Monday, July 9, 2012

Political Excuses

I'd like to ramble on about excuses in the political realm.  One of my relatives does not believe that voting does any good because the system is corrupt.  When a friend of mine tried to offer reasons that Republican reforms did not pass----that there was a filibuster, or there were not enough Republicans in Congress, or what not----my relative replied, "You know, I've spent a long time listening to your excuses."

There came a time when I was sick of listening to Republican excuses.  It seemed to me that the only time when the problems of the American health care system were on the table as a topic of national political discussion was when the Democrats had power.  While I thought that Republicans had good ideas about how to reform health care, they did not appear (at least to me) to fight for those ideas when they were in power.  Something else that irked me about Republicans was how they blabbed on about fiscal responsibility when it came to programs that helped the poor, yet they themselves were not fiscally responsible when they were in power----when it came to such things as war.  And, when I read in Alan Michael Collinge's The Student Loan Scandal that Republicans essentially abandoned the principles of economic competition and fiscal responsibility in order to support the student loan industry (and Collinge and this article contend that the student loan industry has benefited John Boehner), I began to question that the Republican Party truly had my interests at heart.

But my Republican friends were quick to give me their excuses.  "Even if the Republicans didn't solve the health care problems, we can't live in the past.  We have to stop Obamacare, which is a threat right now."  "The Republicans may have done bad things in the past, but now they are different." 

On the other side of the spectrum, many people get tired of hearing President Barack Obama's excuses for the economy not being overly strong.  There's only so much mileage that President Obama can get from blaming the economy on President George W. Bush.  In the eyes of many, there comes a point where the economy becomes President Obama's economy!

The thing about political excuses is that they're usually an attempt to convince other people to support a party or candidate.  Personally, I don't plan to do that.  I cannot make another person buy into my excuses.  Another person cannot make me buy into his or her excuses.  It's up to each of us to determine for ourselves which party or candidate (if any) is worth supporting, and what issues are important to us.  And if one concludes that the political system is so hopelessly corrupt that there's no point to voting, that's his or her right, as long as it's realized that others believe that voting may make some different.  Excuses are often an attempt to coerce other people, but there are a lot of people who cannot be coerced, nor should they be.

I'm not going to make excuses for President Obama, but I will share with you why I will vote for him, and whether you're convinced is up to you.  President Obama has fought for health care reform that (in my opinion, despite some of its defects) makes things better.  Moreover, I don't believe that the path to economic growth is to give tax cuts to the wealthy, who already have record profits, which have not trickled down to create a booming number of jobs for the American people. 
 
You may have a different perspective.  You may feel that President Obama's policies are discouraging activity within the business sector by creating uncertainty.  You may believe that Obamacare is a big government policy that increases government spending and regulations, which make things worse.  That's your judgment call.  People are entitled to their own opinion.  My goal is not to pressure everyone to see things my way.  Rather, as I said, I'll share what I think, and people can make their own decisions.

I hope I didn't sound condescending in this post, as if I think that people need my permission to believe a certain way.  I feel certain things, and words are not always adequate as I attempt to express how I feel. 

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