Somebody had to do it, and Jon Stewart sure did. He ripped Congress ass when most of them failed to show up to discuss and approve funding for 9/11 first responders. Surrounded by emergency workers and fire fighters, his passionate plea for decency threw us back to the horrors of 9/11. Jon peeled off layers of Congressional hypocrisy. Between anger and anguish he took them to task and dragged their sorry asses through the proverbial political mud.
Jon brought to our attention political callousness and a sick realization that unless an agenda is politically charged, it holds very little interest to those elected pinheads. The meeting was attended by only 14 sub-committee members of the House Judiciary Committee, mostly Democrats. The Never Forget the Heroes Act of 2019 re-authorizes the Victim Compensation Fund that helps 9/11 First Responders and their families beat medical costs due to illnesses caused by the debris, and other chemicals they were exposed to during and after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. GOP representative Peter King, Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Democratic representatives Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, all support the VCF. All five are New Yorkers. But as Jon so eloquently put it; Al Qaida did not shout “death to Tribica” but “death to America”. He was referring to some members of congress kicking the can down the “this is a New York issue” road of excuses.
When the first plane hit the first Twin Tower, it only took five seconds for the wave of First Responders to respond. 412 emergency workers would eventually lose their lives helping others. 343 of them were fire fighters. For those of us who were in NYC months after the attacks, we can recall making our gut wrenching way downtown toward Ground Zero; reading long list of names on every Fire Station wall in lower Manhattan. There was not one Fire Station that had not lost someone or many. The nation came together in sorrow and resolve. As Jon pointed out; if it weren’t for the endless work and sacrifice of those first responders, the nation would not have gone on its feet as quickly as it did. It was not a New York thing then and it sure isn’t now.
The insidious political game that both parties play has been exposed by a “funny” guy who for 30 minutes shed his entertainment persona and became a New Yorker, and a patriotic American. He did not need some goofy red hat or activist hash tag rhetoric. He was a pissed off American looking out for those who gave their all and left to rot in the great bipartisan political void. Like the Vietnam vets before them, these First Responders had their illnesses trivialized, patronized, and eventually left at the mercy of overpaid “civil” servants, to mull over and by the goodness of their heart, approve. A short reprieve until the next time these silent heroes have to beg. Disgusting comes to mind.
The silent voices of 9/11 First Responders do not make headlines. They are not abortion, women’s rights, immigration, “the wall”, impeachment, transgender, gay rights, or any other news worthy cause that gets congressional dickheads out in front of the microphone. They do not hold rallies or cause traffic jams in annoying protests. They dedicated their lives to saving others and have not asked much in return, but to be assisted in their time of need. One would think it reasonable. But good people very seldom score political points.
Emergency workers from NYC and New Jersey do not have a voice loud enough to even make a mention in the evening news. Actually I doubt that we would be discussing this hearing or I would be writing about it had it not been for Jon Stewart. Jon was bi-partisan. Sans any correctness filter Jon became a raw angry American. He was the brash millennian John Wayne fighting for those who are getting too weak to fight. Both sides of the aisle should take a good look at themselves and realize who they really are and who they represent. Basic decency should be bi-partisan. Hell, common decency should be universal.
To those Republicans who wrap themselves in the America Great mantra: where the hell where you? You pride yourselves on moral Christian Judeo values; are the lives of these First Responders not valuable enough for you? Not American enough? To the Democrats who are always preaching their social tolerance and justice: where the hell where you? Not news worthy enough like all the “rights” you seem to define on a daily basis; some genuine and some the flavor of the month? You both send “sub” committee members? These First Responders are not worth your while to get your sorry asses out of bed and listen to? You don’t have time? As Jon pointed out: neither do those standing with him. Their time is running out as they combat cancer and other traumatic diseases. Hash tag that!
Yes, somebody had to do it, and I am so glad that Jon Stewart did. His spontaneous anger came from the heart. The heart of an American who watched with pain as his city and country were attacked. We all stood together as the Twin Towers fell. On 9/11 we cried and bled as a nation. Jon is a true red, white, and blue American who at a crucial moment in time forgot his public persona and stood for what should be good in America. All the flag waiving, hands on heart, and patriotic posturing in the world has not done what Jon did in 30 minutes. He demonstrated his unconditional love of New York, but most of all, his deep love of America. You want to make America Great Again, how about we start by taking care of those who risk their lives taking care of America? Thank you Jon Stewart, I wish there were more of you and less of the partisan pinheads paid to serve and who decided not to.
God bless America, and God bless all our First Responders, and those who put their lives on the line every time they leave their front doors.