I just don't.
The fact is that, aside from weekly viewings of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, I try to stay as far away from the realm of politics as I possibly can.
It is unpleasant.
It is polarizing.
It is REALLY difficult to discuss, and adamantly disagree with someone about, while keeping a relationship with that person intact.
So I have a personal policy of just keeping my nose out of it.
. . .
Unfortunately. . . there are times when that becomes impossible. Throughout history, I'm sure there have been people who just wanted to stay out of it. People who felt that they didn't have a dog in the fight. But there comes a point where silence becomes equal to cowardice. There comes a point when silence does damage.
I don't know if we're there yet, but I'm not willing to risk it.
So with that thought in mind. . . I have a couple things to say about:
The government shutdown/Obamacare.
First off, I'm just going to admit that I find this all very baffling. I don't know a great deal about politics, and (like many people) I haven't read every scrap of information about Obamacare.
But that does not seem to hold true for everyone I know. Everyone has an opinion about it, and that's fine. That's how the world is supposed to work.
But there are just a couple of things that I don't understand. . . and unfortunately, they mostly have to do with religion, and partisan politics.
Our country has drawn a line in the sand straight down party lines, and nobody is happy. Lots of people are terrified. Lots of people are mad. And, as I have mentioned, I do not know all the ins and outs of the ACA, I'm no political analyst, and I don't spend my days debating politics online (I'm looking at you, Michael).
What I DO know is that there are people in our country without health care. We can all agree on THAT, right?
There are people that work hard, are law-abiding citizens and have families that they are trying to support, and they CANNOT AFFORD HEALTH CARE.
I have been there, and I know what it feels like, so I'll tell you firsthand: It feels really shitty.
It feels terrifying. (And this was before I had a child. I'm sure that ups the ante quite a bit.)
Constantly being aware that you are one car accident, or one illness, away from being financially ruined. . . FOREVER . . . it's a lot of pressure, and it's terrifying.We are the United States of America.
We are a major world power. We are proud, we are strong, we are capable, and we are pretty proud about referring to ourselves as a "Christian" nation. AND THE FACT THAT ANY OF OUR CITIZENS ARE GOING WITHOUT HEALTH CARE IS SHAMEFUL.
IT IS DISGUSTING.
It is a CRIME.
THESE ARE OUR PEOPLE, AND THEY ARE GOING WITHOUT, AND IF YOU ARE NOT PISSED OFF AND UPSET ABOUT IT THEN SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH YOU.
I'm not saying that the ACA is perfect. As a matter of fact, I'm QUITE sure that it's not.
BUT WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.
I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS WHERE YOU STAND POLITICALLY. I just don't.
I DON'T GIVE A RAT'S ASS WHAT YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ARE, EITHER. Because as far as I can tell, they aren't helping any body right now.
The other day as I was looking for a Halloween costume, I actually HEARD SOMEONE SAY something to the affect of "People should just get a better job and they'd GET health care. I don't care where they find it, but I'M NOT PAYING FOR IT."
I've seen the same sorts of comments online, and I'm just stating facts when I say that they are mostly from people that I would call "very religious."
So I starting really looking at people on social media sites, and I became more confused. Felt more baffled.
Because everywhere I looked, it seemed to be the conservative Christians making the biggest stink about this. They seemed to be the group that appeared to be the MOST upset.
. . .WHY IS THAT?
. . . Are you afraid that you're going to have to pay too much? I guess that would be a reasonable fear. Are you afraid that your family is going to suffer as a result? (Because being afraid of THAT, maybe, I could understand.)
Have you forgotten that you've been COMMANDED to care for the poor and the needy?
IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE NON-NEGOTIABLE.
Oh, do you work hard for you family? You think everyone else should, too?
So do I.
But some folks can't. Some folks are too old, some are too young, and some are too sick.
THOSE ARE THE FOLKS THAT WE TAKE CARE OF. BECAUSE THEY ARE OUR PEOPLE, AND BECAUSE THEY DESERVE IT, AND BECAUSE WE ARE GOOD PEOPLE, AND THAT'S WHAT GOOD PEOPLE DO.
We have needed health care reform in this country for a LONG time.
Don't like the system that's being put in place? Fine.
Change it. Amend it. FIX IT.BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T JUST SIT THERE AND TAKE THIS ATTITUDE OF "I'M NOT PAYING FOR IT/ I DIDN'T VOTE FOR IT."
You want to take a side on this issue? Then how about we forget what the red folks are saying, and forget what the blue folks are saying, and just REFUSE TO LET ANYONE SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF US TO THE POINT THAT WE LOSE OUR CAPACITY FOR REASON, AND MAYBE TAKE THE SIDE OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SICK AND NEED SOME FREAKING HELP.
So I've probably lost some friends with these opinions. . . and I don't even care. I'm not calling anyone stupid, and I'm not berating anyone for what they think.
But there seems to be a disconnect regarding this issue, and my attitude is this:
People find out that they are sick, and instead of their first thought being "Am I going to survive this? Am I going to see my child grow up?", their first thought is "How am I going to pay for this?"
We're acting like we're on teams, and if "our" team lost then we're pissed off and pitching a fit.
GROW THE EFF UP.
If this helps ONE FAMILY keep a loved one, or eases the burden on someone in times of life and death, if it offers care for someone who would not have had it. . . honestly, I fail to see what the problem is.
So let's iron out the details. I'm all for it.
In the meantime, there are people that are sick and dying.
. . . if we're not here to HELP those people, the people that NEED IT. . . then exactly WHAT THE HELL ARE WE HERE FOR??