A recent Toles cartoon shows a lifeboat being lowered alongside the sinking USS Economy. The lifeboat is filled with baldheaded business tycoons with G.W. Bush at the helm, announcing, “Brokers and bankers first!”
Thousands stand on the deck, wringing their hands in despair. Unseen by everyone is the $1 trillion in loot the bankers and brokers have taken from the ship’s vaults.
Now if we could see the other side of the ship, we would find thousands of ordinary American laborers boarding lifeboats. In one small boat the Big Three auto execs are trying to board with a little stash of $14 billion.
But the mob, led by angry Southern Republican senators, halts all the lifeboats in the name of economic justice. No more bailouts. They have a “tough love” lesson to learn.
More than 25 years ago I read a news story about a Wyoming rancher whose wild teenage son had been arrested for drunk driving. Informed of the arrest, the rancher told the sheriff to keep him in the cooler for a couple of days to teach him a lesson. He insisted “tough love” was in order.
The jailed teen was sodomized and brutalized so sadistically in jail, he hung himself that night in his cell. The shocked father went into despair. He lost his wife and destroyed his life over that lesson.
Sometimes what we justify as “tough love” lessons has tragic consequences. Let us act with more compassion toward each other, especially our own family.
Joe Howard Crews