November 9, 2012 1 Comment
A good number of reasonable people (including thoughtful conservatives) have proposed that the Tuesday re-election of President Obama represents a watershed event. Many of those offering opinions, often referring to me and my kind as slime, takers, ignorant, non-contributors, and much worse, have announced that the sky is falling. In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friend.
Yes, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It was passed by the Congress and, as one who has supported health care reform for 20 years, it has some weaknesses. Those who are giving up on America also give up on fixing our problems. If the cost of health insurance, drugs, and treatment were not the highest on earth and if health care were not rationed on the most irrational basis, the topic would have never taken hold. The first step in fixing a problem is admitting there is a problem. America is still a great and intelligent country and there are plenty of people with the brains and vision to work on this issue, if the blowhards would just let them. Since the parties have given up on policy this is going to be difficult. When all you think about is the next election, and many GOP leaders openly set the top agenda as an electoral victory for themselves and their interests, what kind of outcome do you expect?
I do not think I am a feminist in any formal sense and my tendency is toward the “life” position, but I can tell my elephant friends that you will not get too far when you tell 51% of the population that their needs and opinions do not matter. Just sayin’.
It takes some brass cajones to suggest that your political opponents are “takers” when the prime motivation of your foremost billionaire financial backers is to protect the unconscionable tax breaks that put their rates below the people who do the real work.
Honest Abe had it figured out, “you can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.” Regular folks know that the plans to keep the elderly, ethnic newcomers, blacks and the poor from voting are brazed attacks on the very values that many men and women came home in boxes trying to defend.
America is changing and it is not all good. As a practicing Christian I am especially concerned, but I have a lot of trouble trusting Roman Catholic bishops. There is a disconnect for people who say from one side of the mouth, “please protect my religious liberty,” while on the other taking away the ability of their non-Catholic employees to exercise the right to conscience and use contraceptives. Yes, it is more complicated than that, but we never get into the deep stuff during election season.
The moral condition of the country is distressing. For some, that amounts to a little dishonesty from the poor and sexual immorality among the lower classes and entertainment elites. Excluded entirely from moral criticism is the class of self-seeking financial executives who steal from the shareholders and ride off on a golden parachute. Truth be told, the poor are held accountable regularly.
Christians have failed miserably to bring the gospel to a nation that has heard of Jesus and rejected him. Evangelicals are in no better condition than the Roman Catholic bishops, although there are bright spots among the faithful in both institutions. Still, the infatuation with politics, nationalism, and materialism is more of a problem than the president that excites so much outrage.
America has been changing and not for the better. Some of this is becoming much more apparent. If the Christian religion is so darned good (and it is!) why not try doing it and turn the other cheek instead of knocking your neighbor on his behind. If Western civilization is so good, promote and reward classical curriculums over for-profit trade schools that happen to offer degrees.
Many people who should be retiring have just about worked themselves to death, kept kids at home past when most would have started their lives and brought their own parents into the household. My generation paid for the “greatest generation” to have the greatest retirement in world history. We paid into Social Security and it is not an “entitlement.” While it is also true that my peers have resisted discussion of things that would assure the solvency of our retirement program, including a more realistic immigration policy, we know when somebody is trying to steal our very lives away (and that means you too, Mr. Obama).
The special interests who are smothering us with their insistence on policy preferences and a free ride on taxes are totally out of control. Some of us have actually heard of the Citizens United decision that allows corporations unfettered “free speech” to pour endless piles of cash into the coffers of politicians who are too willing to take the bribe disguised as a contribution.
The somewhat surprising good news from Tuesday (and it is only a glimmer of a hopeful bright spot( is that many Americans are still willing to work on our problems and, perhaps, even engage with the maggots and slime who hold differing opinions (Hyperbole alert: reader beware).
If people who struggle for a paycheck, and raise kids, and worry about bills can still do a little bit of the hard work of citizenship, then the people in $1000 suits should put on their work gloves and do the same.