Category Archives: health care

First Thoughts on the Trump Era

My first directly political comments this year:
Dear Congress, I am praying for you tonight. Please do your job and pass legislation.
Republicans, reach across the aisle with principled compromise and proximate justice.
Democrats, please do not let hatred for President Trump keep you from your stewardship. Stop posturing and start serving. It is possible that:
Healthcare can be refined without millions losing coverage.
Our military can be strengthened without the poor marginalized.
Our veterans deserve better.
The EPA can protect our lands without overreaching militancy.
All aspects of government can improve efficiency.

You do not need to wait for all your cues from the White House or the media. Show some courage and make some friends across the aisle.

Lord, bless all public servants with an unselfish disposition and a vision for the common good that yields fruitful work and public trust.
Amen.

It’s Complicated

The Ukraine and Russian imperial aims.
Syria: who are the “good” and “bad” guys?
Israel and a two-state solution: Is “recognition” of Israel necessary?
Immigration: cheap labor or cheap votes?

Welfare and food stamps: who “deserves” help?
“Affordable” Health Care: someone pays.
Immigration: How do we remain hospitable and make citizenship and the rule of law meaningful?
What moral values will we enforce in a civil society?
Religious convictions and conversions: are affirmations of truth now “intolerance?”

It’s complicated being thoughtful.

It’s easy to shout and smear.

For our future I hope civil and principled discussion will take place and reasonable ideas prevail.

The alternative is anarchy and new totalitarianism.

Let’s choose thoughtfulness.

 

Surreal Subversion

American and Western European histories are filled with moral and social conflict and political battles. For the past three centuries, the trajectory toward human liberty and economic opportunity has been positive, with serious battles against totalitarianism in the 19th and 20th centuries. Coalitions of Center, Left and Right in Europe and lots of “horse-trading” in the USA have ensured relative stability for millions of people.

This stability depends upon four critical factors: consensual personal and social morality, human liberty, economic opportunity and the rule of law. These elements are interdependent and indispensable for human flourishing.

Our very civilization, built on these foundations, is threatened by the ideologues in power in Washington, D.C. (And by extension, Sacramento, CA)

I am normally optimistic, looking for the best in people, even those I disagree with. What is happening right now is the culmination of a century of subversion inaugurated by Woodrow Wilson, accelerated (with often noble intent) by FDR, turbo-charged by LBJ’s Great Society and mostly unopposed by even the Republicans designated as conservatives. The past five years, however, are fraught with exponential change that is subversive of the values enumerated above and enshrined in the Constitution.

I do not believe we can dismantle 100 years of structural change overnight…nor should we. What we must do is understand the times we live in and recognize the seriousness of our situation. All people of conscience, regardless of particular policy perspectives, must unite to stem the flood waters of self-destruction and turn the tide toward a preferred future.

Our current President and Administration are not content with adjustments that ease economic pain, build infrastructure and ensure opportunity. They are after forcible redistribution of wealth and the creation of a permanent working underclass that will vote for more largess from the federal trough. In addition to runaway spending, totalitarian control over health care and education and deliberate anarchy on immigration, they are undermining the four foundations mentioned above in the following ways:

The personal and social mores of hundreds of years are willfully discarded for “evolved” thinking of marriage and family, sexual license and special accommodation to Islamicists that despise everything the West stands for.

Human liberty – including freedom of conscience and worship, assembly and speech and redress to the government – is being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness and incipient totalitarian control over families and individuals. When people of goodwill cannot comment on marriage and morality, critique another religion or worldview (except Christianity) and are told that their most cherished values are subservient to state interests, we no longer have a functioning Constitution.

Economic opportunity is threatened by a militaristic environmentalism rooted in debatable science, excessive regulation and utter disdain for entrepreneurship that does not spout the correct social cliches. It is interesting that class envy is used to increase government control while major corporate donors pay little in taxes and garner contracts with public money.

Finally, the rule of law. Or should we say, lawlessness. Everywhere the current party is in power, crime grows, economies decline and social unrest is at an all-time high. Any suggestion of smaller budget increases or greater efficiencies in social programs are greeted with howls that millions will starve. Immigration reform is a joke. Millions will be pardoned for breaking the law. Instead of deporting felons, enforcing borders and crafting pathways to citizenship that continue our grand values, we are opening the floodgates for cheap labor and cheap votes.

We have a small window of opportunity to change this pathway to oblivion. It will require moral courage, spiritual awakening and wisdom to meet the needs of many types of people. It will also require Congressional and Presidential leadership willing to debate civilly and seriously and forge policies that represent all Americans.

Surreal artists distort reality and provoke reactions with exaggerated forms. The people in power are doing the same with their histrionics and propaganda. Their refusal to debate, stubborness in the face of many concerns and fiat-wielding power speak for themselves. They have a distorted narrative, an exaggerated sense of their own superiority and utter disdain for all that are less “enlightened.” It is time to compel them to get real jobs by voting in women and men of integrity that take the Constitution seriously.