ARLINGTON, VA – MAY 27: Mary McHugh mourns her dead fiance Sgt. James Regan at “Section 60” of the Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007. Regan, an American Special Forces soldier, was killed by an IED explosion in Iraq in February of this year, and this was the first time McHugh had visited the grave since the funeral. Section 60, the newest portion of the vast national cemetery on the outskirts of Washington D.C, contains hundreds of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Family members of slain American soldiers have flown in from across the country for Memorial Day. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mary McHugh

Humans beings once crowded men, women and children, including newborns, into gas chambers by the hundreds and killed them. Again and again and again. That is a fact. It happened. Those humans who did that were not from another species or a breed apart. Human history is full of people who have done, and are doing, similar things.

Our country is badly divided. Social media rages with arguments, most of them a waste of time. I despair of the lack of logic involved, but the thing that truly depresses and scares me is the lack of empathy among a segment of our population.

I saw it after every mass shooting. The gun control argument would rage, but what struck me was that not a single time, and I followed a lot of it, did I see a vocal “pro-gun” person make their 2A argument while also acknowledging the heartbreak and loss for the victims and their families. I’m sure some did, but I didn’t see it. It was as if expressing sympathy would negate their stance. Or, they simply can’t express sympathy for strangers. I’m not picking on gun owners. And yes, most aren’t raging and do have empathy. But those who were most vocal were the least empathetic. I’m citing an example which is now exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have people in the streets protesting prudent health protocols as infringing on their “constitutional rights”. I watch selfish people go into stores not wearing masks. Going to bars in the evening. Crowding onto beaches. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

We have a president who is golfing today as we crest 100,000 dead. Of course, before he was president, he mocked the man before him for golfing too much. He doubts that the numbers are that high. He rejects any negativity as nasty and rude. He has never once, in his entire life, admitted he was wrong about a single thing. That’s a severe mental illness and its killing people. Right now. And a third of the country still supports him, vehemently.

We have no coordinated federal response in any manner, at any level, to this pandemic. The Senate took off for the weekend after doing—nothing. Well, McConnell did jam through some of his unqualified judges. It ignored a bill passed by the House. After all, now we have to start thinking about the deficit. Not when a tax break for the rich was enacted. Not when money has been given to corporations without accountability or requirements to keep workers on. In fact, the Senate’s priority has been to make sure those corporations are protected from legal action from the families of those who are forced to work in this pandemic. Apparently, it’s serious enough for that, but not to actually help people.

We have an entire segment of our population, led by the president, that revels in childish insults and irresponsible behavior. They feel nothing for those suffering. They care nothing for the deaths of strangers.

And that is our reality this Memorial Day weekend as people wave the flag and are supposed to remember our fallen warriors. I wonder what those people without empathy feel about it? They wave the flag, but do they feel the pain? The scarier thing to accept is that some people simply can’t feel the pain.

The Green Beret Pocket-Sized Survival Guide (same as above, minus the preparation part in order to be smaller in print)

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide. Also in Kindle Unlimited.