A lot has been made recently of health care reform. News shows, newspapers, websites, water-cooler talk, blogs (haha!), chats, etc… I’ve read liberal views about how republicans have a personal vendetta against the president, I’ve read republicans claim that Obama’s trying to implore a communist agenda. And those are the relatively rational opinions. I’m reminded of an appearance Jon Stewart made on the now defunct “Cross Fire” a few years ago.
It’s amusing to see people in congress, or in the senate act like children. Screaming at the president that he’s a liar. Or seeing town hall meetings where citizens compare the proposed health care reform to the Nazi’s, and Obama to Hitler. Or reading about how an elementary school that taught a song about Obama’s election (during black history month), is indoctrination of our children (never mind that it was approved by the parents and school prior to ever occurring). These are just a few examples of the hyperbole that encompasses our current political climate. A coach in high school taught me, that so often we we speak about someone, we’re often saying more about ourselves than we are of them.
It’s not just Republicans caught up in the bashing, although they understandably get painted worse because Democrats are in power now. But just a few years ago when Bush was in power, he was subject to the same asinine opinions of what he did. Or the constant questioning of his intelligence, ignoring the fact that he was a graduate from Yale. Thought he admittedly could have used a few classes on public speaking.
The recurring theme in almost everything I read, see, or hear, is that seldom does actual debate occur. It seems more often than not things turn into an assault on the individuals character, or alludes to a hidden agenda. Sometimes we see “conservative” members of both parties try to bridge the gap, and end the fighting. Which would be great if it didn’t also put an end to the debate. Our government was set up for diverging opinions. It’s designed so that the minority opinion can be heard. Hell, look at the floors of the House of Representatives of the Senate, they’re divided by party. They’re like that to ENCOURAGE debate. But what we have now is not debate, but personal attacks instead of presentations of fact. I’m admittedly new, and naive to how our political process works, but I do know that we don’t have that. Bills are passed or shot down based on what people are promised for the future. A Military contracts for weapons go to Arizona if person X votes “ye” on this vote. Person Y won’t get support from his party during reelection if he votes “nae” on that vote. Earmarks being thrown in so that a bill can’t possibly passed. It’s a joke. Instead of some of our countries brightest people, people ELECTED by the people they’re governing, instead of pouring over facts and debating about what’s best for their district, their state, or their country, we often get promises of fundraising help for the next election if X supports Y’s amendment.
Can’t we all, at the very least, agree that we want the country, hell the world, to be better than it was yesterday? And tomorrow to be better than today? We just may have differing opinions on how to get that done. Instead of holding a position based on party affiliation can’t we open ourselves up to change our minds as more facts become available? Instead of labeling a “flip flopper” as something to be ashamed of? What rational, intelligent person maintains a view point after clearly seeing that they were in the wrong?
This is a rant. This is a young person with an admittedly ideological hope for the future. People much smarter than I talk to me about this stuff and I listen. I’m smarter than I was yesterday because of it. My opinions change from day to day, from conversations, reading, and thinking.
I’ve considered myself a hardcore liberal, a moderate, a conservative, really everything, really nothing. I’m not sure what I am yet, but I’m starting to understand what I believe, and what I’d like my government to be about.
I think college education should be more affordable and less strict with their admissions policies. Doesn’t it make sense that someone who’s a borderline student would benefit from a better education?
I think business should be allowed to fail without being bailed out by the government, it’s part of capitalism. People fail and others come along with a better plan and succeed.
I think our education system is in need of a wake up call, that it gets further and further away from actual education as we graduate from grade to grade, and becomes more and more about finding elite minds, instead of developing them.
I think the idea that “abstinence” being taught in school is funny, since that’s a moral and religious issue, and people seem very uncomfortable with religion being mentioned in school. While educating teens on the dangers of STD’s, and responsibilities that come with parenthood is more of scientific one. Tell a kid he’s saddening God by having sex, he’ll forget what you’re talking about at the first sign of a coed, show a kid the hospital bills from AID’s treatment, or medical costs of a baby, and he’ll think twice.
I think religion, not a specific one, should be taught as a subject, not a homily, in all schools. Can’t we learn more about the world if we educate ourselves on the different religions, and the varying beliefs and values of it?
I think marijuana should be treated like alcohol and not cocaine. Even if I don’t want to smoke it anymore (just seemed to make me dumb and paranoid in high school, but others seem to enjoy it), it isn’t as deadly as cigarettes, and evidently has some medicinal purposes.
I think health care should be available to those that want it, at a cost to them. Things cost money. I wouldn’t ask a millionaire to pay for my groceries, I don’t think they should have to fund my flu shot.
I think the “sliding scale” for taxes is good. 15% of someone making a salary of $21,000 a year, really hurts, I don’t think someone making $20,000,000 is going to have to cut coupons to buy bread paying that same percentage.
I think abortion should be illegal, except in cases of rape, or when the mother’s life is in clear jeopardy.
I feel like high schoolers would be better served learning how to balance a check book and understand how credit works, than they are learning how to diagram sentences.
I think politicians should be paid handsomely, if only so that our smartest people would become them, instead of turning into millionaire CEO’s.
It makes me laugh when politicians try to get involve with sports. Whether it be college football’s BCS system, or MLB’s steroid’s issue. It makes me laugh because realistically, more people pay attention to those hearings on CSPAN, than of the ones concerning government bailouts, stimulus package, or health care. Maybe if the country felt more like they were going to see/feel progress, and not screaming adults, they’d pay attention. Maybe not.
I think more debate needs to occur like this
So that’s my rant, youtube clips and all, at least until someone smarter than me makes me think differently.