I’ve lived in Tennessee for just over a decade. I’ve watched Bill Frist go from a filthy rich doctor who, despite being a Republican, I uncharacteristically thought might still make a good Senator to leading the party, in our apparently single-party system, currently presiding over the ongoing and escalating corruption, humiliation, and destruction of Democracy 2.0: The American Version.
Initially, I supported Frist for Senator for the same reason I did Howard Dean for President in the last ‘election’ cycle. Although Frist lacks Dean’s passion and charisma, they both have lived large parts of their lives by the same basic ethical code. Being licensed doctors forces certain obligations and responsibilities on them, ones that are not so easy to opt out of given the importance we and they tend to place on their profession.
Doctors are supposed to be all about caring and compassion (the real thing here, not BushCo’s perverted version), alleviating the suffering of others, doing no harm, promoting healthy lifestyles, positive relationships, honesty, and respect between the medical community and the patients they serve.
You’d think that having to play that kind of role with that kind of all-encompassing and overlapping ethics would permeate into other facets of one’s life. You know, you can’t just turn the compassion and caring on and off like a light. Sadly, Bill Frist has proved me totally wrong.
Since worming his way to the top of the dung-heap that is the neo-fascist incarnation of the American GOP, Frist has done what many other allegedly principled Republicans have done (think John McCain); placed Party loyalty above all else even when it means selling their souls to the proverbial Devil, enabling the abusers, increasing the global danger level, and furthering the ruin of the country (well, the ruin of the middle class anyway -- rich folks are doin’ just fine). Rather than stick by their principles and speak out against policies and propaganda they know are irrational and wrong, they hold their noses and tamely play along -- hoping, it seems, their compliance will result in political dividends.
So while BushCo murders thousands of innocents in Iraq in what are clear-cut and unambiguous cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity for which this whole administration should be off to The Hague for trial, what is Dr. Frist doing? Nothing. Like a good boy, he has wholeheartedly supported and encouraged BushCo’s Middle Eastern killing spree. For a guy who’s supposed to be concerned with human suffering, he seems not to care too much about Iraqi suffering.
And bless his heart, Dr. Frist even found the gall to convert his ‘humanitarian’ trip to the tsunami site (where thousands of the poorest of the poor had just died) into a political photo-op by ensuring the cameraman got the destruction in the shot so he’d look like he gave a shit. What do you wanna bet those phony photos show up just in time for the 2008 Presidential primaries?
And as BushCo forces its abstinence-only nonsense on young schoolchildren and removes references to condoms, birth control and STDs from the NIH website, yet again withholding important health information from the public, what is Dr. Frist doing? Nothing. Apparently, his medical training involved the irrelevance of these important health issues.
And when his medical training could have been of some real use, by exposing the Terri Schiavo circus for the rank political opportunism that it is, what was Dr. Frist doing? Well, he was busily inferring, from a biased videotape edited by Schiavo’s deluded parents, that the conclusions drawn by every court-appointed doctor since the case began have been completely mistaken. Apparently, Frist’s medical training did not include a single minute devoted to any controversial issues in Medical Ethics or the inappropriateness of making long-distance diagnoses about other doctors’ patients.
In case all this isn’t bad enough, Dr. Frist ensured the increased suffering of tens of thousands of children in this country by supporting deep funding cuts for successful social programs like Food Stamps and Head Start that routinely benefit these poor soon-to-be serfs. Apparently, hungry stupid children with no health care is a good thing to likes of Dr. Frist (probably because they’ll be more likely to vote Republican).
And between voting in favor of bankruptcy legislation written by the credit card industry, (again screwing the poor to help the rich) or permitting oil drilling in the Alaska Wildlife Reserve for its three or four barrels of oil (yeah, that’ll stop those foreign imports), or remaining silent while prisoners are shipped overseas for torture-by-the-sea, he still finds plenty of time to shill the odious lies that pass for BushCo’s political talking points.
Dr. Frist’s medical license is just another political tool to be exploited and propagandized for mass consumption, painting him as somebody he’s not so that the gullible brain-dead crowd who still supports BushCo will, in 2008, blindly and obediently vote to change the name to FristCo. He should do us all a favor, give up the pretense, and forfeit his medical license.
Allen Snyder is an instructor of Philosophy and Ethics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article is copyright by Allen Snyder and originally published by opednews.com but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.
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