Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Why I don't buy it

"Obamacare is a travesty, the most un-American legislation to come around since, well, income tax."

I don't buy it because that kind of blanket statement is overstated half-truth, and therefore dangerously false.  On it's own, it's a generalization that ignores the burden of proof.

"Why?--because it forces people to do something they'd rather not do, and that's unAmerican."

I don't buy it because there are a ton of things I must do that I'd rather not.  The statement suggests that to be an American is simply to be able to do what we want, which is both silly and anarchic.

"What's more, they'll be spending money on an insurance policy that almost certainly isn't going to work, given the fact that the government is going to operate it."

I don't buy it because it's speculation.  We don't know.  What we do know is that the system we now have may well is almost dysfunctional. Medical care in America is not the gold standard, and while I know Canadians who claim to be annoyed by long lines, none of them I know would want to exchange theirs for ours.  Furthermore, even if we grant the idea that government is evil--which I don't--no one can be unequivocal about it being "a necessary evil."

"Don't believe the flak that says something similar is working in Massachusetts because such noise is only created by those who would really like America to become a socialist state."

I don't buy it because I think one can support even a single-payer medical system and not be a socialist who believes the government should run everything.

"Besides, Romney wasn't much more than a puppet."

Honestly, I'm not sure what Romney was, so I don't buy that statement either.

"Liberty is at the heart of American values, and that government which governs least, governs best."

I buy it, but it's not the only "American value."

"What we need to understand is that unshackled freedom created this marvelous country and its incredibly vital cultural character.

I buy it, but only as half truth. The history of the American West, for instance, isn't at all pretty. To believe that "unshackled freedom" should be the only rule of cultural life is loony. Living together means respecting others and others freedoms, especially when our freedoms conflict with our neighbor's.  

 "My ancestors came here with nothing, then worked hard to create a life in which their children could prosper as they themselves never could. They wanted a better life, not just for them but for their children--that's what America is all about."

Mostly true, but they never really understood or even saw already existing cultures and peoples.  When they looked over the land, they saw nothing, no one.  My pioneer great-great grandfather's obituary says that when he lived in lakeshore Wisconsin the Indians were already conquered and reduced to begging.  Their "better life" came at the expense of this country's first nations, a fact which white folks find convenient to forget.

What's more, what is "a better life" exactly? How does one define it today? Most of my ancestors came here for what they determined was religious freedom, freedom from the tyranny of an oppressive state religion. Most were poor and uneducated; but all wanted a new community, all wanted to live in concert with others, to work and worship. I'm not sure any really wanted to be rich.

"Government dulls resolve, creates dependency, and erodes our beloved freedoms." 

Half-truth.  It can, but there's more to the story.  It also builds highways and bridges, creates national defense, tries to mitigate differences of opinion, protects us from each other, tells our national story, creates and sustains libraries and educational systems, and sees to it that our streets are clean.  It does all kinds of things and, yes, erodes our beloved freedoms.  If I dump my waste in a ditch just down the road, I can get nailed for it.  I think that's a good thing.

"No single piece of legislation better exemplifies the crippling spirit of the liberal, socialist agenda than Obamacare.  It was passed on a straight party-line vote by people who were so mesmerized by the sheer idea that America could have an African-American President that they abandoned their wits and voted for a man who cared more about Muslims than Christians, a man raised in Indonesia and actually befriended by some of America's most hated radicals during his Chicago days. Really, his shadowy character is created by his shadowy past."

I don't buy it, and because I honestly don't understand where it comes from, it's hard for me believe that its source isn't bigotry--"he's not one of us."

"Obama distrusts liberty. He worked as a "community organizer," someone who made a living by agitating against the very freedoms we enjoy; and his marquee legislation--Obamacare--must by rescinded or it will shipwreck the very dynamic which created American enterprise. Obamacare erases freedom and threatens every liberty worth fighting for. It's plain evil."

Like I said, I just don't buy it.

"That's why Ted Cruz is right. That's why John Boehner refuses to capitulate to White House intransigence. That's why this stalemate, this government shutdown, is so very important to the future of America. Those of us who love liberty must win this thing. Government must lose. To that end we must eliminate Obamacare. No single legislative action is more vital for retaining the very heart of American freedom."

I don't buy it. The debt ceiling is probably a more significant reason for Republican recalcitrance, but the present stalemate began with Ted Cruz's insistence that renewing government operations had to be linked to the eradication of Obamacare.  Some Republicans understood that false premise, but most marched in lock-step with Cruz's assertions because they're scared of him.  Other Republicans, like Steve King, are invincible in their districts and therefore free to indulge their personal ideologies.

Finally, I don't buy it because of what's left out of the title of yesterday's post--"justice,' as in "liberty and justice for all." Liberty and justice will forever be at odds.  Justice gone to seed creates communism.  Freedom gone to seed creates chaos.

Life itself is a balancing act we try to maintain between truths that are frequently both valid and contradictory.  It requires consideration of others' opinions, especially in a democracy, where liberty is so highly valued. 

And I don't think the old values are wrong, like this one:  the first among the Seven Deadly Sins that affect us all is not greed or wrath or laziness. It's pride--yours and mine, something the dictionary calls "inordinate self-esteem."


Anonymous said...

Well, Obummer got a lot of pride, no question..He's also got egg all over his face left over from Syria. And he hasn't forgotten that. Putin put him in his place. Now, he can't afford to back down again over this health care issue. His ego is way too big for that.

Anonymous said...

So you think the govn't running the health care of this country is a good thing. Have you looked at Soc. Sec. lately? How about USPS? And this whole fiasco with the software for the health care system should give you a clue of how well this whole thing will fly.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you 'what I don't buy'. The head honcho's arrogant behavior. This boondoggle of him denying death bennies to survivors of military families is uncalled for. OH yes, it's him or Hagle. They would like to blame the GOP of course. BUT, they have nothing to do with it. IT's up to those 2 boneheads, no one else. And to use those families as pawns in their game is totally ridiculous.

Todd said...

Jim, don't know if you read the comments or not, but I try to read your blog a few times a week. Two things I find that are interesting. Whenever you post about politics, there are a lot of bold comments by "Anonymous." I'd like to meet that person(s?) sometime. Secondly, I am becoming more and more convinced that the depravity of human beings is revealed most clearly our culture not through "reality" t.v. or a some porn site on the computer, but through cable news networks--take your pick of which one you want to watch. Just my two cents for the day.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing. Not buying it now has some definition.

Politics does reveal the depravity of man... sadly that includes all of us including me. However, God's Word is not silent on the big issues... abortion being BIG.

The democrat's stand on abortion spreads to all the other political issues which makes it a preeminent issue for me.

Their stand on abortion allowing women to sacrifice innocent children at the altar of convenience is no different than the child sacrifice of babies to Moloch in the Old Testament. God detested the practice then and so do I now. The democrats could give a SNAP about my health or anyone else's if they are willing to butcher pre-born innocent babies.

Their low regard for life taints all their decisions on health care, rescuing the ambassador and others in Benghazi, marriage, homosexual behavior, Social Security, Medicare, etc.Their disregard for life shows their disregard for future generations by saddling them with unbelievable debt.

This rant could go on till Christmas ...

Jim, I am sorry to say, I am having difficulty buying what you are selling... I still believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, but Life is first.

Ozzie Ozbourne said...

To Todd... I have no Todd in my realm of friends, so to me you are anonymous too. So, as a famous leader once said, "what difference does it make?"

Anonymous said...

I did not find any scriptural references to support your rationale for your positions. Your opinion is your opinion, but based on what?

You state that Ted Cruz uses half-truths, is dangerously false, uses generalizations, is silly and anarchic, is speculative, uses half-truths, is mostly true [really means totally false], is vague on what a better life is, and that he does not define liberty and justice the way Obama does.

Your arguments could have been better supported with scriptural quotes and references rather than quips from the Gospel According to JCS, "I Don't buy It" 3:16.