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As Long as We Remember...

April 1, 2010

Not quite what you’d expect…

Derek Shackelford

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! The sky is falling! That is what some would have us to believe. The problem in this is not in reference to the recent passage of the healthcare law. More on that later. No, this inference of the sky is falling has to do with a recent Harris Poll of Republican attitudes toward President Barack Obama.


Let’s look at some of the survey’s findings. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents polled believe President Obama is a Muslim. Forty percent believe that he is a socialist. Forty-five percent believe that he was not born in this country. The most absurd finding, however – drum roll, please – 24% think he is the Anti-Christ.


Now the debate regarding the socialist idea is fair game because it has to do with policy and how it is formulated. If there can only be a true definition of a socialist and not some word we heard continually repeated without any explanation, then it would be fair to discuss. Do I believe he is a socialist? No! But I was not a respondent in the poll.


What is utterly ridiculous and preposterous is the belief of some in regards to the other categories. It is quite interesting how the president is believed to be a Muslim, as if there would be something wrong with that. Furthermore, he was continually bombarded with questions and inferences about his relationship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.


At last check, the Rev. Wright is still a Christian minister. Trinity United Church of Christ is a Christian church. We like to play both ends against the middle to suit our own fears. The thinking that President Obama is the Anti-Christ is based on what? I will be waiting on the argument or cohesive thought that supports this. And, of course, I will be waiting a long, long time because it is certainly not true.


Whether you like President Obama or not, he was elected by our democratic process. We have a representative form of government. This means that we elect our political leaders and at the end of the day, who the majority elects is the one who governs or legislates.


Now it sometimes appears that because this president is in office, the process is deemed flawed, the Constitution is trampled, and government is way out of control. Well if this is true it happened way before this administration got into office.


Previous administrations have trampled the Constitution and allowed government to grow larger. See any previous administration and whether or not the Constitution has been followed, government expanded to a larger capacity. Unfortunately, government is a monster that has been way out of control and those who are a part of it benefit greatly, while those on the outside are well on the outside.


So many have good intentions in changing how the government functions; but once they are inside they give us the wink and the nod on how they will change it. Then they only benefit from the structures in place to enhance their own personal career or economic fortune.


Some do have the right intentions but, once they get inside the club, they simply learn the rules of the clubhouse. You know they learn how to get around, how to stay in and how to get others in the club as well. This is whether one is Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green Party or Birthday Party. It apparently does not matter. This often has much to do with national politics because local politics are a little easier to engage local elected officials. But the same still holds true in local politics about the clubhouse concept.


Hopefully, as we wade through the details of the Harris poll, we can have an intelligent debate on the recent passage of the healthcare law. There are some great points on both sides of the aisle in regards to the pros and the cons.


Do we need healthcare reform? Why certainly. How we manifest that reform should be at the central of the argument. Should people be without healthcare in this particular day in age? Probably not. Should government be the one to pay for it? Probably not a good idea.


But government has done what government has always done depending upon the ideology of the governing majority. Government, in many instances, has been on the side of the elite, the powerful, and the wealthy. Government in many instances has been on the side of the vulnerable, the weak and the poor. No matter, in each case, whose side is taken, the other side feels wronged.


As November creeps up on the horizon, we will ask for change only again to get the wink and the nod. After all, it is not like we arrived here by magic carpet ride. We only have to look at yesterday and further back to find out how we got where we are.


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