Tuesday February 5, 2013

Confessions Of A 'Cold-Hearted' Republican

The Republicans were actually trying to save the Social Security system which is at risk of failing in the next decade. Any changes that the GOP proposed would not affect those over 55 and yet seniors were being told that their benefits were imperiled.

By Alicia Colon

While I can't recall the exact reason my sister hit me on the head with a high heel many years ago I'll never forget her saying, "you're so cold-hearted." Apparently she felt I was not that sympathetic to a situation she had read about in the newspaper. I was reminded about this long ago incident listening to the recent testimonies in Congress on the gun control issues. The Democrats always wage their battles by triggering emotional reactions while the Republicans tend to value the facts - which explains why I am a Republican and why she is a diehard Democrat.

This does not mean that I was not moved by the halting speech of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, survivor of a gunshot head wound by the crazed gunman in Tucson last January. I prayed for her and the other victims and it is very gratifying to see her recovering so spectacularly from that near fatal attack and I admire her strength and courage at her Congressional appearance.

Nevertheless, I fail to see how her appeal to Congress to do something about guns will have much impact on gun violence against innocent victims like herself and those at the Sandy Hook school. Of course, I am a cold-hearted Republican who found it somewhat despicable of the president to exploit the Newtown, Conn. massacre by having children present as he delivered his executive directives on gun control. These children supposedly wrote the president asking him to do something about guns. Oh really, they really did? As a mother of six, grandmother of eleven, I find that scenario somewhat suspect unless they had a lot of prodding from hyper anxious parents.

The problem with most of these tear-jerking maneuvers is that they are often a tissue of lies. Remember that anti-Romney ad with that steelworker, Joe Soptic, insinuating that Romney had something to do with his plant being shut down and his wife dying of cancer because he lost his health benefits? Problem is Soptic's wife died five years after the GSt steel plant closed and more than seven years after Romney left the management of Bain to work on the 2002 Olympics in February 1999. In addition, she had her own health insurance from her job; that didn't make any difference to voters who were convinced that Romney was a cold-hearted businessman. These low-information voters obviously did not watch the Republican convention where we learned about Romney's numerous acts of charity and courage which were absent from his opponent's biography.

In 2006, actor Michael J. Fox appeared in an ad supporting Claire MacCaskill for the U.S. Senate. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, created a sympathetic portrait as he accused her opponent, incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Talent of not supporting stem cell research and wanted it criminalized which was a blatant falsehood. He made no distinction between embryonic and adult stem research, neither of which is banned. It was so easy to portray Sen. Talent as a mean-spirited person who would deny poor Mr. Fox, a potential cure for his illness.

Ironically, Mr. Fox has changed his mind about stem cells and is looking into other resources for a cure that does not involve fetal or embryonic cells which have both caused dangerous and irreparable side effects. The mainstream media will never report the truth of the stem cell research data because it conflicts with the liberal support of abortion rights.

The Democrats have plenty of help from SuperPACs and a compliant mainstream media that inject racism and faux tear-jerking incidents into news stories and ads. Who can forget those awful ads showing families resorting to throwing grandma over a cliff because the Republicans were threatening to cut her Medicare benefits and social security? The AARP joined in the propaganda even though there was no truth to this.

The Republicans were actually trying to save the Social Security system which is at risk of failing in the next decade. Any changes that the GOP proposed would not affect those over 55 and yet seniors were being told that their benefits were imperiled. As a senior citizen myself, I thought we were not only older but wiser but I was wrong because so many seniors were convinced by the ads that demonized the GOP.

The New York Times runs a series called 'neediest cases' which tells the heartbreaking stories of New Yorkers suffering through various illnesses or financial problems. An admirable venture indeed but cynical me, I have to question the veracity of the article presented because I know all about being in need. Since nearly all of the stories are of minority victims, one is hesitant to doubt their circumstances. One story in particular stuck me as being typical of liberal angst reporting minus investigative curiosity.

A single woman living in public housing was struggling to get her education to improve her family's finances. All well and good, until I read that her boyfriend who made a good living as a city worker was also living with her. Oops, is that even allowed? Wouldn't that be grounds for eviction? Nope. I lived in public housing as a child and in a Mitchell lama apartment complex as an adult and I know that there are strict income confirmation protocols to prove eligibility.

Then again I recall a 2003 report of a man who had a Siberian tiger living in his Hamilton Heights projects. Antoine Yates kept the 400 lb. tiger, an alligator, snakes and a monkey in the Harlem apartment and until he was bitten by the tiger and had to go to the hospital, no one reported the menagerie. In addition, Yates had even rented out one of his rooms to a couple who kept their mouths shut as well. Outrageous?

Absolutely, but the most startling thing about the story to me was that Yates had a five bedroom apartment. Who knew they even existed in the projects?

Perhaps, I am not a sentimentalist who tears up at every tale of woe. I prefer to seek out the answers to problems rather than wring my hands in futile gestures. Pardon me if I save my tears for the truly heartbreaking images of our men and women in the military who've been savaged by wartime injuries. If I had any political clout I would urge legislation waiving them from ever paying taxes again and I'd give them free medical care forever for their sacrifices.

I confess that I care more for these warriors than I do about the polar bears in the North Pole endangered by global warming. I'm just too cold-hearted to worry about saving the planet.

Alicia Colon resides in New York City and can be reached at and at

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