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.
10 thoughts on “Take a deep breath, America.”
Very well expressed point of view.
Very sad that it’s a rarer one these days, and that those with the loudest voices are the worst offenders.
I find some of the rhetoric on both sides, truly scary!
I frequently get disillusioned with our political system but I still run to the polls at every election and remind myself we are a democracy. As you stated, we are one team with different views.
I find myself surprisingly heartened by the fact that the Justices did not all vote as predicted. Perhaps the system is still salvageable!
Interesting post. I often find myself shouting at the television when the politicians are doing their thing over here. It’s hard to see that we really are one team and I get so depressed that it seems to be more about scoring points than making things better for all of us.
I have never seen such out of control lying on the part of politicians, ever, nor have I ever heard so much ramping up and stoking of fear and anger. Someone benefits from our divisiveness, but it isn’t’ the average person. I am very, very sad and scared for my country. Make that, “for my countrymen”.
Wise thoughts, beautifully expressed.
Thank you. I kind of scared myself with my reaction this morning. What are thinking? As I listen right now to the politicians talking about the Holder decision, I am even more convinced that the best thing we can do is to learn to ignore them all.
One of the biggest problems we have in our democracy is a political environment of politicians who just simply will not tell the truth. It leaves the burden up to citizens to seek it out. In the case of the ACA, there were huge and small lies, distortions and fear mongering from those opposed to it. I wish we could rely on mainstream media to point out those lies, but they just repeat them to the ignorant masses who find it easier to swallow the koolaid delivered by their “side.” We need a much more informed electorate who can start demanding an end to the lies on both sides.
I agree with you on all counts! I just find it mindboggling to listen to Eric Kantor when he says, “Now people will have to give up the health insurance that they have and switch to a government plan.” WTF?
They just sort of make stuff up as they go along!