Dipping a Toe in Political Mess

First, let me start by sharing that I have a tendency to stay away from political issues on my blog. Even though I have an undergraduate degree in political science, a Master’s in Public Administration and I have worked in local, state and federal government in positions ranging from intern to budget analyst to Legislative Director for a member of Congress. So, you may wonder why do I shy away from these topics – because most often people respond emotionally rather than factually. Some are so wrapped up in their emotions that they can’t even acknowledge the facts even when they are presented, which brings me to dear Congressman Joe Wilson.

He has stated that his response was “spontaneous” and that he “was overcome with emotion”. We have all said or maybe even shouted something that we shouldn’t have at some time or another during our lifetimes. We are not perfect and yes he has apologized as we all should do when we do things that are stupid. My first issue though with the outburst deals with the lack of facts. In all of this hubbub over health care reform and other things, most of us do not exercise due diligence and seek out the facts to form opinions that are based on accurate information. Here are two fact checks that came out today – ABC news and New York Times. The emotion surrounding the illegal immigrant issue is unwarranted.

For the record, my hubby works for the government and I appreciate our health care and I am thankful that we can afford our co-pays and other costs. I am also thankful that our daughter’s liver transplant (over $300,000 was covered) and that the 1 medication that she takes daily and needs for life which costs over $500 per month for a 30-day supply is only $25 with our co-pay. Also, I tend to agree with my husband in that we already cover the costs of the un and underinsured through items like taxes and increased fees, deductibles and co-pays. When our daughter gets older and will need to find her own insurance YES I would love for her not to be denied due to a pre-existing condition. (NOTE: This does need to be in any and all plans and it is currently not!!)

Do I think our health care is the best – probably not. Does it have room for improvement – doesn’t everything except salvation? As a follower of Christ, does it peeve me to no end that other so-called Christians have no desire to help those that are among the least – yes it does because Jesus came to serve and not be served and he didn’t seek out those that had but those that did not have.

My second issue with the outburst is that it is yet another example of the denigration of the Office of President of the United States. As a citizen, I expect better behavior from an elected Member of Congress. I think that the political divide between the 2 major parties has continued to widen since the 90’s. Even though there were marked differences and people had their causes there was general civility and respect. The ugliness that surrounded Clinton’s impeachment trial and the harsh words spoken about Bush’s starting of the war pale in comparison to the craziness that has erupted since Obama has taken office. As I said in a comment on Sarah Mae’s blog about his speech to kids – no President has pleased everyone and this one won’t either yet we have a pastor preaching his death, guns coming to town hall meetings and just vitriol spewing from the mouths of his detractors. Like him or not, I still believe there should be general respect and civility for the Office of the President.

People, it should never be okay for any of us to be rude! What are we teaching our children when we allow them to think that as adults we are incapable of practicing self-control? That we are unable to disagree with a person and/or their thoughts without disrespecting them as another human being?

I don’t agree with everything that this President does, that my Members of Congress do, that my husband does, that my children do…heck, I don’t always agree with everything that I do but none of that means it is okay to not acknowledge any and all of the above as wonderful human beings created in the image of God. To quote our President (which he is unless you plan to give up your citizenship and move)….

I still believe we can replace acrimony with civility, and gridlock with progress. I still believe we can do great things, and that here and now we will meet history’s test.

Let’s put on our big boy and girl undies and act like we have some sense!

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