Trust Me On This One
These last few weeks, I’ve been watching the debate on health care and the involvement that many have on this issue. And this last week, I’ve listened to people’s concerns to a sitting president speaking to a nation of students on the importance of education.
I can understand, to some degree, why there may be opposition to a national health care system run by the government. Perhaps those who don’t want it already have great coverage and are fearful of losing it. And there may be some who don’t want their tax dollars going to care for others. And yet there are others that do not want government in the health care business [hint: they already are with Medicare], hoping for less government in their lives. If someone has valid concerns about this heated and sensitive subject, they should feel free to voice them in a civilized and professional manner.
However, I admit that I am very perplexed on why people are opposed to a president encouraging our nation’s children to continue their education for any reason other than they dislike and don’t trust the man. Equating President Obama to a dictator who ordered millions killed or some pedophile on the street offering candy to minors is a huge stretch of the imagination, unless of course you really hate and despise Mr. Obama and everything about him, then I could see how such comparisons are made. Denying which people are allowed to encourage your children is every parents right, especially if you really do believe that someone may be subliminally communicating a message that is against your wishes.
Giving your health care needs to another entity can produce some concerns for many. It may seem that people want more control in what doctor they go to, what kind of coverage they have, if they can get the type of care they need and getting the proper treatment for any serious ailments they contract.
Same with the trust you place in others to educate your children. You want them growing up to be healthy, wise and intelligent members of society, endeared with your ideals, your thoughts, your teachings and your beliefs. Giving control to others that provide insight to them is the unknown that causes concern. As a fellow parent, I understand that. But at some point, they grow up. Throughout their lives, they find mentors, teachers, leaders, clergy, friends, other parents, relatives and yes, even elected officials, that will influence them in various ways. Parents will instill a good set of rules, but as intelligent carbon-based life forms, these kids will seek out the advice of many, not just from their parent(s) or anyone else their parents liked or approved of.
And yes, I do see why parents are in an uproar about a speech from a President. It’s advice from someone they don’t like or trust. And no amount of logic or reason will change their minds: they simply don’t want their kids to hear what he has to say, even if it’s in line with what said parents believe and have already taught to their children.
I smell a heavy dose of hypocrisy here.
For health care, you are already trusting others to make decisions about your medical needs. You trust the company you work for that they will provide decent coverage so when you go to the doctor – who you are also trusting – to make a sound decision on what type of care, drug or procedure that is prescribed. Those kinds of coverage and decisions change, sometimes yearly. The rise in health care costs changes the type of coverage you get over time. Most, if not all of these changes, are out of our control.
The same hypocritical logic can be applied to who educates or advises your children. If you don’t trust a sitting President to offer sound advise, what about others like a priest or a member of the clergy? Perhaps you know them in person and can better judge their motives. Or you simply just like them because you don’t disagree with them on many levels.
So what does it take to trust an elected leader? For former President Bush, his reading of “My Pet Goat” to a classroom of elementary-aged students didn’t produce the same kind of uproar Obama is getting. His goal of promoting reading was positive. But isn’t encouraging kids to stay in school just as positive?
I was a vocal opponent of George W Bush as our nation’s president and his policies. But if he would have offered a health care solution, I would listen to his proposed solutions. If he would have hosted a national speech to students to encourage continued education, I would want my child to listen. Disagreeing with what he did in office didn’t mean he wasn’t capable of offering positive advise.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be covered by a health care plan. In fact, there are 47 million in this country that aren’t. There are even more that are covered, but not quite as well as what their needs require. And while anyone, for a price, can currently buy their own coverage [pre-existing conditions permitting], it’s not always the most affordable option.
With regards to education, I don’t think there is any parent that doesn’t want their child to excel in the classroom. But given a speech of advise from someone the parent doesn’t already like or trust, then any positive message from that individual will simply be rejected.
Until we can stop the series of dividing ourselves over political parties, race, religious beliefs and hatred, we will continue to see the public rejection of forward thinking and positive changes and messages in this country.
No one is asking you to agree with everything our elected leaders propose. Just to voice your concerns and offer up alternative solutions that benefit more than just yourself.
And no one is asking you to support every word that comes from the mouth of an elected official. Just to be open to the fact that children can learn something positive from someone you may personally disagree with.
No one questions what their church group is telling their children. Or what the teachers are normally teaching. And what about how much wonderful information children are learning by riding a school bus?? And hello—-the television?? That thing spouts out bullshit all the time! But if a legally elected official in the highest office of our entire government wants to say, “hey, stay in school you little whippersnappers!” -that is crossing a line?? Give me a break!
I wanted to copy this and call it my own – instead, I just mentioned it and linked to it in my blog. You can expect millions of readers (or maybe just one) to head this way now. You’re welcome.
I really didn’t pay much attention to this issue last week, but I happened to catch a bit about it this morning. I don’t think I disagree with anything you’ve said, but I’ve started to look at some of the various recent issues from a new perspective.
Start with the premise that you think the Democratic party in general, and President Obama specifically, have a fundamental goal of converting The United States to a Socialist state. It doesn’t matter if its true or if there’s any evidence in support of it, just start with that premise. Now, any statement made or action taken will be colored by that perspective. It’s actually quite easy to see how almost anything could be considered to be advancing that agenda.
Take today’s Presidential address to our students. Why was it necessary to interrupt the school day and have the President speak directly to the (in some school districts, captive) student audience? Sure, you and I see this as a perfectly reasonable, potentially educational, and certainly memorable activity. But from the perspective described above, it can clearly be seen as another step forward toward government control.
On a related topic, I’ve seen or heard several recent comparisons between services currently provided by local government and proposals for services to be provided by the federal government (or, if not directly provided, at least orchestrated). It seems that some people consider these to be the same thing. If we already have government run police, fire fighting, schools, etc., why should we be so resistant to national health care? Regardless of whether or not national health care is a good idea, it is distinctly different from a local service. In theory, we *should* trust our local governments more, as we have a great deal more power to change them. In practice, I’m not sure it really works out that way, but that’s an entirely different topic.
I completely agree with everything you’ve said – 100%.
You fricking rocking, Mr. Mankins!!
Well written piece. And I also agree with your assessment. Howard Stern had an interesting take on it.
I totally agree with every word but feel it necessary to cite two of my favorite people…
It is this week, evident that the greatest threat to the nation is not terrorism nor the economy nor H1N1 nor even bad health care. It is rank, willful stupidity. When did we come to extol stupidity ahead of information, and rely on voo-doo, superstition, and prejudice ahead of education?
-Keith Olbermann September 10, 2009 Special Comment
…I would never put anything past this stupid country…This country just gets dumber and dumber by the day.
-Bill Maher; The Situation Room w/Wolf Blitzer July 27, 2009
Thank you for saying so eloquently what I tried to type but couldn’t. There is hope for us yet.
I saw a clip somewhere of (I think it was of Rachel Maddow’s show) newsfolk referring to Obama’s speech as “unprecedented” and “historical in the sense it was unprecedented” meshed with a clip of Reagan addressing school children.
I read a blurb where one of the Florida Republicans said he didn’t want his kids listening to Obama. When asked what he thought of Reagan’s address to school children the guy said that as he recalled, Reagan’s address was more about staying off drugs. It wasn’t … it was pretty political in nature.
We all need to chill out a bit and make decisions based on facts and not fears.
(I think Joe Wilson was out of line — and incorrect — but he did apologize, and the Dems need to back off a bit; it makes us look petty. I liked Keith O’s bit that covered Bush’s lies and the fact none of the Dems saw fit to scream “liar” at him in public… it was good to have W’s mistruths all strung together one after the other.)
For my kids, I actually encourage them to hear what everyone has to say. Especially if it is someone I disagree with. Then we can talk and have a real conversation about beliefs. How can anyone learn to process their own thoughts and become their own person if they never hear anyone say different things? If you shelter your children and only let them ever hear one view of things, what will happen when they are eventually out in the world on their own? I think a lot of times that is how things get so messed up. People need to listen to each other, even if they think they disagree, because only then can anything ever be fixed or made better. We tell our kids to disagree maturely and work things out but then we model it completely differently by fighting and being all judgemental. I guess because I feel this way I can’t even understand why anyone would mind if the president talks to their children. Most of the kids probably aren’t listening anyway…at least at my kids’ school when they showed it at least half the kids were passing notes and quietly talking like kids do when “movies” are playing.
kaylen – Thanks for the linkage and the comment.
ren – You make a really good point in your last paragraph. There’s some trust issues that I have, but for the most part, I trust enough of our government to do the right thing and take care of things. I’m not about having more government, but at that same time, when there are people that need care and can’t get it, then there should be other options for them, even if that’s a government provided option.
sybil law – Thank you. Appreciate that.
kevin – I listened to that sound byte on Howard’s opinion. Very interesting take.
alex – Those two quotes are great and from two different people I like and respect, too.
robin – You are most welcome.
delmer – Yes, funny how it depends on the president speaking and why it was ok, but not for our current president.
As Alex mentioned above, the Keith O. commentary was well done.
tori – I like how you think and how you are raising your children. And of course, differences of opinion should be discussed and not shoved under the rug.
Hahaha….I picked a good time to stop in and say “hi” didn’t I? LOL Due to our political truce, I’ll just skip the post and leave my hello anyway. Hello! *hug*
blondeblogger – Ha ha.. One of the few times I actually post something political, too. Hello… and hugs back. BTW, if you are looking for a non-political post of mine to read, I recommend this one: