It has been a year since the September 11 tragedy. I don't know about you, but I have had just about enough from the political "experts" of Hollywood (disguised as actors and actresses) gaining momentum since that date, voicing their anti-American, anti-government, anti-everything monologues at every opportunity, simply because they have the stage.
I have a simple philosophy: Those who support America are good; those who don't are bad. It helps make my political decisions considerably easier, and it has nothing to do with a particular party. It galls me that those who should be thankful for the gifts bestowed on them by our great democracy make enormous sums of money in this country, then spew their venom about America. Those very individuals whom have abused the system most are using their positions to criticize, debase and embarrass our country, our leaders and our people!
Just in case you missed the rhetoric, here are a few examples of recent excerpts from the Hollywood "in" crowd:
Actress Julia Roberts declared rather smugly that the word "Republican" was "somewhere between reptile and repugnant" in the dictionary, and she thought it was well-placed; singer Madonna (between bumps and grinds), is raising her children in another country because she doesn't think America is a suitable place; and tennis champion Martina Navratilova comes to America from another country, makes her money playing tennis, then condemns American principles. Yet my favorite hypocritical comment is from actor Tom Cruise, who, during a recent visit to Germany, took a swipe at America and implied that somehow the current administration has fostered "corporate greed," or words to that effect. Isn't this the same actor who demands 20 million dollars a picture - and gets it?
Many of these Hollywood types should be thankful to be in a land that provides them with lifestyles they could not have dreamed about in their wildest imaginations. The entertainment industry should collectively be ashamed of helping promulgate actions seen by an awestruck and starry-eyed media. Murder, rape, robbery, brutality and every form of low moral conduct are glamorized in a community using high-profiled individuals to denounce the very fabric of the American political system.
This impunity is simple to explain: The nation's jetsetters pay no price for their empty declarations. America affords these people the freedom to speak in a cavalier fashion against the governing system with which they disagree. There is absolutely nothing wrong with disagreeing on issues, but disrespect and a lack of reason is beyond belief!
One day, there will be a rebellion by those who provide the arrogant and disrespectful celebrities with the incredible economic resources. The marketplace is still the great leveler, and once Hollywood feels the pain in its pocketbook, some of these self-proclaimed "political spokespersons" will have an audience limited to their own peer group - not the consuming public. I am confident that in time, consumers will recognize that the artists' talents will not overshadow their narrowmindedness and irreverence. (Of course, not everyone in Hollywood does what I allude to, and I accept that I am using the term in the broadest of categories and that there are some who do not deserve to be placed in this category.)
Health Care Hogwash
Can we learn anything in chiropractic from what is going on in Hollywood? Yes, I think we can. It is simply this: Talent is no substitute for abhorrent conduct! I believe the fundamental issues are the same, whether the groups or individuals are from Hollywood or from the corporate headquarters of the AMA; Blue Shield; Trigon; or the bully pulpits of many self-proclaimed chiropractic leaders. Whatever a person's position is, that person must never forget the responsibility that comes with being in that position. When people become so enthralled with themselves and feel beyond reproach, there is a price to pay.
The American Medical Association (AMA) was endowed with the power to assemble a fair and equitable health care system. Individual medical physicians were given the resources, education and technology to bring about better health care at a lower cost to Americans. But instead of doing its job with dedication and zeal in the interest of the people who gave it the power, the AMA elected to benefit from its position and retain a monopolistic control over a system it dominated. The AMA got fat, rich and arrogantly put up barriers so Americans did not get better health care at less cost, but rather, less health care at higher costs.
Eventually, political medicine will pay the price for abusing the system, whether through government regulations imposed on it to right the wrongs of its past transgressions, or through the judicial system that has the power to levy fines and other legal remedies the courts and juries may deem appropriate to impose. I hope to see evidence of these in the near future, with the Trigon lawsuit and remedial legislation aimed at resolving and rectifying decades of injustice.
The same dire consequences should be imposed on the corporate executives, financial analysts, and auditors who violated their positions and the public trust held by millions of investors. They, too, thought they were impervious to public scrutiny and the law.
And so, I issue a warning to the chiropractic demagogues who still have their claws on elements of our profession; those who use their "celebrity" status to undermine ethics and values; those whose voices are loud, but whose messages are abusive: You do not speak for modern chiropractic, any more than Hollywood speaks for America.
One day, the practitioners who comprise chiropractic will have to confront the unsavory elements from within, as I am suggesting the nation should confront Hollywood. Just as I am convinced that the tragedy of "the attack" will forever change the way Americans feel about our country, I think it will change our tolerance toward those who abuse their freedom in our profession. I am also convinced that it will provide the impetus to help realign America's "moral compass" to the values that made this country great. I am convinced that from every tragedy, emerges a renewed spirit and character emerges.
As a microcosm of society, a new enhanced dedication toward selflessness and ethical service to humanity has emerged within chiropractic over the last year. Yes, we have problems in our profession, and yes, we have some individuals and organizations analogous to the Hollywood hooligans, and they should be equally exposed. Their talents do not justify their evils. (I will, however, save that topic for another column. Doesn't everything need a sequel?)
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