New York -- The Bush regime has given Americans fighting heart disease, stroke, and cancer its new year greeting! The lowest funding for the NIH (National Institutes of Health) in 30 years. This year's budget is less than last year's (2005) which was effectively 10% lower than prior years.
Squandering all on the so-called "war against terror," a one-time attack which killed around 3,000, the Bush junta says Drop Dead! to the 725,000 or so who will die from heart disease and stroke in 2006. And it gives the finger to the half million Americans who will die of cancer this year.
This is why we say we live in a Death Society. In the foremost Death Society. It is not rhetorical flourish. It is a fact of our lives. And it's killing us.
War, reckless, unnecessary, endless wars take priority every single time over the life-and-death needs of tens of millions of Americans struggling with cancer, heart ailment, and stroke. When you count their friends, associates, and families. you realize this is America. We have the numbers, but we don't count in The Death Society.
The one-time 3,000 deaths from 9/11 were tragic and horrendous. But no rational or humane society or state would try to prevent that from happening again by ignoring the desperate pleas for help from the overwhelming majority of its voters. Up to 70% of U.S. families and households are affected by the unholy trinity of heart disease, stroke, or cancer.
This does not merely show the disconnect between Washington and Main Street. More than that, it proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Washington does not take its marching orders from Main Street. That it is in fact contemptuous of the deepest wishes of the overhwelming majority of U.S. voters because it sees no real power in them.
In a real democracy, the politicians are supposed to respond to the serious concerns of voters. What could be of more serious concern to tens of millions of Americans living with cancer, heart disease, stroke than funding for research to bring about treatments and cures in time to save them?!
And yet this is not a serious political issue in American politics. It is not just with Bush and his party that it's not a serious issue. It is not a serious issue either with the Democratic Party, which has a more sympathetic posture. The only way to make the politicos take this life-and-death issue of funding for cancer, heart disease, and stroke research seriously? Millions of Americans must make them understand that this is their overriding issue. That is, if you don't do right on this issue, we will vote against you, period. And throw you bums out.
Mllions of voters in the Bible Belt vote against their own economic interests so they can vote for their overriding issue -- the fundamentalist Christian agenda against abortion, gays, and turning the U.S. into a "Christian" nation. But why aren't there millions more voters who vow to make cancer, heart disease, and stroke their overriding issue? And to make the politicians ignore it at their own peril?
We are the real Silent Majority. "We" because the overwhelming majority of deaths in the U.S. will be due to heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Even those in perfect health now are at risk for it sooner or later. But the question is why are we so silent -- and timid? And when are we going to get smart?