By SAM HATCHER We have made a decision to discontinue publishing in our Gallatin and Hendersonville newspapers the column provided to us weekly by radio talk show host Phil Valentine.
His most recent column published Sunday in The Tennessean was so-to-speak the straw that broke the camel’s back. His insensitive remarks about what “his” country or “his” federal government is doing for him is self promoting, egotistical and in our opinion not fit for print in today’s world of war and economic turmoil. Specifically Mr. Valentine questions “what am I getting for my federal income tax?” Perhaps he would want to ask the mother of a National Guardsman or regular army recruit killed on a battlefield in a far away land that question. Or maybe he would want to review the actions of the U.S. Supreme Court, which his tax dollars fund, that ensure he can speak his antagonistic words freely. His federal tax dollars, my federal tax dollars and your federal tax dollars provide for all Americans a quality of life unlike any other in the world today. We are Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Christians, Jews and Hindu. We are black and white and red and other colors. Some of us gather in the evening without bread on our table while others of us eat bountifully. But we are all Americans. Mr. Valentine states in his column he is a “responsible citizen” and argues that he does not need a helping hand and begs the question of why our federal government finds it necessary to provide food stamps, offer hurricane relief or make other programs available. He is indeed a very fortunate but sadly disappointing and apparently deprived person. By his own admission he is in need of nothing or rather nothing that his federal government can offer. But we know that is not true.
Don’t let his loud mouth fool you.
He wants and needs as do we all the protection of our armed forces from foreign enemies; the federal support of health research programs to provide a vaccine to prevent the deadly pandemic of a violent flu outbreak; federal security screening at airports; federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI; and a list of hundreds of other services and amenities provided by our federal government.
He even says in his most recent column that he doesn’t need to be rescued from a hurricane that “I don’t have sense enough to get out of the way of.”
He should express that opinion to those who lost the lives of family and friends and sustained catastrophic property damage last year in Middle Tennessee when tornadoes struck in Sumner, Trousdale, Macon and Williamson counties.
Mr. Valentine sees the world through a tiny window. Or is it a mirror?
The world he sees is about “me.”
And there is far more to and about this world of ours than what can be seen in his mirror.
Perhaps it would serve him best to take a day or two off from his writing obligations and do some reading. It would be advantageous for him to study the word compassion and read an important parable in the Bible that best explains compassion.
If he would read Luke 10: 25-37, he would read about a man known as the good Samaritan who stopped along the road to help another, while two others traveling the same road had already passed him by. It was the good Samaritan’s compassion that helped save the life of the traveler left for dead.
Our federal government has its faults. It many times offers assistance to those who may not be deserving, but it also helps those who are. And while we can all be critical and harsh and demanding, we should also be sensitive and caring.
We should realize that these are trying times. That many in our country are suffering through no fault of their own. Many have been hurt by the ailing economy and others penalized in one way or another because of the stress of war.
In any event, despite what Mr. Valentine believes, America is a compassionate and caring nation and for that we can all be grateful.