As the ugliness that is our country’s new day to day grows more gruesome I find myself spending more time cruising Twitter. Maybe it’s the opportunity to ingest the day’s horrors in nibbles, I don’t know.
Last night I read the news about John McCain being diagnosed with a brain tumor. I’m sorry to hear this, for him and his family. I don’t like his politics, was horrified by and still believe he opened the door to our current administration by choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008. I lost whatever respect I might have had left when he got on board to support 45 despite knowing he was unqualified and being publicly disrespected by him (which in turn disparaged all our veterans and troops); supporting and voting for his extremist and unqualified nominees while purporting to be a moderate. He’s still a human being facing a painful and difficult path, and I don’t have it in me to actively wish anyone harm.
That said, I was surfing a little while ago and a Tweet popped up in my feed, imploring us not to politicize McCain’s cancer. Really? Maybe if I was a saint, or at least more highly evolved, I could agree with this. I understand the sentiment behind it, and it certainly sounds reasonable in 140 characters or less. Maybe if I wasn’t spending every fucking minute of every fucking day worrying about Art Child and Husband, what can/will happen if 45 and the GOP (of which McCain is a member) have their way with health care.
I’m sorry, but the reality is this is political. John McCain is a political figure, by choice–and a powerful one, whose voice is influential and whose votes have had an impact on all of us. He’s now got an aggressive type of brain cancer, a tumor known as a glioblastoma that is likely to have a poor outcome regardless of treatment and health insurance. I wish him the best possible outcome because he’s a human being, and I am, too. Because he has good health insurance and because he’s a senator he does have treatment options (and will regardless of how/what the Senate decides for the rest of us), and if the worst occurs, those options will include excellent palliative care and a measure of dignity. That’s political, and it will remain so until and unless we all have the same excellent and affordable healthcare with appropriate support and funding for science, research, and medical advances.
I’ve been quiet on the blog because I understand how very boring it is to my readers to hear me rant repeatedly about health care– why it’s important for all and why it’s personal for me. So many personal stories going around the various news outlets and social media platforms, my story is no more or less meaningful than anyone else’s, and I’ve already shared what I’m willing to.
And honestly, I’m uncomfortable with the way these stories have been shared recently, the stress on photos of beautiful children who need their healthcare, Grandma in a coma lying in a hospital bed paid for by Medicaid who’s being told she should just get a job. Is this supposed to show the cutest kiddos deserve treatment? What if kiddo X isn’t considered beautiful by all who see them? Or are the effective photos the ones that show the kiddos with the most tubes, the most pills? What about kiddos with invisible disorders? I understand these photos are meant to personalize the potential impact of these proposed health care regulations. I just don’t believe that isn’t already understood by the GOP. They know how many will be hurt, and in how many ways, they know how many will die–they don’t care. How easy it is for these photos of beautiful (because yes, I believe they are all beautiful) children to be coopted by people who don’t care about any child’s plight, with flat-earthers (boy was I shocked to find out this is a real thing) posting ignorant, disgustingly callous comments or hurtful memes.
Maybe this is yet another example of how slow-witted I can be, or what a downright bitch I am, but I don’t see how Senator McCain’s medical needs are sacred while those of my family, my loved ones, and the millions of others in this country who need to keep their health insurance are political. I can wish him well while reminding him and his peers their votes, words, and actions are actively harming the rest of us.