Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What Is Going On?

Our very conservative newspaper in our very ultra-conservative area posted this editorial:

"Why can’t we work together?
First, I want to say that I'm a 32-year Republican, 21-year military veteran, and "straight" — being married for 29 years, to the same woman even — with two sons, one of which has already followed mom and dad into the Air Force. So you can't say I'm not a patriot or don't love my country.
However, for all that time I thought the Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility, small government and minimal intervention in our lives. Well the Bush administration proved me wrong. First they spent trillions on a war against a country that was no threat to us, spending us literally into the poor house.Then they spent untold millions of dollars on trying to tell people what they can and can not do in the privacy of their own bedrooms with their "defense of marriage" and other interventions based upon religious edicts. I thought we had separation of church and state.
And now, when the government wants to spend money on improving the lives of our own residents, they get "angry" about wasteful government spending. Where were they when we first went on this spending spree?

I've been "angry" ever since shortly after I voted for Bush the first time and we invaded Iraq. We could afford a better health care program if we weren't in the poor house from the Bush Republican's wasteful government spending. I agree we need to watch the budget, but people give it a break. Can't we work together on this? Together we should be able to come up with a better way to provide health care for our residents, but many Republicans are ready to do anything to "break Obama." That is not the country I fought for starting in Vietnam through the first Gulf war.Please tell the Republicans in Congress that for the first time I'm ashamed of how we are behaving like spoiled children.

Jeff Hartig"

I was so glad this was posted! FINALLY a voice of reason from the Republican side! This is somebody I could sit down and have a decent conversation with. There are so many things frustrating me right now with politics:
1. The philosophy that my side is ALWAYS right, and your side is ALWAYS wrong- regardless of the issue

2. Rather then trying to have a decent conversation to come to a consensus- or at least a better understanding- name-calling and yelling ensue (I still don't understand why yelling and screaming at a town hall meeting is somehow better then coming prepared with decent, legitimate questions)

3. Every problem America has is Obama's fault- period. If it is mentioned that a large part of the reason we are in the mess we are in is because of a certain other president, we are told to stop blaming him for anything- because it is all Obama's fault (even though he has only been president for 9 months and that other guy was president for 8 years).

4. It seemed in the past some people were willing to cross the aisle to work with the other side- now I don't see that happening at all. Nobody is willing to bend an inch, to be seen as "weak" by their constituents.

These are a few of my observations- if anybody else has other observations, please let me know. But based on these observations, I have decided the following:

1. If you*** start name calling- throwing the term Nazi, Communist, Socialist, Marxist, etc. around- I will immediately cease listening to what you are saying and ignore you. At least have the decency to hold an intelligent conversation about issues, not labels.
2. You should at least be willing to admit that mistakes have been made on both sides, and that one party is never going to be right ALL of the time or I will view you as a crazy partisan lunatic who I don't want to talk to.
3. Pick your battles. There is a battle raging over health care and people chose to get in a huge huffy over the president telling kids to stay in school (I am embarrassed by e-mails I got from people claiming to be Christian in regards to this issue) and even pulled their kids out of school. What is that teaching your children?

4. Respect the other side- even if you disagree with them. Otherwise, we won't get anywhere in our discussion.

5. Listen to the other side- otherwise, I won't listen to you.

If people on both sides would be willing to sit down and follow these rules, I actually think health care reform and other issues would move forward in a positive way. But, I won't hold my breath.

***YOU is being referred to as a very general term- because I engage with everybody on this blog, I don't think any of you break these new "rules" of mine. I am referring to a general atmosphere in the whole of America right now that is very disheartening and, I believe, bringing our country down.


Mandy said...

What a great post Christina. My big issue right now is this, which can be summed up by a quote I heard the other day when someone asked John McCain, "why do you deserve health care and I don't?". His response was the typical response I keep hearing over and over. I do think health care needs to be reformed but Obama's ideas just aren't it.

Okay, well then what are your ideas? Everybody on the blogs say they know what should be done to fix health care but they can't actually pass legislation. What about the republicans in office? Where are their ideas? If they have a better way to fix HC then that is great. I just haven't heard one of them come out trying to pass legislation to do something about it.

Instead they just say something needs to be done but not Obama's way. I wish they would be a little more proactive and start trying to get some of their own ideas going.

I agree with the guy in the editorial that many just don't want to agree with Obama because he is Obama, not because of the actual bill which I find sad. Make other people suffer longer because you are stubborn.

Lula referred to this below but I just have to share because I couldn't believe it. The other night it was late and I was flipping through the channels. I stopped on Fox News because it was right after Obama's address and I was curious what they were saying about it. There were some commentators on (sorry, no idea who) one agreed with Obama's plan, one didn't. The one who agrees asked the other what he didn't like about the plan. Then asked him, you don't like the part about insurance companies not being able to deny those with pre-existing conditions? The one against said no, it was a bad idea and that the insurance companies had the right idea because those people are too high risk and it makes good business sense. (yes, because the bottom line is more important then people's lives). That is when he brought up the DUI and that your insurance goes up if you have one. You know, because comparing someone who deliberately goes out and drinks and drives is the same as someone who is born with a condition. Sure...

The guy for the plan said, what if your wife got a pre-existing condition? What would you tell her? Sorry hun, you can't have insurance, you are just too high risk? And the man against responded that he would just find someone who would cover her. Which sorry, you won't be able to. Or else you will and will have to pay $1800 monthly premiums and have a $50,000 deductable. So you either go bankrupt with insurance or w/o.

And as for the whole school speech thing. I can't believe it was such a big deal. The president wanted to encourage kids to stay in school. Big deal. He is an incredible success story and was able to get a great education because he worked hard and look what he achieved. He wanted to share how important an education is. I don't see how that is a bad thing.

Sorry so long! It has been awhile since I commented so I had a lot to get out!

Lula O said...

Excellent post. I liked the editorial. It was refreshing. It was reasonable. It was truth.

I agree with both you and Mandy. I saw McCain on Jimmy Fallon last night. He went on and on about how we need to come together on this, and how something needs to be done because Medicare with go bankrupt within 8 years.
Fine words. Hopefully they'll have real meaning.

I'm not holding my breath.

Curt said...

Okay, I agree...that editorial is representative of what many republicans believe. We WANT reform, we WANT lower costs, we WANT lower spending, many of us disagree w/ the Bush era spending and increases in Govt...this is why we oppose Obama's as well. Since it's representative of what many republicans believe (despite what msnbc, cnn, cbs, and others "say" we believe) is most likely why it was published in a conservative newsletter or paper, whatever it was.

I am starting to like more of what Obama is doing with Healthcare. I believe he's just now starting to realize that without republican support, he'll lose his congressional majority in 2010 and probably won't be re-elected in 2012. I think the "public option" is dead and won't pass. Senator Baucus' new proposal will be very ILL received by democrats and of course republicans because it results in HIGHER costs to consumers and businesses. See the report here:


"...that's not really a smart idea..." --Jay Rockefeller on Baucus' proposal to impose 35% tax on insurance companies

I think more and more democrats are starting to realize they can't just ram something through on the basis that "it's better than doing nothing" when the American people largely disagree with what has been proposed and are starting to listen to some of the MULTIPLE alternatives proposed by republicans.

I think if Obama had led on this from the beginning we wouldn't have all the divisiveness occurring right now. If he had "invited" republican leaders to the white house and involved them from the beginning we may not be in this mess of disagreement right now. Instead he kept claiming that Republicans only wanted to kill ANY reform and didn't have a proposal of their own. They've had proposals for a long time, even under the Bush administration! The solution to lower healthcare is reforming tort laws to reduce defensive medicine, and allowing insurance companies to compete on a national level. No state boundaries. The DAY Southwest Airlines ANNOUNCED it will be serving the Denver International Airport average airfares dropped nearly 30% out of D.I.A.!! Imagine if health insurance companies were FORCED by the rules of capitalism and free markets to become more efficient, cut spending, and become more competitive, ie. "affordable." Don't you think we'd see a similar effect if there was a "Southwest" style company in the Insurance business? The problem is, there isn't a market for that type of company because they're not allowed to compete in all states, so there isn't a volume subscriber base. Add those two factors to the current health bill and I'm all for it...Public Option and all!!

Anyway, I think Obama's intentions are good and sincere. I don't think he's trying to do what Glenn Beck suggests...but I do enjoy a good conspiracy theory!

Ben and Christina said...

Conspiracy theories are always fun!

I actually do agree with tort reform- malpractice insurance has gotten way out of hand, and the fear of being sued is a major issue. But, there does need to be something for those who need life-long care due to a doctor's mistake, too, so I can see both sides.

I do understand your arguememnt about competition, but how will that help with pre-existing conditions and the currently uninsured? Not trying to argue, just asking if you want that to be part of a larger plan, or the main plan?

Hopefully, Reps. and Dems. will come together to find reasonable solutions. I know I am sick of straight partisan politics.

Curt said...

competition and tort reform are not aimed at helping with pre-existing condition. I've already stated along w/ EVERY republican leader that something needs to be done to help pre-existing conditions. NOBODY should be denied coverage because of their pre-existing condition, however we should expect that a higher premium is paid. (that's all Fox News was saying when they compared pre-existing conditions to DUI's.) They didn't say a cancer patient is the same as a drunk driver. But there is a similarity in that both of those situations cause an increase in insurance risk, and therefore result in higher premiums.

Obama has only said "if you have a pre-existing condition you cannot be denied coverage." But it is clear that you'll have higher premiums because of it whether you choose the public option or private insurance. That's what Fox News was referring to, is that the democrats haven't given any indication as to increased premiums for people w/ pre-existing conditions.

I believe nobody should be denied coverage. And I believe the govt. can and should help people who cannot afford it. This is why I hate that 46 million uninsured number! 10 Million of them are people who can afford insurance but choose not to.

Do you think that someone who chooses NOT to pay for insurance should be fined up to $3,800? fyi...that is what is being proposed buried in Senator Baucus' new amendment.