May 15, 2020


By Glenn

Sacrifice means giving something up today for a better tomorrow. Self-sacrifice is a key virtue.  We give of ourselves to better those around us.  Our communities honor those among us who excel at self-sacrifice.

Recently, we have seen the rise of an old and ugly form of sacrifice: the sacrifice of others.  A small, vocal and threatening minority has taken to the streets with guns to protest the call for us to sacrifice. Like drunk drivers they are demanding the freedom to sacrifice others. 

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has been pretty direct about the need for sacrifice. “No one reached out to me and said, ‘As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’”

Patrick wants Americans over 50 to risk their lives for young people to go to work. Patrick wants to create the impression that he would bravely join this death march for seniors. But would he?  Donald Trump sits in the White House and is tested every day.   Everyone around him is tested every day. When they test positive, the workers, not Donald self-quarantines.   Everyone in the White House now wears a mask… except Donald.   Do you think the Texas Lieutenant Governor would behave any differently than Donald?

I don’t.  I’ve happily lived in Texas for more than 25 years.  For those 25 years conservatives have been cutting taxes and sacrificing public education. I’ve never had a tax cut.  My taxes always go up. Whose taxes have conservatives like Patrick cut?  Not mine, and I bet, not yours.

What we are witnessing then is an ugly call to sacrifice others.  Implicitly Dan Patrick is asking seniors to accept death for others to make a profit. Don’t believe, however, that the sacrifice would be limited to seniors. Doctors, nurses and the entire staff at hospitals will face increased danger as the young enjoy their “freedom” to spread COVID-19.  

Dan Patrick is also basing his call to sacrifice seniors on a false assumption. Younger Americans do get COVID- 19. Not only do they face respiratory issues, but they die from blood clots, organ failure and heart attacks.   There is growing evidence that the disease attacks children. 

Self-sacrifice is a virtue. Sacrificing others is cruel.  At moments like this it is typical for real leaders to ask for shared sacrifice.  We should all do our part to limit, not increase, the danger to those around us. 

Could you imagine a person sitting in World War II London demanding lights as NAZIs dropped bombs in the middle of the night?  

We know how to do this. We know how to fight both the economic and health threats in our society.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt showed the way. President Roosevelt battled the Great Depression, War on two continents and polio. He didn’t quit because it was too hard.  No, he fought on because surrendering meant more suffering.

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