Saturday, August 8, 2009

Politicizing Healthcare and Diverting Attention

I watched some videos on Youtube recently and was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. Thousands of people across the nation have been attending town hall meetings to express their concerns, vent their anger and demand that their representatives vote no on the proposed health care bill, AKA Obamacare, making its way through congress. It seems that this particular issue has been the one that has activated the people. It seems that the proposed total government takeover of health care is the straw that has broken the camel's back. The ire of the common man has been aroused and we are letting those who are supposed to represent the interests of the average Joe know that with this issue they had better listen.

There has been quite a bit of news coverage on this subject and divergent viewpoints have been expressed. There are even some pundits who have taken the conspiratorial position that these town hall protests have been manufactured by right wing Republican groups to make President Obama look bad and that ordinary people aren't really that upset about the bill. Yeah, right. As if people can't think for themselves. As if people won't protest such intrusions into their private lives unless they are paid or prodded. These pundits don't consider that maybe the common folk have figured out that government has failed massively time and time again. They don't realize that perhaps people consider health care just too important to put it into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. They don't seem to believe that maybe the masses actually realize that the costs of totally nationalizing health care would be far too much for out teetering economy to bear. They don't seem to understand that many people in this country realize that their very lives and the lives of their loved ones could be put at risk by restricted and rationed health care overseen by a coldhearted bureaucratic system rather than by personal physicians and other caring professionals. The people protesting at these town hall meetings couldn't possibly be ordinary folk worried about health care being brought under government control, they have to be Republicans trying to sabotage the Democrats and make the president look bad. Please.

Health care is a very important issue to many people. That's why they came out to protest. It has nothing to do with Democrat or Republican partisanship. Any representative who came out in favor of this bill was confronted by their constituents if the chance presented itself regardless of their party. It's an important issue for me, also. That's why I'd like to keep the government out of it. I believe I can best determine for myself what's best for me and my family when it comes to health care and insurance. I don't want it to be mandated by the government what type of insurance I need to get nor do I wish to be told by them which medical procedures are available and when I can get them, etc. I take this position as a person who has no coverage since I've lost my job. Personally, I think I'd be best off if I had just major medical insurance that would cover any catastrophic event that may occur. For myself I don't go to doctors much anymore and can take care of myself for the most part when it comes to common maladies. I believe that trips to the doctor for a yearly physical and such would be much, much cheaper if it wasn't for all the government mandates the medical community is already saddled with.

I think people are beginning to realize that they want government out of their lives, particularly federal government. That's why they came out against the bailouts. That's why they came out against cap and trade. That's why they're coming out against federalized health care.

Mr. Obama and the Democrats have declared that there is a mandate to provide government health care to all simply because they were voted into office last year. No such mandate exists! Their political victory was not a result of their promises, nor was it a result of anything positive they had done for the American people in the past. Their victories were a direct result of the incompetency of the Bush administration, the unwillingness of the Republicans to prevent the growth of government, and in fact their direct involvement in growing it despite their insinuations they would do the opposite. It seems to me that most people didn't vote for Mr. Obama or any candidate running under the Democrat party banner, most people voted against Mr. Bush's big government policies and the Republicans who supported those policies. They voted for what they wrongly perceived was the only viable alternative.

Mr. Obama was sufficiently vague enough and contagiously charming with his promises of “change” and “hope” to win over an increasingly wary and jilted electorate. Many voters hoped they'd see a reversal of Bush era policies. They hoped against hope that Mr. Obama and a Democrat majority would end the unconstitutional Bush era wars, repeal the unconstitutional Bush era laws and bring back sanity and some semblance of the free market to our economy. Not only did this not happen, but just the opposite occurred and its beginning to look like it will never happen. The people are frustrated that their screams have fallen upon deaf ears. They are angry that their voices continue to be ignored despite the fact that they are trying to use the system to effect the change they want to see and are stonewalled at every turn. Now they express their righteous anger at these town hall venues because they feel they have no other way to make their congress critters listen and the politicians still show no sign that they are paying attention and that they are ready to enact the will of the people.

It seems to me that the establishment is still in control. It seems to me that they couldn't care less what the common man wants. Yet it also seems that the public has perhaps become more energized than they thought. Perhaps the politicians are running a bit scared as they see their constituents begin to protest their actions en masse. There is the possibility that the establishment may have miscalculated the public reaction to their attempted takeover of the health care system. It is also a possibility that this is just a diversion meant to distract the public and the few politicians that may care for them so that other important legislation might be forgotten about.

Let's not forget that there is a cap and trade bill that has already been passed by the House and is scheduled to be considered by the Senate. Many voters have expressed concern over this bill. Many understand that this huge bill, unread by many of those who voted for it, does nothing to help the environment and is just a hidden tax on the middle class. It does everything it can to help destroy the economy and funnel more money to the already overly rich elite at the very top of the heap. Could the political elite use the news coverage and the hotly charged debate surrounding the health care bill as a smoke screen to sneak through this legislation unnoticed by most? The possibility does exist.

There is also an important bill with over 280 cosponsors being proposed in the House that would audit the Fed and bring transparency to their operation. It was getting quite a bit of press and gaining momentum until this health care controversy came along. Now all of a sudden that bill and the refusal of the Democrats' leadership to bring it to a vote is back page news as the furor over the health care bill grows. This seems awfully darn convenient for the Fed which wishes its secret dealings to remain hidden from the American people whose money supply they control. I do hope this bill and its significance is not lost in the mayhem created by Obamacare.

Let's also not forget the promises made and perhaps already broken by the Obama administration and the Democrats elected to help ensure passage of his agenda. Was it not they who promised to help bring about a more transparent and receptive government? I remember something about not rushing bills through in such a hasty fashion. I remember something about bills being posted online for at least three days before being voted on so that the American people as well as the representatives in congress could get a chance to read them and voice their opposition or approval. What happened to that? Where has that attitude gone in the last few months as the deficit has skyrocketed?

It's been a long time since there's been this much uncertainty in the atmosphere. As a child in the sixties I remember this feeling, but back then I wasn't exactly sure what it was all about. As an adult I can say that this uncertainty, when thought about, has a tendency to leave an uneasiness in the stomach. It is both an exhilarating and slightly scary feeling. There are too many directions in which this can go. The political elite can once again decide to ignore the masses, push through this unpopular health care bill and risk a wrath they have never experienced before. Or the masses could then just shrug their shoulders, become once again apathetic and discouraged, go back to sleep and fade away into insignificance under the auspices of happy servitude. Or the politicians could give into the masses of humanity protesting this issue, finally decide to do the will of the people, and then turn around and pass more unpopular legislation and block popular legislation as the people celebrate a hard fought victory and forget to pay attention to other important political happenings. Or the people could finally wake up, realize their true power and understand that the only way to get the elites to do what is good for the masses is to keep a close eye on them and demand transparency and an approach to politics based upon the principles of freedom and liberty this nation was founded on even if it comes from the unprincipled persons currently holding political office.

Moving forward I do hope that these protests are taken seriously by the political elites. I do hope that they result in more than just lip service from the current cadre of control freaks inhabiting the halls of power in Washington, DC. As Thomas Jefferson said, “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” I don't wish anyone to fear anyone else, but it would be nice if for once freedom would prevail in the federal legislature.

One last observation I'd like to make, I don't think the political elite can go about their business as usual anymore. It doesn't matter whether these protests were spontaneous, as I believe they were, or were spurred on by certain organizations or personalities as the power elite would have you believe. One way or another, I believe they are going to have to deal with their constituents and start answering some tough questions. I believe the righteous anger exhibited by people in the last few days is a sign that they have shaken free of the malaise that prosperous years have infected them with and they are beginning to come to the realization that it is best to decide things for themselves rather than leave important decisions to the whims the unaccountable political elite in Washington, DC. Those holding political office are going to have to start to work, for a change, and likely they're going to have to decide whether to empower the people of this great nation once again or fight to keep the power in their hands. Let's pray they make the right decision.

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