Yes, Virginia — There is a Santa Claus

Yes, dear sweet Virginia —- there is a Santa Claus.  If only for one day of the year, all that Santa symbolizes — holiday spirit, compassion, benevolence — is alive and well.  Without the intent of bursting your carefree childhood bubble, I must educate you as to the other 364 days of the year.

The innocence of childhood is all well and good.  However, without adding a dose of reality to the mix, I fear you will grow up to be irrevocably disillusioned.  That would not be productive for either you or our society.  So please allow me to temper your belief in all that is good just a bit.  Upon becoming a parent so very long ago, I assumed the responsibility of teaching my children values.  I also took on the obligation to be as honest as I could with my children.  To avoid the issues for the sake of maintaining a happy, carefree childhood would be providing a false hope.

Although we live in a country that was founded upon great principles of freedom and equality, the attainment and maintenance of those ideals are much more difficult to achieve and preserve.  Our hopes and wishes are admirable; our actions to deliver them are not.  In our rush to claim the all-important American victory, regardless of its emptiness, we are supplanting idealism with pragmatism.  We are forfeiting our principles and disregarding our promises.  We have lost sight of our mission: to take care of each other.  By choosing our current path, we have relegated not only our individual personal integrity, but also our national ethos of freedom, equality and justice — to the garbage heap.

No author or politico could have written a script that approximates the selfish and destructive events that our country has recently experienced.  Imagine: a country, historically the richest and most freedom-loving on our planet with an ego large enough to pride themselves on this dedication to its founding principles, void of a national health care plan.  This country is on the brink of economic collapse due to the unethical games played by its financial and governmental parts.  Ours is a country of mutual consent for harmful policies as well as progressive ones.  Its President correlated further economic downfall with a lack of a comprehensive, fair health policy.  He especially underscored the importance of a public option, the only way to ensure fair competition as a natural process to control costs and set the standards for equal access and non-discriminatory care.

The majority party in power of this nation, while in the procedural throes of designing and enacting such policy, stands aside, looks the other way, when one of their own, i.e. Joe Lieberman, completely derails the process so he can have legislation that caters to his special interests underwritten by the private insurance industry physically headquartered in his state.  All the while, this same nation, with the same political party in power, attacks and demeans its very own Chairman, Howard Dean, a physician himself and an individual who has the guts to speak the truth despite Party ties.

Have a look at Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska.  He is the only Democrat in the Senate who will not vote in favor of the health care reform bill because he wants harsher restrictions on abortion as a trade for his vote.  I am baffled by his position and cannot reconcile his stance with actual concern for his constituents.  How can he be so protective of unborn life while trading down the river those who have already been born?  It is unfathomable to me how disingenuous he is by his super-concern for the feeding and care of unborn children yet so callous to the plight  of those already on our planet.  Could his rationale be that unborn babies do not cost the government a red cent, while live babies cost a mint?  Why is he so caught up in denying our legal rights rather than funding them?

Also, the state of Virginia’s new Governor-elect, Bob McDonnell, based his successful campaign on “no more taxes”.  Now the state is four billion dollars in the hole and the shortfall must be addressed.  In recent statements, McDonnell is holding to his promise of no more taxes and has said he will make up the deficit by instituting cuts.  Of course, the first item mentioned to potentially be on the chopping block was education.  I feel for you, little girl: because you do not have the protection of the vote, your rights are usually the first ones to be tossed out the window.  I am so sorry.

Ultra-senior Senator Mitch McConnell and other Senate Republicans have held up passage of $656 in funding for our military in the (yes, quite unrelated) hope to delay health care reform legislation from Senate passage.  Once again, this tack merely punishes innocent Americans, our freedom-fighting troops.   Holding as hostages our supposedly valued soldiers,  in response to a health bill deemed unacceptable by the GOP,  is criminal.  Their efforts to kill the bill are misguided and destructive and certainly do not embody the intent real patriotism.

So despite this sorry state of affairs, please Virginia, enjoy your Santa Clause, if only for one day.  Revel in his existence and all that he stands for.  Dive right in and partake of all the joys of childhood, knowing that there are people out there who will continue the fight to protect and provide for our children.  After all, that is really the only way you will be able to continue the battle when you are all grown up and fighting for your own children.

Happy Christmas, little one!


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One Response to “Yes, Virginia — There is a Santa Claus”

  1. Natalie R Says:

    Yes, when Virginia grows up she will have a RUDE awakening. Things ain’t (pardon the colloquialism) what she was taught they were. One premise with which I take issue is that our country was founded upon great principles of freedom and equality. I do not think it was exactly so. Without the discussion of the inherent inequalities of slavery which the country had from its inception as a colony of Britain, the revolution was initially manifested because of a tax on tea. The initial spark was about money. The Bill of Rights ensuring our freedoms was an afterthought inserted as the first ten Amendments to the Constitution some ten years later when radicals within the revolutionary movement demanded something be written within it to guarantee a check on the power of government.

    Moreover, our country was founded by men of privilege and class who changed the Constitution after the Declaration of Independence was written (which said people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) to people have a right to life, liberty and PROPERTY. That was an important change. It attached an importance of property that has remained to this day even within our attempts to create a more just nation. I do believe that that very concept of the importance of property and money made it possible for a corporation to be accorded the same rights as a person when in the 1886 case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad Company (I looked the name of the case up), during the presidency of Grover Cleveland, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a private corporation is a person and entitled to the same legal rights and protections the Constitution grants to an individual. We all know what that did. Our entire government is controlled now by the corporation at the expense of the individual person’s rights simply because it has the wealth that the average person does not possess to essentially buy the government it wants.

    Our present wholly watered down so called health care bill proves that point. The little guy of no pecuniary standing will ultimately have to pay huge amounts of money he cannot afford to the health care industry because Congress, the presidency and the political parties receive hundreds of MILLIONS of dollars from the insurance, health care and pharmaceutical industry and the bill without a public option will mandate coverage. The corporation and the state are now inextricably bound to each other and nearly impossible to untangle.

    Virginia will have to learn if she is not among the fortunate to have been born into wealth OR with the brains to acquire that wealth in this country she will be out of luck and even perhaps out on the street! Yes, Virginia there may be a Santa Claus for one day but the other 364 days belong to Wall Street.

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