I have been on pins and needles all night, and all of this morning, awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on the United States’ new Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare”. I was scared on a few levels: one of my kids would have lost his health insurance if the whole law was overturned, a very upsetting thought for a Mammbear like me.
But if you have read this blog at all, you know that I am also a very liberal thinker, politically speaking. I think that this law is a baby step in the right direction, toward a country where everyone is guaranteed basic protections like the opportunity to have the best possible healthcare.
But this blog is not about the law, or about the decision per se. This blog is an expression of fear about what will come next. It is a plea to those who are upset by this decision, and to those who are happy about it.
Please, everyone, let’s just take a deep breath.
As the decision was coming down, CNN goofed (hah. Why am I not surprised?) and reported that the key provision of the law, the individual mandate, had been overturned. I reacted with deep frustration….OK, scratch that. I was enraged! I burst into tears. My heart was pounding and I yelled out some very colorful words toward the court. I wanted to smack someone.
Then it became clear that, contrary to what I thought, the entire law was upheld. My “team” won.
As I calmed down and started to scroll through blogposts, tweets, FB posts and online reporting, I was struck by the intense and truly violent rhetoric on both sides. I have read references to “your fascist tyranny”, “the end of America”, calls for “revolution”, declarations about “the death of the conservative dream”. Gulp.
I get it, I do! Remember, I reacted with the exact same violent rage when I thought the “other side” had triumphed.
I’m an overweight, middle aged teacher, for goodness sake! Why did I feel like the evil forces of darkness were attacking me and mine? Why are political decisions taken so personally by so many of us?
Maybe its time to stop thinking in terms of our “teams”. Maybe its time to let go, at least a little bit, of the “us” vs. “them” mentality. Maybe its time for Americans to slow down, take a deep breath, and ignore the bullshit that the politicians keep feeding us.
THEY are the ones who stand to benefit when we are at each other’s throats. THEY are the ones who live or die by the success of their “teams”. WE will prosper when we work together. WE, the people, will thrive when we listen to each other. WE are actually on the same team.
We need to remember that the differences between us really amount to different opinions about how to make things better for everybody. Our goals are the same; we just have different thoughts about how to achieve them. We need to remember that the people who are running for office have no desire to be truthful with us; their only desire is to convince us to pick their side in the next election.
Its time for us to remember that the Civil War was the bloodiest, most costly, most horrific event in US history. Whether or not we all buy health insurance is no reason for us to be thinking about doing it again.
Postscript: I have taken quotes from some blogs and tweets, but I refuse to attribute them to anyone. I will not fan the flames or shine a light on any of the crazies.