Sunday, March 21, 2010

So here it is, Sunday, the day the Earth stood still (if one believes the rhetoric coming out of the nation's Capitol), the day the Democrats either grew a spine and passed a healthcare bill that will alter the course of this nation's economy and healthcare system, although not as dramatically as the GOP frames it.
I'm sick of the politicians whose view of political reality is about tracking public opinion and casting "safe" votes based on the daily polls. Leadership in our nation's political system is sorely lacking!
I'm confident that if the flock of "leaders" we have in both houses of Congress today were in office when the question of sovereignty for America, versus continued British rule, was debated in 1775, we would still be playing "Hail Britannia" and paying taxes to the British Parliament and Queen.
When the GOP predicts "armageddon" and "government takeover" of the "best healthcare system in the world," what they're really saying is "if we don't defeat the Democrat's healthcare bill, we'll lose credibility among our favored contributors." And, of course, those contributors include the profit-greedy insurance system and the status-quo-addicted Texas Medical Association.
When politicians tie their votes to considerations of future elections, rather than ethical, honest deliberation of the merits of a given bill, then we, the people, get the shaft! When the rhetoric of fear and strident Chicken Little outcries blur the substance of political debate, then we the people wind up in the toilet with the rest of the bullshit that passes for governance in our country today.
If we elect politicians to lead our nation, then shouldn't we allow them to lead? What is the purpose of having elections and representative government if the process is dependent on daily poll numbers? Poll numbers are easily led in any direction by anyone with enough money to buy the media time.
It's ridiculous, in my opinion, that a great number of people allow their political viewpoints to be dominated by talk show hosts whose only purpose is to make money for themselves and their particular media outlet.
Talk show hosts have no dog in the hunt, so to speak. They risk nothing. In fact, the more salacious, shallow and inflammatory their rhetoric, the better for them.
They don't have to bet their political lives on anything they say, and therefore they say anything, because controversy, as we all know (or should) is what sells programming. Advertisers run to the media outlet that claims to have viewers, listeners and readers, and the media that can claim the biggest share of "eyes and ears" can charge the biggest fees for time on their airwaves. Airwaves, by the way, that supposedly are owned by the American people. But that's another issue.
The healthcare debate, once one strips away the crazy, hyper-inflated fear-based rhetoric, can be boiled down to two practical questions: 1. Who benefits? 2. What will it cost? (Of course, that leads to other questions, but you get the idea).
So if 33 million uninsured people benefit, isn't that a good thing? And if children can stay on their parents' insurance policies for a longer period of time, isn't that a potential good? And if people who get sick actually receive the insurance coverage they were promised when they purchased a health policy, rather than getting dumped by unethical insurance companies, isn't that a good thing?
And if the Congressional Budget Office, the so-called "gold standard" for both political parties, says that the bill will generate $1 trillion in budget savings, isn't that potentially a good thing?
Justice is not so hard to achieve if one has the honest will to embrace it. Honesty is not a "gray area" nor an abstract notion if one is capable of practicing it. And ethical behavior is easy to recognize, if one is willing to look. But our politicians have too long been given free reign over our rights. And too long have we allowed politicians to wield unrestricted, unquestioned power – the result of which is an economic system tilted heavily in favor the rich (and against the middle class), a justice system that supports the powerful and crushes the "little guy," and a decaying and dangerous infrastructure.
So ask yourself, if the bill is defeated, who benefits? And how much will it cost? An honest answer would be refreshing!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home