Finger Pointing

19 Jan

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Below is a Facebook response to a post one of my relatives uploaded today. I know little about his overall political opinions, but if they are reflective of my family in general, they are at least to the right-side of the middle. He is a newly-stamped physician, and just out of the gate starting a career and making a living for his young family. His desire is, I suppose, like all or most of us: to do the best we can do, and to improve the lot we hand down to our progeny.

He shared a post from netadvisor.org entitled Fact Check: Pres. Obama: ‘We’re Better Off’ and ‘No WH Scandals?’ 

As with any critically-oriented website, this one appears pro-conservative. Even to use that label in the way I did will incur judgment on the reader’s part. So let me put your suspicions either at rest, or at alert, depending on your perspective. Largely, I am a man of conservative nature. I don’t like a lot of government interfering in my private life. However, I’m not a gun owner and do appreciate the idea that using an instrument that is potentially dangerous (e.g., a car) should bear greater scrutiny and restrictions. I believe that while the private sector (churches, nonprofits, etc.) is magnanimous in its outreach both nationally and globally, I also think many of these groups are shams, and should be held to account. I have adopted a standard definition of the sanctity of life, which includes war, capital punishment, and abortion: all life is sacred.

So neither camp (Republican or Democrat) describes me adequately, which is apparently becoming an increasing challenge in predicting the electorate and how voters will react. In other words, I’m not alone in my political sentiments.

That said, below is my response to the post. I’m not out to convince you to think the way I do. I am challenging you to think, and not to act or react willy-nilly over what goes on beyond the confines of your daily travels. Whatever conclusions you come to are yours, and are your right to express.

What I advocate regarding that, however, is that we not shout, but calmly debate. But we always hold fast to our right to our basic freedoms, regardless. As trite as it’s become, I may not agree with you, but I’ll defend your right to legally express your opinions.

 

Dear Relative:

I scrolled through the various charts of the article you posted today.

I tend not to take anything like this as gospel, but I know others will jump like jack rabbits at some of the statistics.

How the government fares under an administration varies from legislation to the economy and other hot topics. I liken the economy of our country to the Exxon Valdez, which was a victim of its own size and inability to adjust very quickly. Remember when the Clinton Administration took credit for the zero debt status? I believe he inherited the boon that Reagan set into motion during his years.

Conversely, I think Obama inherited the bust that Bush, et.al., unfortunately allowed to occur. One statistic that I liked was the growth in government — which actually decreased over the last several years of Obama.

The columns depicting unemployment/underemployment, # of people living in poverty, increase in the % of those unable to afford to buy their own house, were the after-affects of the 2008 housing mortgage crash and more. Companies moving manufacturing overseas. The consequences of banking/real estate greed.

Another element of any administration is how the US Senate and Congress cooperate during that tenure. Cooperation hasn’t existed probably for 12 or more years at any level, federal or state. I don’t anticipate it will change under the Trump administration.

As far as health care goes, the rising price of drugs and health care goes back to Pharma and the insurance industry, I think. The insured have been struggling for decades over the rising costs of premiums, and vast numbers of self-employed as well as unemployed (which includes children at no fault of their own) found those costs prohibitive. We don’t like the term “socialization” in this country, just like other social “conditions” haven’t been tolerated in the past.

Guess what? Those attitudes are changing, and surprisingly rapidly. So rapidly that a sleeping portion of the nation awoke in fear and surprised the country the night and day after November 8.

Why do we still battle over whose fault it is for our current status? NOW people find fault with what hasn’t even occurred! Government is far more than one man or woman living in the White House. It is the composite of 100 senators and however many congressmen there are. And to some extent, what the composition is at the state level as well.

None of those seats — well, precious few, to my mind — is dedicated to the good of the people. Those elected officials’ primary focus is the continuation of their political careers.

THAT’s why I agree with Mark Twain’s observation that politicians are like diapers … They need to be changed often and for the same reason.

THAT’s why I hope a viable alternative to the Republican/Democrat demagoguery will eventually reach a viable status.

THAT’s why I and many other Americans register Unaffiliated, leaving the staid kingdoms of Republicans/Democrats, not in search of panacea, but of pragmaticism.

That’s why the strained and sometimes off-beat voices of Bernie and Donald stirred and riled up so many voters.

So, the best I can offer about this post is that DJT will inherit a slog of stuff from the previous administration — bad AND good — and we will see how little effect a president has on reversing tides and deflecting tsunamis. Had Hillary won, I doubt my response would be much different. Politicians? Their ilk has been revealed for nearly three hundred years in this country.

Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We, the voters, continue to place far too much power in the hands of our elected officials. So, the responsibility invariable rests with — guess who?

Pogo, in an iconic oft-repeated commentary on the human condition, said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

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