Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Divorce court of public opinion

Is anyone out there listening to history??

Mr. America (R): Arrogant nazi cow!

Mrs. America (D): Racist sexist thug!

Kids (R and D combined): You both make me sick! I'm moving in with Grandma...

Divided we fall, folks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good, Clean, Icy Fun!

Does anyone elso out there feel like things are slowly coming to a head?

Well, I do.

Don't get me wrong. I don't know any better than the next man what is going to happen in the future. Probably less so, since my kids lost my crystal ball the other day when they were bowling. I told them not to take it outside, and it's gone now. Probably fell down the storm drain...

Anyhoo, I digress. I don't really need one of my own, since there are a few key pundits in the news, on the radio, and in the blogosphere who are eager to share their sure knowledge of all things politic. They all sound so convinced, I assume they must have some solid, spherical source of information to give them that kind of rock solid assurance that they are right and the other side is bunk.

For now, since I've misplaced my own orb of knowledge, I'll have to look at what's going on around me in the context of history to see if I can find a pattern. I've noticed there are patterns that tend to repeat themselves.

For instance, when there is a power vacuum in government, the closest thing to that vacuum will get drawn in first.

Also, large empires do not last forever, and when they finally decline, some of them do so because they have long been rotting from within.

Recently though, I've noticed that many good people can get sucked into false dichotomies, such as:

"Public option is REQUIRED" OR "Public option is OUT OF THE QUESTION"

"Barack Obama is the Savior" OR "Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ"

"Rush - talent on loan from God" OR "Rush - graduate of Beelzebub School of Acting"

Here's a thought:

What if the current health system does truly need work, in which case it will take time and expertise to map out a smart, effective, BI-PARTISAN plan for reform? Is what we are currently doing, with congress racing to pass...something (I'm not sure what) while the opposition screams foul and throws rotten tomatoes...is this truly how we get things done in America? Should it be? Are we playing football with people's lives?

What about President Obama? Should we hide in our basements and wait for the apocalypse or should we get baptized into the church of change? Is that really what I have to choose from?

Or perhaps I should copy and paste everything Conservative talk radio pundits say on their programs onto my mp3 player and just hit the replay button every time I have a conversation with someone about politics...or should I just do that with NPR?

Either/or. False dichotomy.

Here's another thought:

I don't use a check register to balance my checkbook, I use a small notepad. I know people who swear by the register and would be appalled to see me using a notepad.

So who is right? Is this a debate over principle or method?

Using a notepad over a check register does not make me "righteous". It means I am practical and use what works best for me. We are all striving to balance our checkbook. The righteousness is in the principle of balance, not in the method.

So as I listen to congress and my fellow constituents arguing over the "righteousness" of the method of healthcare reform, I worry...

And while I don't have a crystal ball, I think I can safely assume that divided, we will eventually fall.

I also think some talking heads could do with a good, clean, icy dunk, don't you?

I'm just sayin'.