George Graham

A Time for Outrage


Is health care a “basic human right,” as some politicians contend? Or is it a privilege, as others insist? And why does it matter?

To me, the real question is not about rights. It’s about basic human decency.

What kind of person would see a neighbor hurt in a car crash or stricken by a heart attack and refuse to help?

Only a monster. Right?

So there must be monsters among us.

These monsters would prevent cancer survivors from getting health insurance, deprive disabled children of the care they get from Medicaid and kick the aged and infirm out of nursing homes.

They argue that their neighbors’ health is not their responsibility. They say it’s the sick who are to blame for their own health problems. They contend disease  is the punishment for bad lifestyle choices. And they insist individuals must pay for their mistakes, not expect the government to bail them out.

Obviously, this is nonsense. Are they suggesting that children should be punished for the lifestyle e choices their parents made? Are they blaming the old and enfeebled for living too long? Are they suggesting that all illness and disease result from lifestyle choices?

And are they so merciless that they would refuse to help those who had made bad choices, anyway?

It’s hard to believe that such people exist. But they do. And their political representatives are scheming to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Legislation being considered by the Senate today would slash Medicaid and leave millions without health care so they can give the rich a lavish tax break.

Surely, no decent American can be silent at a time like this. Surely, there will be a tidal wave of outrage and revulsion across the land.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for


  • My mother always took us to church when my sisters, brother and I were growing up. She was lovely, kind, caring, and we never heard a bigoted or cruel statement from either of our parents. Mother spent her time taking care of her home and children, helping my dad in his business, visiting the sick and needy and helping any way she could as a church volunteer. When I grew up and left home, I stopped going to church. One of the reasons was the intolerance and hatred I observed in so many church-goers. What you say in your blog about the ignorant, unschooled, uninformed among us becoming so blatant in their hatred and lack of tolerance for those of different faiths, different pigmentation, and different cultures distresses me in ways I can’t describe. Your illustration astounds me….”Pile of shit baby”???? What kind of person would do this? The powerful forces behind such Internet garbage should openly reveal themselves. Rachel Maddow has uncovered much of these vicious “Ugly Americans” and revealed their names and their personal interest in stirring up the ignorant. I know we’ve always had such people with us, but we didn’t see it quite so much. Now, with the anonymity of the internet, the “ugly American” has never been so apparent and so frightening.

  • Reminds me of the same mentality of right wingers praising John Wayne, Nixon, and Jesus (they of course co-opted Christianity and God as theirs only) who spread lies and hate in my college days forty years ago. Same racism and lies, only varying targets now. Back then if you had an education and long hair and perhaps said something against the Viet Nam war – or even worse were black -you were portrayed in graphics similar to the one you show. You were a “faggot” and a “coward” if you didn’t wave the flag with the white warmongers in power. The shotgun murder from the pickup truck of the two peaceful bikers in Easy Rider presents the hatred of that era’s right wing in its extreme.

    These 21st century anti-immigrant right wingers, including the birthers, teabaggers, and the paramilitary types who love war and abusing hurricane victims too (see “Zeitoun”), plus the Fox followers are collectively even more absurd and tragic in their ignorance and hydrophobic reactions. And how the GOP shills like Palin love to fire them up!

    Isn’t it ironic that the haters and uninformed always vote for the people who perpetuate their own misery….cheap labor conservatives (read Republicans) who love keeping them oppressed and unhappy?. These fools always buy into the continuing spin of hate and lies, and their stupidity will lead us one day into a fascist state if we are not careful.

  • You are so right, Bill. It’s getting scary. So much wealth and power are being deployed. I read somewhere that a chief justice started an organized right-wing movement in response to Vietnam War protests, and ever since then university departments have been endowed, think tanks have been funded and media outlets have been purchased and founded in a crusade to promote values opposing those of the war protesters.

  • It sure can be frightening when you read and see these biggots at work. I find myself repeating, that the one thread that can be found in the fall of all the dynasties that ruled and crashed, is ‘Moral decay from within’. Their only agenda is power and their God, money. Sigh…. Billy G.