Burt Prelutsky

Most people would include compassion on the short list of human virtues. At one point, I would have been one of those people. But, no longer is that the case. Like so many other things, it has taken on a far different meaning in recent times.

In the past, compassion was extended to the elderly, the abused, the innocent and the infirm. But during the last few decades, it has become an entitlement demanded by members of various voting blocs. In short order, it has been transformed into political currency doled out by political hacks trolling for votes.

But as ridiculous as it is for, say, blacks to demand reparations from whites whose own ancestors weren’t even on the North American continent when slavery was abolished over 140 years ago, it’s even goofier when illegal aliens submit a list of demands.

One day, they’re asking for drivers licenses, voting rights and Social Security; the next, it’s free medical attention; the day after, it’s free schooling. They’ve given new meaning to chutzpah. But the truly bizarre aspect to it is that their selfish demands are so often catered to not only by spineless politicians, but by the public at large.

It’s bad enough that certain churches are offering sanctuary to illegal aliens, but a growing number of cities are following suit. Quite honestly, I don’t understand why those who spend so much time insisting on the separation of church and state when it’s a matter of Christmas trees and Jewish menorahs in public places don’t open their yaps when churches roll out the welcome mat to lawbreakers. And since when does the mayor of, for instance, Los Angeles, just one of the many cities whose social services and jails are being stretched to the limit, have the authority to ignore federal law?

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of pretending that foreigners -- be they Islamic terrorists or Mexican nationals -- are somehow entitled to constitutional safeguards, not to mention a grab-bag of goodies unavailable to law-abiding American taxpayers.

Recently, I received an e-mail from a kindred soul. She wrote: “Like a lot of folks, I have a job that requires I pass a random urine test. That’s not a problem. What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my tax money to people who don’t have to pass a similar test. Why shouldn’t one have to pass a drug test in order to get a welfare check if I have to pass one in order to earn it for them?”

Not very compassionate, I grant you, in these days of unbridled political correctness. But it certainly sounds far more sensible than anything I’ve heard from our elected officials. One can only assume that when this sorry collection of senators and congressmen took their oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, they all had their fingers crossed.