Why Politics Is Making the US Ill

By on February 21, 2012

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Recent conversations lately have centered around politics, the Post, and health care. Many are sick of this election already and wish it were over. Even political junkies bemoan the lamentable nature of the current contest. The PAC ads playing in many states have been pretty nauseating, no matter where your sympathies lie. Wealthy contributors seem to have acquired free and frequent speech over everybody else. The news media turns every hiccup into a hot news story

The Republicans have been slow to realize they don’t have a viable candidate for the general election, but more people are getting it. The question is whether they have one waiting in a closet somewhere to spring on the convention. Mr. Santorum is mixing religion and politics like it was a cocktail. Now the momentum candidate, he keeps running off at the mouth in a way that gets him into trouble. Supporters of the hapless Romney keeps pouring more and more money into his PACs and campaign like that will fix his lack of appeal. Gingrich has disappeared into the mud he came from. Ron Paul is Ron Paul, a libertarian with a small but loyal band of merry men. The Reverend Franklin Graham was on TV this morning letting people know Mormons are not Christians, and that Obama lacks commitment on things that matter to Christian leadership.

Health Care, as it has entered the dialog, still boils down to a loud pledge from the GOP to repeal ObamaCare, as though that will solve everything. Democrats nitpick Republican foibles and point out the appealing features of the reform bill, like no denials for pre-existing conditions. The warmed-over Wallace-ites in the Tea Party seem back in control of the GOP. Their recent forays into contraception and women’s conceptive rights have caused voters to dig into their current positions. No one is being persuaded about anything here. It’s just giving Americans a headache.

Mr. Obama has shrewdly let the GOP call the tunes. The economy improves. His foreign policy record seems solid. He is running around campaigning. He mentions health care only to remind voters of the consequences of the more extreme Republican proposals the media is tuning into.  Voters are waiting to hear what’s next if the President returns to the White House. That wait may be long. Since the GOP tunes have lately not got voters up and dancing, Boehner and McConnell have been notably silent. I guess we should be grateful for that, since they had nothing new to offer in 2011.

Meanwhile outside the District of Columbia, more people are filing more bankruptcies because of medical bills. More Americans are turning up in Emergency Rooms for routine care they cannot afford. Preventative being ignored because of cost issues. Job benefits are further slashed. The GOP attack on public workers’ benefits continues, only slowed by the messes created by impulsive governors in Ohio and Wisconsin who misread their mandates. The public did not want to strip their mail carrier or the cop on the beat of medical care. They wanted fairness. What were these bozos thinking?

American Voter

Voters who are being made ill by the 2012 election already  need to speak up and write those up for election this fall. They should tell them what is really on their minds, so the candidates don’t have to keep presuming they know.  Voters should let them know that wretched behavior on the campaign trail will not be rewarded, and bashing their opponents does not make them competent. They should let politicians know that focusing on the pet of issues of mega-contributors will be noticed, and it will have a down side at the polls. No more bridges to Nowhere, Alaska.

Democrats also need to be reminded that they will not be allowed to skate through to victory because of GOP folly. They need a plan of action for the future. No sitting on laurels. That plan should address rising health care costs and our job-linked health care coverage system which is breaking down. It should address tax reform and rebuilding rusted infrastructure efficiently. No feather-bedding and hanky-panky with pension funds.  

Otherwise we can expect more of what we are seeing through election day and beyond: Headache, nausea, hiccups, bad taste in the mouth and general malaise. There’s no cure for that, unless the patient (that’s you) cooperates.


Tom Godfrey

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