It’s Saturday after the Patriot’s Day bombing and a week of pursuit. On Friday Boston was shut down completely. Streets were deserted, businesses closed and it seemed everyone was tuned into some form of media. By the end of the day the second known suspect was captured alive thanks to a home owner checking out a tear in the shrink wrap on his boat.
The Patriot’s Day bombers were caught by the authorities with information collected and given by an informed populace. Nowhere to be seen were Tea party members complaining about the cost, the very real cost to businesses caused by closing Boston, MA for business for one day. Maybe $300,000,000 or in words three-hundred million dollars. Nowhere to be seen were gun rights advocates standing side by side with the authorities in a display of firepower. Nowhere did I see the armed citizen capturing the murderer of the MIT police officer, Sean Collier 26 years old.
There were no protesters citing a right to privacy in their homes when the police came by to search for the fugitive bomber. But we have Senator McCain urging the trying Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant on one hand and the ACLU questioning the missing Miranda Rights reading on the other. Both missing the point that Patriot’s Day revolves around who we are. On one hand we need more information that Mr. Tsarnaev can provide and on the other we need to protect who we are. We are not a nation of gun toting crazies convinced that only those with weapons will survive the fall of civilization as we know it. Neither are we a nation of people who believe that personal responsibility means working hard, paying your own way and living off your own savings. Sometimes conveniently forgetting publicly funded community college or GI Bill educations or the income from Social Security that makes retirement savings last that much longer or provide a slightly higher quality of life.
No, we are a nation of moderate well meaning people. People who understand that not everyone can fend for themselves. People who understand that an early leg up in the form of publicly funded education pays off not only for the people directly helped but for all of us in the long run. We are a nation of people who understand that because of physical or mental disability some of us are homeless and are not lazy bums and deserve the support of a compassionate nation.
So why don’t we got along with one another? Why doesn’t our government work? Is it because too many of us live a me first philosophy and all that entails? Where is the spirit of compromise? When did we hand our government over to out and out hypocrites? Hypocritical people who rename ideas in an Orwellian fashion, where affordable health care becomes Obama care, where minimum financial support for the least among us becomes entitlement? While at the very same time these very same drink shamelessly from the public fountain? And worse use their publicly granted powers to foster the needs of business with one hand while accepting the rewards granted by a grateful business community with the other? What happened to learned public discourse. The given take of public argument on serious issues by serious people until a workable compromise is reached?
Most important, why can’t we the people work together everyday the way the people of Boston did the week after the Patriot’s day bombing? Maybe not with that intensity, but together towards a common goal, a future that’s better for everyone? why can’t we say enough is enough and do what’s necessary to make our government work again?