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Monday, June 11, 2012

Right? Wrong? Who Knows . . .

It's winding down to the last few months before November and the national election. On the presidential front, everyone is waving their "I'm right" banners. On the state front (where we're supposed to be going broke) the Governor is making gloom and doom predictions if his tax hike (that would give CA almost the highest--if not actually the highest--taxes of any state) doesn't pass. Apparently he's alerted school superintendents that he plans to cut another 15 days out of the school year if the tax initiative fails.

Why is it always schools and libraries and social service programs that get axed? That was a rhetorical question. I know why. It's because kids and the poor and the elderly and the disabled are disenfranchised populations. They tend not to have a voice, so they become low hanging fruit.

 If we don't prioritize education for our youth, we will continue to fall behind the rest of the industrialized world. We're already sitting way back there with our "no kids fail at anything" approach to education. Nope, we just dumb things down so our kids can feel good about themselves. Who cares if they can't add or string four sentences together to make a coherent paragraph. Never mind knowing anything about history or science. I don't fault the teachers. It must be pretty hard to teach a class wherer a bunch of the kids don't speak English and another bunch doesn't have to behave at home, so they're hooligans at school, too. I certainly don't have any answers, but I recognize our public education system is in trouble. It's not going to get better by making the school year shorter.

Backtracking, the whole "I'm right" (which means you must be wrong) ideology is tearing this country apart. We're a nation built on diversity and we've always had disagreements, but the level of acrimony in today's politics is shocking. Before I was a writer, I was a psychotherapist. In fact, I still am. We have lots of experience helping people find common ground and celebrating points of concordance. Looking at the glass as half full and all that. Figuring out how to get along. Strategizing how to work together to make things happen. Our political leaders could use a strong dose of "let's work together for the common good". It would play better than the current, "my way or the highway" approach.

I read a long article about the ramifications if the Supreme Court begins dismantling Obamacare. The closing paragraph mentioned that Congress would have to deal with the fallout if the Court can't. Then it went on to mention that Congress has been getting along so poorly, nothing would happen until next session, if then. Where exactly does that leave "we, the people" in the meantime? In limbo, that's where. And at the mercy of insurance companies who simply love to dump you if you happen to get sick. Happened to us. Kaiser axed my husband about fifteen years ago when he sought care in a different state for an aggravated case of the flu. Axed him and didn't bother to tell us. We found out when we called to see where the premium notice was.

When I look at political rhetoric where elected officials and wannabes are trying to tell me what to think and how I should feel, I woonder what happened to trusting people's innate ability to figure things out for themselves. I don't need someone sitting in Washington D.C. or Sacramento to interpret reality for me. I'm perfectly capable of drawing my own conclusions.

How about some of the rest of you out there? Any feelings about the political landscape you'd like to share?

2 comments:

  1. Excellent post, and I couldn't agree more. Visiting from our Goodreads group.

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    1. Thanks for reading my post, Donna. And for leaving a comment. It seems if enough of us feel this way, there must be some avenue to explore that would actually promulgate change.

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