Look, I understand the reason for mixed emotions regarding Obama - I have reservations myself. However, recently I find myself more in support merely because the opposition, which could easily be mounted on substantial content, has chosen instead to focus on hysterics and emotional espionage.
Let me make something clear, because my particular brand of dry sarcasm doesn't always translate well on blogs and facebook. I am not trying to convince people to become Obama supporters. I am not saying that I agree with all of his policies. There are plenty of legitimate complaints and concerns - let's focus on them instead of shouting down Town Hall Meetings, and declaring every word someone says as Socialist. My concern is with the way we handle these important conversations, not that everyone agree with one party or the other. I think healthy skepticism is a good thing. I think that those who blindly love everything Obama does because he is (or was) a bit of rock-star, is dangerous and ill-advised. But blanket fear and rejection of everything he even plans to do is just as foolish.
I've already noted the ridiculous email forwards going around. I've gotten frustrated by the conversation about health care reform: there are nearly 50 million uninsured people in this country, something needs to happen. If we don't like the proposal, okay, let's work to come up with something better. But unfortunately many of us are missing the subtle ploy by insurance and drug companies to make sure we do nothing to change their current gold mine.
I don't really like the idea of government running healthcare...but I think even that would be preferable to large corporations running it as they do now. Government runs the military and school system, and while we all have serious complaints about that, I don't see a lot of protests about how they are socialist. I'm guessing that there are a lot of folks who've called something socialist over the past couple months who don't even know what socialism is.
I even had a guy tell me the other day that Obama's socialist health care reform was responsible for killing a relative of his...
Even if Obama's proposals were socialist they're still floating around DC waiting, not passed and in effect. If you think that the health care system killed your loved one - which it may well have - then that is all the more reason to engage in dialogue about how to reform this incredibly broken system. The current proposals may not be adequate, but we need to do something rather than nothing. So lets actually have the conversation like grown-ups and sort it out. Personally I think a much more important direction to be looking is not private vs government run healthcare, but the whole fee-for-service concept. That aspect of the system is responsible for driving costs up unnecessarily.
And then there's the matter of this silly Presidential address...
I've heard lots of well meaning parents say they're keeping their kids home from school on Tuesday because they don't want them indoctrinated by this socialist propaganda...Come on folks. Calm down.
Does this sound socialist:
(From the White House blog)
At noon on Tuesday, September 8th the President will be welcoming America’s students back to school – after all, sometimes they need a little extra motivation after a glorious summer. The President has spoken often about the responsibility parents have for their children and their education, but in this message he’ll urge students to take personal responsibility for their own education, to set goals, and to not only stay in school but make the most of it.
To help make sure as many school districts, classrooms, and students are able to get this message we have launched a resources page where you can find out almost anything you’d want to know. There’s information on how you can watch it on TV or on the internet, classroom activities that teachers can engage their students in around the speech, even the satellite coordinates for school districts that want to access the feed.
We’ve also put together a couple PSAs to help get the word out, one from the President and one for those students who might find NASCAR drivers a little more exciting than the President:
There is nothing inappropriate about this address -whether you voted for Obama or not. I'm not saying that everyone needs to become a Democrat - I'm not, but then again I'm not a Republican either - and I'm not saying we need to agree with the President's policies. But the President addressing students about staying in school and taking their education seriously - and using contemporary technology to do so...that is not a bad thing. Parents, watch the address yourself and then talk to your kids about it. It might even lead to a good opportunity for you to share your convictions with them while they're actually listening! If we keep our children home from school anytime we think that someone might possibly say something we don't like...
Like it or not there are a lot of at risk teens and even younger kids that see the President as a role model. I know, I know, looking to the President as a role model is the very essence of Socialism. I've even heard that the socialist regime has our school children stand together like a mindless mob and placing their hands over their heart, facing a flag which symbolizes the submission of the individual to the community, force them to repeat an indoctrination mantra of loyalty.
[that is a touch of sarcasm meant to highlight the hypocrisy of our neo-McCarthyism]
I'm laughing right now because the following song is playing as I'm typing this post:
"So let's leave it alone
'Cause we can't eye to eye
There ain't no good guys
There ain't no bad guys
There's only you and me and we just disagree."