Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Use Your Illusion

Change, as President Obama is finding out, is just an illusion in a two-party political system. It’s especially an illusion in a two party political system where most of the elected officials are representing various lobbyists and special interest groups instead of their constituency. The honeymoon is over for Obama and he’s learning that the platform he ran on and is trying to implement is a pipedream.

On one hand he has the Republicans. In the absence of a single, intelligent, well-spoken, sensible spokesperson to stand as the probable candidate to run against Obama in 2012, they’ve chosen the tried and true Republican tactic of making the people afraid. The theory is that if they can make the people fearful enough, it won’t matter who they trot out in 2012, that person will have a chance.

Fear Socialism! Fear neo-Nazism! Fear loss of the Bill of Rights! Fear the Mexicans! Fear the terrorists! Just make sure you’re very, very afraid! Because if there is one thing we’ve learned in our history, turning our country into a socialist, neo-nazi, Mexican utopia can happen in the blink of an eye. Our government is famous for making quick changes right?

But that’s how they make it seem. I’ve yet to hear a good argument about how socialized healthcare can be bad when socialized education is an ideal in terms of the use of our tax dollars. Government run education was something all of our founding fathers believed in and something we support without even thinking about it today. Why is our health less important than our intelligence?

Worse than the Republicans though are Obama’s fellow Democrats. Welcome to reality President Obama. Now that all the hangers on have gotten a good sniff and browned their noses up sufficiently, your own peeps are leaving you hang out to dry. It was naïve and foolish to think that these people, so many of them, not unlike their Republican counterparts, in the pockets of the big insurance companies would rally behind you.

You have to give Obama credit for trying to do the very things he promised he would during the election. He’s trying to implement the very platform on which he ran. I think this crazy strategy has fooled his peers. It was all fine and well to say the things he needed to say to win the election, but to actually go through with them? Who will pay for the Senator’s trips to the Bahamas if not the healthcare lobby? Who will slip the House members free Viagra? It was one thing to stand proudly next to him while he was talking about healthcare reform on the campaign trail, but it’s a whole different thing now that they’ve found out he really meant that stuff!

And in typical Democrat Party fashion, the in-fighting has begun. Give the Republican’s credit, they can at least stay on point and to a man, spew out the pre-approved buzz words and catch phrases the powers that be instruct them to use. The Democrats are all over the place. The Dems have gotten so used to just talking about change that they have no idea how to solidify and actually make it happen.

And this is where the problem becomes a little more obvious. Our country is being run, not by the three branches of government, created to check and balance one and other. Our country is being run by two petulant groups who struggle for power over one and other. It’s a very American idea to stand opposed, to conquer an opponent, and that very struggle has become what our political system is at it’s very core. The two-party political system may be the most un-American thing—EVER.

I fail to understand how someone can align themselves, unquestionably in all matters with one team or the other. I fail to understand how we the people can pick and choose teams like our lives are a fantasy football league. How can there ever be change in a system that fights against independent thought? We have two teams. One is the “You’re Either With Us, or Against Us Team.” The other is the “Me, Me, Me Team.” In every area of life, business, personal, financial, people work together and make compromises for the greater benefit. In politics, we just pick sides and fight.

Sometimes one side gets an upper hand and steer the ship back their way. Sometimes the other side steers it back. No progress is made because progress is the enemy. It doesn’t matter what you think about government-run healthcare, any person of even moderate intelligence can see that our healthcare system is broken. Any person of even moderate intelligence can see that money is being squandered, wasted, hoarded and stolen in the current system.

Does American stand up, show the spirit of our founders and work together to fix the problem? No. We fight about it. There is no talk of compromise. There is fear and in-fighting and foolishness and nothing gets fixed. How can we maintain that we live in the greatest country in the world if we can’t offer our people the opportunity to get necessary medical treatment? Regardless of what you believe the answer is, how can we sleep at night knowing that kids will die while we sleep because their parents couldn’t afford to get them treated?

How great can a country be when we’re more concerned with being right than we are with fixing the things that are wrong? If you judge a team by it’s weakest link, how can we maintain that we are strong? How can we be proud of our country when our health care for the poor is no different than that of a third world country? How does the American dream live when small businesses are unable to operate because they cannot offer health insurance to employees and for themselves?

How are we anything but sheep when we line up on one side or the other and refuse to budge? We the people suffer. We have the power to shake things up, but we the sheep are too foolish to use it. Our country gets weaker and weaker and we do nothing to stop it because we’d rather be right than make it better. If the people we’ve elected are unable or unwilling to make our lives better, then we need to remove each and every one of them. Screw partisan voting—we need vote based on results. We need to mandate the betterment of our country to our politicians. They need to know that they can either work together to make things better or we’ll try someone else next time. We need to let them know we won’t forget their failures.

They’ll never budge from party lines unless we make them. But we won’t. We’re sheep. We tune into one cable new network or the other. We repeat the things we’re told there. We repeat the propaganda we learn. Our side is right. The other side is out to screw us. We stand opposed. Nothing gets done. Children die. Politicians get rich. The very perpetrators of the broken health care system get rich. A hard-working person who got laid off and couldn’t afford health care dies and sends his family into debt because they can’t pay his hospital bills. That is his legacy. How is that any less murder than abortion?

Change requires action. Standing opposed means inaction. Working together is the solution. They won’t do it unless we make them. So the American dream will die a little more today and a little more tomorrow and we’ll wonder why things aren’t as good as they used to be. Democrats. Republicans. Neither side is ever going to win. And we will never move forward and be all that we can be unless they learn to stop fighting and start working together. Change is illusion and the American Dream is becoming one.


Rae said...

"Why is our health less important than our intelligence?"

I have NEVER understood the logic of separating health and education! does the strength of a country not rely on the strength of it's people? The new natural selection: the rich get richer, and the poor get sick and die, leaving their family drowning in debt and perpetuating the cycle. Sounds American to me. But what do I know… I'm just your average Canadian Socialist, maybe I shouldn't be commenting on politics… :S

Malachi said...

Is there an argument that makes sense about not giving healthcare to everyone? Especially when there are many industrialized countries that have some form of healthcare for everyone that wants it.
I like how you compared it to education. I haven't been watching the news lately, is anyone even bothering with that side of the argument because it's a good point. I hadn't thought of it like that but I like the way you stated it.