It doesn't have to be this way

Friday, August 11, 2006

Maybe it's the heat and humidity that are making me cranky these days. There must be something in the air, because folks all over the world are doing stuff that doesn't make much sense. And I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of Lebanese officials who cry in public over casualties of bombings they could have prevented. Instead, these same sobbing officials praise Hezbollah's military prowess. Why didn't the Lebanese government stop the growth of terrorist cells hiding among innocent civilians? Why didn't the Lebanese government prevent the flow of cash and arms from Syria and Iran? Why didn't they do anything to head off the tragic events that have left those who are really suffering shedding real tears?

I'm tired of Muslims who say Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and love and then do nothing to root out the killers and bombers who plot bloodshed in the name of Allah while hiding in mosques.

I'm tired of Catholics who blow up their kinsmen in Ireland because they are Protestant, and Protestants who blow up their cousins because they are Catholic.

I'm tired of anyone who uses food as a weapon. Starving Africans know what I'm talking about.

I'm tired of politicians who beg for voters to send them to Washington so they can change the way our money-wasting, tax-gobbling, dollar-driven government works.

I'm tired of voters who send candidates promising to change the way government works to Washington and don't hold them accountable for their empty promises.

I'm tired of political labels that have taken the place of common sense, negotiation and compromise.

I'm tired of Pakistanis who say they know Osama bin Laden and his band of thugs are enjoying the hospitality of their mountains but won't do what it takes to track him down and chop off his head.

I'm tired of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds who think of themselves as Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds first, not Iraqis.

I'm tired of Republicans who claim to represent the party of less government and less spending but create more government and approve the biggest pork-barrel appropriations in our nation's history.

I'm tired of Democrats who say they can do a better job but don't tell us how.

I'm tired of Americans who bad-mouth the French but have never been to France or met anyone who is French. How would they like it if everyone judged their whole family by the one cousin -- and we all have one -- who is a jerk?

I'm tired of anyone in France, high or low, who has forgotten their nation's liberation came at the expense of the lives of American GIs.

I'm tired of immigration officials who look at our border with Mexico and say, "Oops. It's too late to do anything now."

I'm tired of anyone who takes a stand on stem-cell research without knowing anything about it except what they've heard from the pulpit. Separation of church and state covers a lot of territory.

I'm tired of people who complain about limits on garage-sale signs but won't pick up the phone to call their council member or attend a meeting at city hall.

I'm tired of parents who wonder what went wrong with their children but refuse to look in a mirror.

I'm tired of hearing anyone who makes the minimum wage complain about it.

I'm tired of elected officials who are serious about nothing but their paychecks.

I'm tired of roundabouts that don't get paved while interstate interchanges are being built.

I'm tired.

R. Joe Sullivan is the editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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