Wednesday , April 24 2024
Appallingly, firefighters stood around and did nothing as a family's home burned to the ground.

A Very Unheroic Story About Firefighters and Politics

A family stands before its burning home; the local fire department answers the call, but upon checking a roster sees that the family hasn’t opted in to the county’s pay-or-no fire-protection policy. So as the family watches their home and all their possessions go up in smoke, trying desperately to put out the raging fire with garden hoses and pleading with the county officials to allow them to pay up on the spot in order to save their home, the fire squad stands there, refusing to help. Until, that is, the fire threatens a neighboring household that has opted in. They are on it in a flash, but only to save that home.

So this is what it has come to: a far Right, to hell with the collective good and never mind social services (and why we pay taxes). We hear that mindset far too often these days: the only good government is no government; corporatize everything; privatize everything—Rand Paul’s biggest fantasy come true.

This is no right-wing dream; this is no some conjured story fabricated by radical leftie. This is real news, dateline Obion, Tennessee, from just a few days ago.

Is this what we’re really all about now? Silly me: I have this vision of America that has us all helping each other when necessary. And maybe it’s naive. We build up each other’s homes when they fall in a tornado or hurricane; and in the olden days, our grandparents passed a bucket person to person, helping the volunteer fire brigade when someone’s house caught fire.

Is this really what the Tea Party stands for? Because this is the inevitable conclusion to the Tea Party’s empowerment.

House burning down? Oops, sorry. You couldn’t afford to pay the fee, no water for you! Husband having a heart attack? No insurance? Sorry, take an aspirin and don’t call me in the morning. Ridiculous? Yesterday I would never have believed this incredible, disgusting and scary scenario would have been possible in my country.

Wake up, fellow Americans! Wake up, Democrats and vote; wake up Republicans and be aware of that Pandora’s Box about to be opened. What you’re unleashing is verging on the uncontrollable. Beware! Your home may be next.

About Barbara Barnett

A Jewish mother and (young 🙃) grandmother, Barbara Barnett is an author and professional Hazzan (Cantor). A member of the Conservative Movement's Cantors Assembly and the Jewish Renewal movement's clergy association OHALAH, the clergy association of the Jewish Renewal movement. In her other life, she is a critically acclaimed fantasy/science fiction author as well as the author of a non-fiction exploration of the TV series House, M.D. and contributor to the book Spiritual Pregnancy. She Publisher/Executive Editor of Blogcritics, (

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