I haven't posted here for quite a bit. It isn't that I'm no longer watching the political free for all, just that I'm tired. Tired of all the hurtful things that we say about each other, tired of the promise to reach across the isle being shoved aside to get votes and news coverage. Tired of the members of Congress who do try to discuss the issues being drowned out by the words of the radicals and reactionaries. I'm not just talking about the disruptive right messing up town hall meetings; I'm also talking about the liberal left pouncing on anyone, even conservative Democrats, who expresses even the slightest hesitation to spend, spend, spend, on social programs and economic stimulus. I posted a comment in response to an Orcinus post about Blue Dog Democrats. Someone suggested I was a "concern troll", another called my post sanctimonious (Well , maybe it was a bit). I tried to clarify my meaning today. Not sure if it will help to convince the posters that I am not a troll. It isn't that I oppose health care reform, or helping out those hurt in this economic mess, its just that I don't think we are doing a good job of analyzing the problems ,and everyone knows that the first step in solving a problem is deciding what it is?
My friend Charles and I have a lot of political discussions. He's a mostly Republican; I'm a mostly Democrat. One thing we can agree on is that both of us care about this country and its people. We often agree on other things too. We believe in doing volunteer work to help others, the importance of a good public education system, and that children are being brought up in a world that is more violent, and less nurturing than the one we were brought up in. He's a devout Christian; I'm a UU, but we agree that the values we share are not reflected in most of the mass media. We agree that the war on drugs is failing, but we disagree on how to fix it. We agree that the health care system is in shambles, but we disagree on a public system. We could probably agree that, regardless of how it is funded, fixing it will require a major overhaul, and a change in behavior for Americans regarding diet, exercise and drug and alcohol use. His son is a medical researcher, so I think we could agree that our government should spend more on research to prevent and treat diseases like Alzheimers, cancer, diabetes, etc. We both believe in taking care of our natural world. He is a member of the farm bureau and despite my decision to be a vegetarian, I have to admit that he knows more about animal welfare, and caring for our land and water than I do.
The point of this post is that both Charles and I are in the middle, and no one is listening to us. Not to either one of us, because I think he would want the people shouting at the town halls to be quiet and talk about how to fix health care, and I would like the liberals to stop throwing money at every problem instead of carefully analyzing the situation and deciding how to fix the problems. Maybe the Blue Dogs represent us both.