President Obama is scary, almost George Orwellian Animal Farm scary. Is the right any less cringe worthy? While I tend to be a wave the flag and actually read the constitution kind of a conservative at heart, I am a little concerned with our modern Tea Party zealotry. Mostly, the over the top militant and unyielding attitude toward the government process has me watching the current political antics with a feeling of betrayal from both parties. Beyond that however, there are four issues where I think our current batch of potential Republican candidates need to do some reassessment and hopefully come back from the edge of Neverland. In the school yard competition to see which braggart can be the “most conservative,” those four different areas are: Build a Fence, Repeal Obama Care, Constitutional Purity, and Policing the World.
Immigration: We don’t need a wall. In a boasting contest reminiscent of a bunch of boys in a school playground, the Republican candidates are beginning the work of one-upmanship. On the top of the list of bravado is the war cry; “I will build a wall and secure the border.”
In writing of this very issue, Vicente Fox, former President of Mexico said: “Walls don’t work. The Great Wall of China didn’t work. The West Bank Barrier didn’t work. Walls never work. Walls are a medieval solution to a twenty-first-century problem. Mongols invade them. Escapees tunnel under them. Television beams over them. Palestinian car bombs explode them. Immigrants crawl through their barbed wire in the night, in search of a better life. Today, as… troops patrol the rivers from Arizona to Iraq, the United States isn’t building a wall, it is building a prison.” There are better solutions.
Using the concepts of Justice and Mercy and taking points from both the Democrat and Republican Party platforms, a viable solution can be built. Perhaps something like the one suggested in this previous post.
Health Care: “I will repeal all of Obama Care!” is an unrealistic declaration that is almost surely a lie. You can’t simply repeal Obama Care without the potential of doing irreparable damage to millions of Americans.
The Declaration of Independence talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as being inalienable rights. Heath Care, dealing with life and happiness, is therefore a valid function of our government. Because of this, President Obama’s forcing of the Affordable Care Act upon the country is not beyond the scope of governance. However, it is a really bad piece of legislation.
There are many that are currently taking advantage of the ACA whose lives are being blessed. (If you doubt that you may want to listen to the other channel for a night or two.) While the ACA does seem to be working it has one major flaw. Some of the responsibility and cost for the ACA has been placed upon employers. This responsibility is a major burden on some small and even medium size businesses. The U.S. is unique in the world in that we are the only nation on earth that has burdened industry with health care responsibility and cost. If you look at the problem as a redistribution of income, which the ACA is, the problem becomes apparent. The ACA slows down business. When you slow down business then there is less income to redistribute. We need to keep industry running at its peak to provide a maximum of income. How you distribute that income needs to be settled upon separately.
The ACA, being flawed, should be repealed, yet health care is still a valid concern. So, before we go throwing the baby out with the bath water, let’s make sure that we have a replacement firmly in mind. We don’t want to be like the missionary who convinced a potential convert that his current church was wrong but failed to convert him. The man was then left with no faith at all. It is interesting that some Republicans have been putting forth options to the ACA. The problem is that these plans are tweaks and half way measures not better systems. If the government is going to get involved in health care, let’s do it right and unabashedly plagiarize Denmark.
The Constitution: Our constitution is a framework document and should never be used in such a way as to say; if it is not in the constitution, it shouldn’t be done. A good example is Ron Paul’s (Not to be confused with his son Rand) answer to an education question in the last Presidential debates.
To quote: “That’s easy, education is not mentioned in the constitution.”
The framers of the Constitution could not see our day and we are facing many problems and issues that I am sure they never imagined. (The definition of marriage comes to mind.) The Constitution is therefore a framework document meant to be a guide and a protection for certain liberties. The Constitution does limit the Federal Government defaulting to state’s rights on all other issues. However, we need to ensure as we move forward that we stay true to the meaning and principles set forth in the Constitution but we should never let it restrain us. The words, “that is not in the Constitution;” should never be spoken. Such verbiage does not solve issues.
War: Loud is the shrill cry of the Republican Hawk. They screech Obama is a coward, he didn’t take action here or he should have sent troops there. Have we so soon forgotten the lessons of Vietnam and Iraq? It is our sons and daughters that come home in a body bag having fought for someone else’s freedom. Someone who very seldom is ready for or appreciative of it. “You can’t buy freedom with a gun. There has to be a change of heart first.” Don’t you think this country has recently fought enough of other people’s wars? When we fight for others, we invariably mess it up. Yes we are the biggest and the best but no one has voted us world sheriff and they really resent our intrusion. When oppressed countries experience that change in attitude, when they are ready for freedom, they will come asking. We did, other nations will too. Until then, let’s just stay out of it. Let us save our blood and treasure to fight our own battles, defend our own liberties and those of our allies and to punish those who harm us or try to oppress us.
In summary: whereas President Obama is scary progressive, the platform that our ultra conservative candidates are trying to sell us can also use a calming makeover. The last six years have divided this nation. That divide has become all-encompassing covering race, gender, wealth, religion and political affiliation. We are even emotionally divided by which news channel we watch. With this ever widening rift, politics has become an argument not a discussion. If we are ever to become one nation again, there needs to be a willingness to listen and to understand. In politics it means compromise and setting out political positions that actually work as opposed to generating votes through sound bites.
As is so often the case, those political positions can usually be found somewhere in The Moral Middle.
Samuel Waen Jensen