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.

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