First They Denied Your Right to Healthcare

I’ve been struggling with how to communicate with you given how our household has been devastated by the most recent election. As an Old English Sheepdog, I’m worried that I might be deported for being English. However, James has informed me that since I was born in Ohio that makes me a Dreamer. I like the sound of that – Dreamer. Nonetheless, even though I’m not going to be deported, I don’t have voting rights, or any rights for that matter. Still, I know that I’m loved, and love trumps hate. (What? No treat? I know. You’re depressed.)

Oh, yeah, it’s me Ollie. I suppose I should have mentioned that before, but with the way things are, I hope you’ll forgive me. With that said, I’m not sure that I can forgive those who voted for DJT. I even find it hard to bark his name. The only good thing is that I’ve gotten a ton of snuggles from James this past week. I don’t mind telling you that I have licked enough salty tears off his face to fill our pond.

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(Ollie & James snuggling)

It seems like the only time James has gotten out of bed is to feed me and take me outside. While we were walking (James walks while I run), James began reciting a poem he was working on in his head. He said it came to him because he recalled what Martin Niemöller* had said about World War II. James decided to put an undated twist on the quote for which Mr. Niemöller is remembered.

First they denied your right to healthcare
and I did not speak out
because I was covered by my spouse’s healthcare
Then they came for your reproductive rights
and I did not speak out
because I was not a woman
Then they came for your right to vote
and I did not speak out
because I was not a person of color
Then they came for your citizen’s rights
and I did not speak out
because I was not a new immigrant
Then they came for your right to marriage
and I did not speak out
because I was not a LGBTQ person
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me
Then they came for me
            and there was no one
Then they came for me
            and there was not one left
            to speak out
Then they came for me
            and there was on one left
            to speak out
            for me

***

How long will it take for them
to do away with the Affordable Care Act
which they have voted to repeal more than sixty times
How long will it take for them
to do away with Roe vs Wade
which they have been chipping away at for decades
How long will it take for them
to entomb the Voting Rights Act
into which the conservative SCOTUS
has hammered nails into its coffin
How long will it take for them
to round up the Dreamers and their families and
deport those who were born on United States soil
and are United States citizens
because their parents are not
How long will it take for them
to overturn United States vs Windsor
that held it is unconstitutional
to define marriage
as between one man and one woman
How long will it take for them
to deny United States’ citizens
their Constitutional rights
            – freedom of speech
            – freedom of worship
            – freedom of _________
How long will it take
How long will it take
How long will it take

***

As an old white male
with a pre-existing condition (cancer)
I have not choice but to speak out
before they take away my insurance
As an old white male with two sisters and three nieces
I have no choice but to speak out
for women’s rights
As an old white male with two sisters and three nieces
and South Carolina-raised
I have no choice but to speak out
before they come for my friends of color
having seen first-hand their hatred and bigotry
As an old white male with two sisters and three nieces
and South Carolina-raised whose forefathers immigrated to this country
fought for its independence and for a more perfect Union
I have no choice but to speak out
for the immigrants and Dreamers
searching for a better life as my family did
As an old white male with two sisters and three nieces
and South Carolina-raised whose forefathers immigrated to this country
who has been in a loving committed relationship for
the past thirty-seven years
I have no choice but to speak out
before they deny me the right to be married
As an old ill white male with sisters and nieces
southern-raised whose family immigrated
who happens to also be gay
I have no choice but to speak out
before they come for me
I have no choice
I have no choice but to speak
I have no choice but to speak out

James and I hope you, well, liking it is not exactly what we mean. What we hope is that it it spurs you to action. The popular vote, for the second time during James’ lifetime, did not go to the President-elect. It is well for us to remember that Khizr and Ghazala Khan’s heroic son, Humayun Saqib Muazzam Kahn, a Muslim, gave his life in support of our Constitution of the United States, which says:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
[Emphasis added.]

James has also informed me that this isn’t the end. Not only do we go high when they go low, but we get back up when we’ve been knocked down. As Secretary Clinton said in her concession speech, “Let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.”

I have it on the best authority (James that is – a treat, finally), we have two years in which to take control of the Senate. In this manner we can alter where this newly elected, by the Electoral College and not the popular vote of the people, plan on taking our country. It is our only hope over the next four years to help prevent or reverse any of these terrible things from happening. Please, support candidates that will be running in 2018 by directly working for them and/or contributing to their campaigns. That is our best hope for the future.

If you feel like venting, you are welcome to do so in the comment section. I always enjoy hearing from you, so please leave a comment on this blog post about this or anything at all.

Until next time,
Short Stories - Author Webpage Help Needed
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)

Paw Prints courtesy of www.pawsitivelyloved.com
All photos © James Stack 2016 unless otherwise indicated

* Hoping to honor, and in the memory of, Martin Niemöller, a Protestant pastor who became an outspoken opponent of Adolf Hitler. Mr. Niemöller spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps.

 

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3 thoughts on “First They Denied Your Right to Healthcare

  1. I could have used some extra snuggles myself this week, Ollie. Things have been rough and it’s petrifying. I live with a list of chronic illness and so very much understand the insurance fears. And that’s all not even going into the hate orbiting and being exuded by that particular person (I can’t bear to say his name either, it’s like summoning Beetlejuice or something)….we need to do and be better in the future…anyway, I hope you and James are well, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My heart breaks for you and your family, and for so many of my friends and family who will be affected by the horrible changes this man and his henchmen have threatened. My heart breaks for all America, and for the world, who lost something irreplaceable when this man was elected to represent us and lead us. We deserve so much better!

    Liked by 2 people

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