Syndicated columnist, Leonard Pitts Jr. did it again: he wrote about issues that most of us are very concerned about and at least for this one reader/writer, he spoke for me. The above article addresses the precise way that I feel – and that many others feel – about red versus blue. Here’s a few quotes from the article that you should take the time to read in its entirety.
First a quote from President Obama, a quote that he premiered ten years ago and reiterated after the recent mid-term elections:
“I continue to believe,” said President Obama, “we are simply more than a collection of red and blue states. We are the United States.”
Now a few paragraphs from Mr. Pitts’ article addressing that statement:
“People for whom everything is about politics tend to forget that most of us do not see the world that way. Red or blue, left or right, most Americans simply want a government that works, that gets things done, and a nation that stands for something, that means something in the world beyond just a parcel of land where a bunch of people live. This is why Obama’s words electrified 10 years ago; they seemed to connect people to ideals larger than their own lives.
“And it is why the same words seem flatter than left-out cola 10 years later, the hope of larger ideals having been sequestered, government shutdowned, PAC’d and gridlocked down into a sobering realization of how truly small American politics can be.
“Cowardice squared off against cynicism Tuesday [2014 election day] and cynicism won. But there is something wrong when those are the only options on the ballot.
“We are supposed to be united states, the president says. But there are too many days lately when a sentiment that once grounded and ennobled feels fanciful and unlikely.”
And now my statement:
Whether we’re talking about State/local government or Federal – year after year, too many employees of each have failed to do their job. These employees don’t work behind desks in the hallowed walls of government; they square off on the football field where at least two opposing sides refuse to give an inch for fear that the opponents’ goals might be reached.
And I might add, goals that could very well benefit the American citizenry, but are turned down simply because the other team proposed them.
Doesn’t that seem shameful to you?
In my post, President Obama says the “A” word: Alzheimer’s, I provided some Alzheimer’s statistics that focus on those who are predicted to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other dementia in the years to come. I also talked about caregiver statistics.
One statistic that really resonates with me is the following: a new caregiver is set into action every 33 seconds because someone will develop Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. In actuality, the stats are far greater than that. Caregivers are “created” every second of the day because there are countless diseases requiring the assistance of someone just like you and me – an unpaid caregiver for a loved one. I use the distinction of “unpaid” so as not to be confused with those who work as caregivers in the health care industry.
The following statement is attributed to former First Lady of the United States, Rosalynn Carter:
There are only four kinds of people in the world – those who have been caregivers,
those who are currently caregivers,
those who will be caregivers, and
those who will need caregivers.
I really don’t think there’s any way around it. How about you? Have you dodged the caregiver or being-cared-for bullet yet?
Lest you think that Alzheimer’s has nothing to do with you, look at the following statistics provided by the Alzheimer’s Association:
- By the year 2050, nearly one million new cases will be diagnosed each year – that’s one American developing Alzheimer’s every 33 seconds. Taken further, that most likely equates to nearly one and a half million new family caregivers each year – considering that at least one family member will be involved in managing a loved one’s care;
- Ten million Baby Boomers will get Alzheimer’s;
- On average, 40% of a person’s years with Alzheimer’s are spent in the most severe stage of the disease;
- The number of Americans that die each year from Alzheimer’s disease has risen 66% since the year 2000;
- Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States;
- Today, there are no Alzheimer’s survivors – none.
Please take time to read the article I’ve attached above and consider the following: We are going to pay for Alzheimer’s one way or the other – now, or later.
This is a disease that will affect you, your children, your grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beyond. Burying our heads in the sand won’t solve anything. Please consider donating to the Alzheimer’s Association as well as contacting your state’s congressional leaders asking for greater federal funding for Alzheimer’s research. Why? Because of this staggering statistic:
According to the National Institute of Health, the federal government currently spends much less money on Alzheimer’s research, prevention, and cure than on other conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and HIV.
- $6 billion for cancer;
- $4 billion for heart disease;
- $3 billion for HIV/AIDS; but just
- $480 million for Alzheimer’s disease.
I’m not comfortable with those numbers – are you?