FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Bolsheviks in the Cornfields

Various right-wing heroes have used the healthcare debate to suggest that President Obama and the Congressional Democrats are steering us down the Potomac toward socialism.

All I want to know is when I’ll get my share of the loot. I want cradle-to-the-grave security. I’m already 66 years beyond the cradle, and a couple of guys with a backhoe are ready to dig me a nice grave somewhere, whether I want it or not.

But before I fill that grave with what are tastelessly referred to as my “remains,” what am I supposed to do about the rent, the cost of food, and a car that now refuses to take me to the Salvation Army store or anywhere else? When will the Bolsheviks march across the cornfields, certify that I’m a Hero of Labor, and dump 30 or 40 bushels of cash on the front stoop?

And who’s going to chase off the neighborhood street gang that mistakes all this cash for a mere Social Security check? The FBI and the CIA are too busy waterboarding the population of the Hindu Kush, so the Bolsheviks had better bring a police department with them. I can’t be expected to deal with street gangs at my age.

If all this socialism turns out to be nothing more than a Norman Thomas picnic in Milwaukee, I’m going to be pretty disappointed with all these Republicans who have nothing better to do than get an old-age pensioner’s hopes up. John Boehner, John McCain, and Jon Kyl will get no more campaign contributions from me, nor will any of the johns in the Minneapolis airport. I don’t care what the Supreme Court says. The Irelan Corporation will fund no more searing campaign ads to appear on endless reruns of I Love Lucy or on cable news channels where people scream at each other 24 hours a day.

In case all this chatter about money induces you to run off and check the balance in your 401(k), just forget it. I promise you that your balance is no where close to where it used to be. Let’s stay on the subject of socialist medical care. I will now bless you with a riveting story about my recent quadruple bypass surgery.

The operation was a success, although I fell asleep for two days and missed the whole thing, which lasted, I was later told, for four hours. So I really can’t report all the thrilling details. I could, however, go on at length about the benefits of my single-payer health insurance, known by all as Medicare. And despite the fact that John, John, Jon, and the rest of the Republicans have alerted me to the promise of socialism, I still retain an affection for Medicare and the treatment I received during my eight days in the hospital.

My only complaint is that shortly after I awoke from the fog of surgery, two nurses dragged me out of bed so that the three of us could enjoy a walk up and down the hallway. I thought they were crazy, but they were in charge, so I followed their orders. Then we performed the same routine every afternoon for the rest of my stay in the hospital.

These nurses told me nothing about the dangers or benefits of socialism. They never gave me an estimate of when the Bolsheviks would cross the Mississippi and distribute bales of loot liberated from various Wall Street bankers who had previously stolen these same bales from me and my fellow taxpayers.

I’m now far from the hospital, sitting on the stoop. I just walked 40 minutes on a treadmill, and now I’m scanning the distance with my Salvation Army binoculars. The Bolsheviks are out there somewhere, probably still in Illinois, marching through the stubble of last year’s cornfields. If they don’t cross the Mississippi soon, the annual flood will stop them in Moline, where they can survey the new John Deere farm equipment for 2010.

I hope they enjoy their visit to Moline, but I’m more interested in their westward progress or the lack thereof. I have bills to pay, but the floodwater may never go down. The cornfields may never get dry. And the socialist loot may never arrive.

PATRICK IRELAN is a retired high-school teacher. His most recent book is Reruns, a collection of comic short stories. You can contact him at pwirelan43@yahoo.com.

 

WORDS THAT STICK

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
December 09, 2019
Jefferson Morley
Trump’s Hand-Picked Prosecutor John Durham Cleared the CIA Once, Will He Again?
Kirkpatrick Sale
Political Collapse: The Center Cannot Hold
Ishmael Reed
Bloomberg Condoned Sexual Assault by NYPD 
W. T. Whitney
Hitting at Cuban Doctors and at Human Solidarity
Louisa Willcox
The Grizzly Cost of Coexistence
Thomas Knapp
Meet Virgil Griffith: America’s Newest Political Prisoner
John Feffer
How the New Right Went Global — and How to Stop It
Ralph Nader
Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses for Removal?
M. K. Bhadrakumar
Sri Lanka Continues Its Delicate Dance With India
Robert Fisk
Meet the Controversial Actor and Businessman Standing Up Against Egypt’s el-Sisi
Dahr Jamail
Savoring What Remains: Dealing With Climate PTSD
George Wuerthner
Bison Slaughter in Yellowstone…Again
Scott Tucker
Premature Democratic Socialists: Reasons for Hope and Change
Julian Rose
Polish Minister of Health Proposes Carcinogenic 5G Emission Levels as National Norm
Dean Baker
Coal and the Regions Left Behind
Robert Koehler
Envisioning a United World
Weekend Edition
December 06, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Eat an Impeachment
Matthew Hoh
Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War
Jefferson Morley
Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’
Andrew Levine
Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?
Paul Street
The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy
Dave Lindorff
Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential
Ron Jacobs
Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six
Linda Pentz Gunter
Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?
Louis Proyect
Michael Bloomberg and Me
Robert Hunziker
Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold
Joseph Natoli
What We Must Do
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Global Poison Spring
Robert Fantina
Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?
Charles McKelvey
A Theory of Truth From the South
Walden Bello
How the Battle of Seattle Made the Truth About Globalization True
Evan Jones
BNP Before a French Court
Norman Solomon
Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War
Torsten Bewernitz – Gabriel Kuhn
Syndicalism for the Twenty-First Century: From Unionism to Class-Struggle Militancy
Matthew Stevenson
Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo
Thomas Knapp
NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.
Forrest Hylton
Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show
M. G. Piety
A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration
Ellen Isaacs
The Audacity of Hypocrisy
Monika Zgustova
Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia
Manuel García, Jr.
From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours
Binoy Kampmark
Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble
Jill Richardson
Marijuana and the Myth of the “Gateway Drug”
Muzamil Bhat
Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses
Gaither Stewart
War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail