Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Trampled Under Foot

The Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) is due any day now.  No matter which way the Court goes (and from my POV it’s not about how many people like it or hate it – it’s about the constitutionality of the legislation which has already been ruled on by the US Court of Appeals), the Court has already lost much of its public trust.  There’s no surprise in that.  No surprise either that many people believe the justices decide according to partisan politics rather than legal precedents.   We continue to be a country divided in many ways.

We are polarized – each side is entrenched in political “rightness” that says to the other: “I’m right – you’re wrong, and nothing you have to say has any value.”  In our not too distant past people could disagree yet still respect each other AND the opinions others had to offer – in Congress some foes occasionally crossed the aisle to offer non-partisan support on key issues and laws.  Those days are gone.  Imagine important legislation like the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 coming up for a vote today…..back then it passed both the House and Senate with almost 70% of the vote, even though the Congress was split 59/41.  The days of cooperation and shared common goals are so far behind us in the rearview mirror that they feel like they never really happened.

We as a country have lost many of the intangible things that at one time made our country great.  Our history is one written with stories about diverse cultures blending together and shared sacrifices that solved problems, won wars, cured diseases, and achieved greatness – now too many of us spend our time looking over our shoulders in fear, worrying about boogey men hiding in the shadows while we tweat about the Kardashians and J Lo.  Instead of caring about our neighbors we judge them by their ethnicity or religion or political views or sexual orientation.  We define ourselves by our political views and wrap ourselves in those beliefs, and those who don’t fit within that framework because of differences in skin color or ideology or hundreds of other reasons become our enemies.

In many ways we are a morally bankrupt society, and the hope I once had for fixing those problems continues to slide away…..

Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.  The first step in solving problems is recognizing that they even exist. 


  1. Outstanding! I don't have to agree with someone to respect them. There is no 'right' or 'wrong' life is about compromise and supporting each other's diversity, be it racial, political, religious, or just life in general. You want to make chocolate ice cream...I want to make vanilla...lets compromise and make a half a batch of each!