthiest Americans. This was okay with people? Was domestic spying by the government okay too? The Gestapo and the KGB agreed that it was. Was torture just fine, too? When American soldiers were captured and tortured by the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942 no one thought that was okay and that Japan was simply ensuring that they got all the information they needed to keep their nation secure. That didn’t work all that well for Japan, did it? Why anyone thinks it helped America to be a torturing nation is a mystery.

But now the marchers come, when the issue is one of (!) health care? Was there a soul in America one year ago who did not think that our health care system was a bloated, unfair mess run by greedy corporations with their own de facto Death Panels? Our health care system has been an acknowledged crisis for decades, yet when President Obama attempts to address this problem there are howls of protest? That’s very strange indeed. Surely there are other things, legitimate failings of the Obama administration to protest. How about the fact there are still American troops in Iraq, a place few people other than Iraqis care much about? Why not call him his on his strategy (or complete lack of strategy) in Afghanistan?

Why not ask him to knock it off with the futile Middle East Peace Plans? If there was ever a road to nowhere and a bigger waste of time than people who do not have to live there trying to make peace in the Middle East, mankind has not yet discovered it. That’s pretty much the responsibility of the people who actually do live there and have endured thousand of years of hatred and warfare. It won’t be over until they say it is over, not some outsider politician looking to earn Great Statesman points. How about protesting the way President Obama and his whole rookie administration got taken to the cleaners by the wolves of Wall Street? Maybe stage a rally asking where all the new jobs are, and why unemployment is approaching a very unhealthy 10%?

Why take to the streets when Obama wants America to be the social equal of every other developed nation? While it is refreshing to see that America can still mount organized protest rallies, you have to wonder why the issue that was chosen is health care. It seems such a waste of time and good civic effort to protest good deeds, a long overdue heath care reform, one that will provide Americans with another arrow in our quiver of individual rights, the right to medical care. This way we’ll all be healthy and alert when it is time to protest the wrong things our government does. Maybe the next time someone decides that The Bill of Rights is too liberal a document, we’ll be ready.

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