The disappearance of Christmas

in

To the Editor:
Without the spirit of Christmas permeating our air, the holiday has become a hollow facsimile of the one I so fondly remember. People used to exhibit a glow that couldn’t be dismissed. They conveyed feelings of pure love and giving and tremendous joy.

Now, at this time of year, I’m left with a dream that keeps repeating itself. Two percent of Americans get richer and richer. Athletes get millions of dollars to bounce a ball. Actors earn more than $25 million to make a movie. Bankers, industrialists, Wall Street and politicians commit horrendous crimes against the welfare of the nation and are given free passes and enormous rewards for their actions. Their lobbyists own private jets and make deals that are completely unscrupulous.

The two percent keep hoarding the wealth. If anybody gets in their way, these people crush them while still selling us the message of America the beautiful. Little by little the rest of the world begins to think of us as a fraud.

We also suck up a disproportionate share of energy. We pollute so much we cannot eat fish from reservoirs whose source of water comes from pure mountain springs. We are breathing the same poisons that are in the water but environmentalists are more worried about golf courses and developments. We deny the existence of climate change or at least until the time there will be tremendous wealth to be had by accepting and dealing with the inevitable. During the last election we constantly heard all the politicians voice concern about the future welfare of our children. Did anyone speak about global warming or did both sides agree to forget about the greatest possible threat to mankind?

Our military is in many countries under the disguise of supporting democracy and protecting America when in fact our military is used as a private security force for giant corporations. Let them pay private mercenaries for their protection instead of the government providing it for free. The American people pay the tab both financially and with their blood. Corporate profits are valued to a much higher degree than human life.

The FDA and the pharmaceutical goliaths work hand in hand, putting out prescription drugs that have extraordinary side effects. Many cause cancer, strokes, paralysis and death, just to name a few of their contraindications. Again, the value placed on life and suffering is secondary to profit.
This recurring nightmare disturbs me to no end, but for a lot reasons, I still love my country. The major problem is the sum of the tragedies outweighs its happiness. Until children stop dying from starvation, all the world’s glory is meaningless. America spends a hundred times as much money on plastic surgery, fast food, and videos in a year’s time than we do on feeding starving children in a decade. We could wipe out a dozen serious diseases around the world with less money than we spend on iPads and cell phones.

Hopefully there are young people who can analyze my dream using a lot more brainpower than I have and come up with answers to the world hunger dilemma. What a wonderful Christmas present that would be!

Warren Slavin,
Fleischmanns