The Only Thing We Have To Fear

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Is fear itself .   That quote was made famous by our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, more than a half century ago.   It still is heralded as one of the monumental statements of modern day politics.  A close look at the state of the world today would serve as a reasonable catalyst to have us use it with more frequency. 

Surely as the Earth’s population grows, so do the complexities of everyday living.  Unfortunately, in many instances, diversity is met with suspicion, distrust and, yes, often times fear.   As our ethnic, religious, political and economic boundaries continuously mesh, we tend to cling more to what we know rather than open ourselves up to learn more.  When we can sensibly conclude that whether we profess to be Christians or Jews, born of Nordic or Sub Saharan parents and are diametrically opposed on every matter that our representatives stand for, we all also have undeniable commonalities.  

The more we attune ourselves to this fact, the less fear will play a part in our growth.  Some of you, depending on what your birth certificate indicates, will recall a telephone company ad campaign that used the memorable slogan, “Reach out and touch someone”.  Well, we need to do more of just that.  Not by using our credit card to place a call, but by using our stored up kindness and offering it to a Republican or a Democrat; a Muslim or a Buddhist; a businessman or a farmer; an Ethiopian or a Korean.   We need to extricate our pent up anxieties and replace them with well- intended assurances. 

Let’s face it, the world is getting smaller as we become more enjoined with others.  There’s no stopping that.  Simply put, adjustments have to be made.  There will always be a few that will want to play dirty and arouse the worst in people.  These are the nay sayers to peace and good will.   They thrive on the maligned concept that what or who you don’t know is bad for you.  Rubbish!  Just as when we were children, the “boogey man” was always in the dark and he was always gone when we turned the light on.


That Wonderful Word Reform

November 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog

Remember working with clay? You took a big lump of the stuff and squeezed it and shaped it and molded it. If you were good, and I wasn’t, you ended up with something that looked like a pot, or maybe the head of a person you knew, or a log cabin. I ended up with something that looked a lot like what it started as, a lump. It remained un-formed. I couldn’t re-form it.

However, I was an untalented kid. I wasn’t some respected candidate for the United States legislature who promised to take the lump that was Healthcare in the United States and re-form it.

If I was, I would be expected to take the lump and form it into something that would guarantee that every American, regardless of whether he was sick or well, rich or poor, young or old, working or out of work, living in the north, south, east or west, needing healthcare at home or away from home, could get the best health care result that was available.

No I’m not naïve. I am well aware of the political pulls that motivate legislators and I know that a bill that doesn’t pass Congress is no bill, but I also know that if I promised to do something when I was elected and I didn’t do it, I would grab a cab to Union Station or Reagan International, get a ticket and go home and stay there.

Does it hurt more to be in pain or to watch someone you love suffer pain? I think watching is the greatest pain. The frustration and rage of being victim of a system that offers no help when that help could be available is incomparable.

So here is my message. There are priorities. Maybe the tax laws are unfair and they should be re-formed. Maybe the government of Afghanistan is corrupt and we should use our money and our efforts to re-form it. Maybe our financial structure needs more regulation and we should take the regulators and the regulations themselves and re-form them.

But of all the things that have to be re-formed, the one that affects the most people in the direst way is the health care delivery system.

Unless they go home and never come back, no legislator should go home from Washington for vacation until they take care of this. No one should carve a turkey or open a Christmas present if their job was to re-form the lump that was the American health care system so that it serves us all the way it should.

Come on guys, I know Christmas is still a bit away, but this is one piece of clay you should shape and bake and wrap so we can put it under our tree.  That’s what you promised us, isn’t it?