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Harbingers of Fall

The harbingers of fall change as we grow old. As a child, fall signaled stomping through crunchy leaves littering the sidewalks. Later I cherished quaking aspen and epic watercolor scenes painted against the skyline. Now fall’s glory is reduced to the mountain of Medicare offers I receive as unsolicited mail. Sad harbingers of fall, indeed.

How many noble trees sacrificed their lives for this growing mound of rubbish I’m accumulating? I feel guilty, though my only complicit act was one of aging. Yet somehow they died because of me and I feel sad. I mean, do people think I’m reading all this?  Is someone being paid to create and send trash? Let me just say this: STOP! End the insanity already.

First of all, Medicare should be simple enough for failing minds. Any plan requiring a syllabus the size of a Sears catalog and a magnifying glass is too complicated. Second, I can’t afford it.  Looking at the proposed monthly premium I need to fork over, I’d better be getting sick on a regular basis to justify the expense. Third, get your act together. Half of Congress acts like they are doing me a favor by making me choose a Medicare plan, and the other half acts like I’m taking food from their children’s mouths by being alive enough to use it.  Sheesh!  I hear a lot of talk about abolishing Medicare altogether. Just push me over to the side of the road when I get sick and let me die already. Oh wait. That’s what old folks homes are for.

Responsible legislation has become an oxymoron in this day of partisanship and lobbying interests.  Mind you, I hold the AARP in this category as well. I remember a time when all sides sat at the table and hashed things out to a reasonable compromise, but then, I’m almost 70. I fear our children and grandchildren have few memories of accord in the political arena, and that, my friends, is the tragedy. Without a living memory of what Congress was supposed to look like, our hope of a return to sanity grows dimmer every year.  What can I do about this mess? My electoral mandate is a draining of the swamp. Strict term limits. There will always be opportunists and self interests, but limiting the amount of damage they do is a step in the right direction. Will government die with inexperienced politicians?  Look at our constitutional inception with farmers, soldiers and inexperienced statesmen at the helm. I think they did a pretty good job!

Fall signals the impending death of the year. Let it also signal the death of special interests, cronyism and out-of-control federal spending. Let it also represent a return to the sanity of cordial rather than radical politics. It really needs to represent good will in the political arena rather than partisan politics, lest it signal the death of the nation right around the corner. God bless the USA.

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