Random Thoughts 94

Altruism[1]

This is defined as disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Perhaps nowhere is this better exemplified than in the efforts being made by medical personnel treating patients infected with Covid-19 as well as many others who also work towards the eradication of this virus and by those who choose to behave in ways that are personally inconvenient, yet for the good of others. Examples of this are those who choose to self-isolate or refrain from visiting families and others as steps towards preventing the possible spread of the corona virus. The pandemic has afforded us the opportunity to see several examples of altruistic behavior.


Seeing these various examples of selfless concern for the well-being of others I have been struck by the total lack of altruism, that is to say selfishness, exhibited by all politicians. Nowhere is this more apparent in a democracy than in the United States now. It is a presidential election year and despite problems arising from the pandemic that urgently need to be addressed, American lawmakers seem only interested in political positioning to booster their parties’ chances for gaining majorities in government. Of course, that is not to be unexpected of politicians everywhere; however, the issues of contention should be on problems facing the country and their proposals for remedying them.


Observing the pre-election campaigning now in the United States, it seems that the two main political parties, the Republicans and Democrats, are less concerned with the pandemic and myriad other social problems, such as deteriorating infrastructure and the welfare of those lacking health and other basic needs, than with the ethnicity of certain candidates and the apparent political subterfuge[2] of the President to hamper mail-in voting throughout the country by refusing to grant the U.S. Postal Service extra funds needed for it to properly handle the huge amount of mail-in ballots to ensure that they can be counted prior to deadlines established for that. Trump’s decision is blatantly political: the majority of those who vote by mail are Democrats; Trump is a Republican. As a result, because the postal service will not be able to get mail-in votes to their destinations in time, those votes will not be counted resulting in the disenfranchisement[3] of those voters.


Lawmakers are elected by their constituencies and it is their responsibility to represent their best interests. But there are times, such as now, when crises arise that require an altruistic approach to their solution. These are times when political differences should be put aside and concerted cooperative efforts pursued for the benefit of the general public.

[1] 利他主義 [2] Deceit used in order to achieve one’s goals [3] 権利放棄

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駒澤大学名誉教授 モエ・リチャード先生  英会話と英語発音の指導歴45年以上の経験を持つプロフェッショナル

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