George Graham

When People are Pawns


America is losing its most precious asset – its humanity.  I used to think of Americans as generous, compassionate people. And I still see signs of these admirable traits. In the success of so many crowd funding projects, for example… In the open-handed response to the needs of children’s hospitals… In random tales of individual kindness… In the massive philanthropy of tycoons like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet…

But kindness and compassion are disappearing in politics.

The Senate is supposed to vote today on a health bill that punishes the poor and sick to enrich the powerful and wealthy.

And if it fails, it wll not just be because a few Republican senators balked at its sheer inhumanity but because it does not go far enough to satisfy far-right ideologues.

They want Obamacare reversed completely. Why?

This is not a question of the economy or national secdurity. It’s a matter of life and death. Millions with preexisting conditions, for example, would be unable to buy health insurance. And nearly a trillion dollars would be cut from Medicaid to reduce the taxes  rich families pay.

I cannot see any justification for this kind of cruelty.

The wealthiest Americans don’t need a tax break. Income inequality is already causing major economic and social stress in America.

As technology evolves and automation increases, some sectors of the economy will inevitably suffer while other sectors flourish. In such an environment, the government must intervene to protect the human beings impacted by irresistible change.

But many Americans oppose such government intervention. Like King Canute standing on the shore trying to stem the flow of the tide, they are trying to deny economic reality and turn back the clock.

This devotion to an economic ideal ignores the basic needs of human beings. Humans become mere pawns in a deadly chess game. Our lives no longer matter.

More on the health care vote

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