Saturday, August 15, 2009


My friend Sarah got me thinking today about blogging on the issue of the recent universal health care debate. Usually I try not to blog on political issues because I know most people read blogs as a rather light-hearted amusement and unless you're prepared to read a blog of seriousness rather than see a bunch of Maddie pictures, you'll be pretty disappointed. But there are some thoughts that I think need to be out there.

Whether or not you are for the current health care proposal, or a revised proposal, or no health care proposal at all -- I think you can agree with me on this point. The state of American politics is sad and pathetic. I don't mean that the bickering is out of hand, or that there is corruption, etc... If that sort of thing bothers you, I'm not sympathetic. Take a history class, that has been part of politics since the dawn of non-monarchical government. What I mean, is that it is sad that politicians have dumbed down their purpose and message to such an extent that theory, philosophy and ideology have become extinct in the arena of public policy. This country was founded on principle. We plotted and planned our government in pursuit of the loftiest of goals -- being the political ideal, the government that all future governments would look to as a beacon of light in an otherwise repugnant world of corruption.

Throughout the debate on health care, I've heard numerous soundbites of politicians defending or opposing health care reform. While it's clear that neither side is particularly eloquent, I've been struck mostly by those defending it -- because their sales pitch is a cop out. It seems that the only way to argue for health care reform is rebuttal. What about standing up and making an argument as to why universal health care is needed? Most certainly the weakest rhetoric is 'we cannot not afford health care.'

Immediately following my ponderings on these poor speakers, I caught sight of this:
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Chuck Grassley's Debt and Deficit Dragon
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorSpinal Tap Performance

Poor Chuck Grassley -- being laughed at for doing something which has become all too common place -- dumbing down and gimmicking up a congressional speech because it's the only way to make a congressman pay attention to the argument. Remember when D'Amato got laughed out of Congress for doing that? Good times. Now it's the norm. Sad but true.

Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. Our government does not copy our neighbors', but is an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while there exists equal justice to all and alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty an obstacle, but a man may benefit his country whatever the obscurity of his condition. There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private business we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbor if he does what he likes; we do not put on sour looks at him which, though harmless, are not pleasant. While we are thus unconstrained in our private business, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for the authorities and for the laws, having a particular regard to those which are ordained for the protection of the injured as well as those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor of them the reprobation of the general sentiment. -Pericles of Athens

1 comment:

Literary Auntie said...

Wow... that video is stupendous.

I am still gonna blog about this, when little kids ain't sapping my brains.