Tag Archives: compromise
What we’re losing without noticing.
Civility. Compromise. Discussion.
Remember them? Me too. I feel as if I’ve been a witness to their destruction at the hands of Stridency, Volume, and Exclusion.
Consider the news this week. A man with Parkinson’s disease, engaged in the simple act of letting his opinion in the face a of anti-health care reform protest – shouted at, mocked, humiliated. Was he hit or injured? No. Can you say you didn’t believe it was about to happen the first time you saw that video? Me neither. I feared for him and admire his bravery.
Where was the voice of reason in that crowd? I’d like to think I live in a nation where people are not afraid to protect those who need it, regardless of their political stripe. Yet none of the bystanders raised a hand to stop what was going on. “This is wrong, brother. I don’t agree with him either, but this is wrong.” That is all it would have taken. It didn’t happen.
This morning’s news is that Congressmen in favor of health care reform were spat upon and called hateful names that dredge up shameful portions of our nation’s history. What has become of us when men who are responding to the voices of their constituents can be humiliated for doing their job?
An important principle of our nation gives us all a voice. We’re all blessed by that principle. I’m not sure that principle doesn’t imply that we use that voice responsibly. Who in that crowd on Capitol Hill yesterday said “this is wrong brother. I don’t agree with them either, but this is wrong”?
On social media sites, opinions on health care are often met with strident opposing responses that come across as dismissive of opinions other than what the responder holds. Friends and families become estranged because the political atmosphere calls for not only rejection of opposing opinions, but shaming those who hold them.
My son will vote in his first election in November. After seeing the tone of arguments made on-line by admired friends and family, he has made the choice to speak only with his vote on political matters. I’m proud he’ll stay engaged in the process, but saddened that the tone of discussion these days is driving his voice, and probably others, into silence.
This is wrong, brother. We don’t agree, that’s our right, but this atmosphere is wrong.
Filed under Diplomacy, Ethics, hate groups, Life Lessons
Wednesday, 11/18/09, Public Square
What makes a friend worthy of the name?
Not asking you to place the friendship before your principles. A true friend won’t ask you to compromise your principles in the name of your friendship or anything else. Ever.
A good influence. A true friend inspires you to live up to your best potential, not to indulge your basest drives.
What do you bloggers think makes a friend? History? Common values? Common interests? Is it true you need to be the friend you want to have? How important is friendship?
Filed under The Public Square
Chill, health-care reform is still on
I’ve found myself anxious and maybe even a little depressed over the health-care reform debate recently. I found this article that is titled, “Take a Chill Pill,” and it worked to calm me down just like the author intended. Now I know all I really need to do for now is make sure Brownback, Roberts and Tiahrt know reform is needed, and expected. I can do that. I can do that often. I can encourage my friends, neighbors and relatives to do that too. Read this article, it’s like taking a chill pill. From a place of reason will come reason.
Whatever your leanings, if (like me) you’re hoping for some kind of major health reform this year, the crucial text at this juncture is from Schoolhouse Rock—where that famous old ditty, “I’m Just A Bill,” lays out how a bill becomes a law. We’re at the point in the process where this is literally all that matters. For health reform to happen this year, something has to pass the House, and something has to pass the Senate. It doesn’t matter exactly what those somethings are, or how offensive big chunks of those somethings may be to some of us. Never forget that when the Clintons convulsed the country over health care in 1993 and 1994, these simple Schoolhouse Rock steps never came close to happening. For all the drama back then, nothing came to a vote.
Only after something passes the House and the Senate will the real work begin. The conference committee to hammer out a final, identical bill will be the mother of all summits. That’s where President Obama must weigh in heavily to shape and then sell the outcome. Contrary to all the carping, what he and the White House do before then on the specifics of the legislation doesn’t much matter. The White House’s only job until we get to conference is to shape the climate of opinion with one simple end in mind. Legislators need to get the message that their constituents want “change” on health care, and will punish them for supporting the status quo. The White House’s mission is to be sure that enough legislators feel they cannot safely oppose Obama’s definition of “change.” That’s it.
Filed under Healthcare
Thursday, 08/06/09, Public Square
At least we can think, and figure out compromises!
Is there any topic you especially want to disucss today?
Filed under The Public Square