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We're All In This Together: Maybe or Maybe Not!

Don't you just love it when people let go with the expression "we're all in this together." Generally speaking I hate this cliched phrase. I feel like saying, "What exactly do you mean by this?" Of course what they mean varies according to context.

If they're using the expression to comment on politics, it probably is valid. After all when officials are elected to govern, they're there for the duration unless they commit treasonous acts or collude with Russia. In short we're stuck with them until we vote them out. And all of us--white and black, stupid and smart, democrat and republican--are going to have to struggle with a national catastrophe (if the government officers suck) or celebrate with a Klondike bar (if the officers do beneficial things)..

However if people are using the expression to comment on a social problem, say like the recent news story that kids are turning to suicide more than ever before, then I beg to differ. No, we are not definitely all in this together. The parents of suicidal kids better have more interest in this finding than me because after I read the AP report in my newspaper, I merely said to myself, oh, that's a shame. Then I proceeded to finish my cup of Starbucks Morning Joe and make out my shopping list for the grocery store.

 If my reaction is indicative of most of the population of parents and nonparents in this country without suicidal kids, then these same suicidal kids cannot depend on the kindness of strangers to lead them away from their nefarious deeds. Unless their own parents take preventive measures to discourage Rachel or Richie from jumping off a high building, these kids are doomed. Their parents may be weeping, but most of us will be out there drinking margaritas at Happy Hours or wondering how many bags of Cheetos we can stuff in our mouths before we throw up..

Even in a different context, say the physical health of our nation, you can bet your next soft vanilla cone at Dairy Queen that you won't get the majority of the population to refrain from stuffing their mouths with food. Even the fittest Americans can't agree. That's unAmerican, many of them would say to the proposal to limit your caloric intake. Another portion of the population would argue about the definition of obesity, adamantly proclaiming that this description does not apply to them. So again the conclusion that we're all in this together is way off. If it were true, we'd see a sharp decline in sales of chips, ice cream, Coke, pizza and anything with sugar in it.  And unless I missed something on the Evening News, I haven't heard that people are saving coupons for veggies and fat free yogurt.

I could give a  million more examples, but I think you get the point. So if I hear one more person spouting off about this-we're-in-this-together thing, I'm gonna stick my fingers in my ears and count to ten before I tell them to stuff that phrase in their spam box.
  Because we are not all in anything together except for death and taxes.


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