Trying Something Different

>> Monday, March 1, 2010

The more I listen/read what's going on in this country (the US in case you live somewhere less prone to shouting), the more I'm concerned that the focus on what separates us is blinding us to what holds us together. I firmly believe that the people in this country are not as divisive, are not as far apart on many issues as the media, politicians, and those who seek to manipulate us would like us to believe.

I think most of us, in many walks of life, of varying degrees and forms of faith, of different political flavors, of different educational, cultural and geographical backgrounds as well as different social and economical status, still have a great deal in common, other than the fact we are all, more or less, human beings.

I think we generally want others, even strangers to succeed, be happy and prosper. I think most of us don't want others hurt unnecessarily. I think we generally believe we are stronger as a nation than we would be as an anarchy. I suspect we largely (with a few polarizing exceptions) generally want the same thing for this nation, even if we don't all agree on the best way to get there.

I also believe (because, hey, I'm a dreamer) that there isn't just one way to get there. And, in the interest of moving away from divisiveness, I'd like to focus some attention on what we have in common, ways diverse individuals with vastly contrasting viewpoints are moving down the same path, working toward the same goals.

This week, my goal is to showcase an example every day, at least until Saturday. I've already found three.

Today, I'm going to start with my good friend but frequent critic, especially when it comes to politics, Relax Max. Now Max and I have gone round and round on the healthcare debate. There are many points on reform that we just don't agree with each other on. However, it was brought home to me that that's mostly details. The other day, he wrote a post about what we need in healthcare reform. Reading his bulleted list, I realized that, fundamentally, we both wanted exactly the same thing. We just need to figure out a way to get there. And, neither way we envision it is necessarily wrong. In fact, either one is a vast improvement on where we are now.

How do I know this? Because there are dozens of countries with universal healthcare and they run the spectrum from the government owning everything down to the q-tips to having groups of private insurance provide the services that everyone has to have. There's more than one way to get this done. Whether my way is "best" or RM's way is "best," either way (and probably a dozen more) will get us where we need to be. We've just got to get off our butts and do it.

And stop using our differences as an excuse to do nothing when so many of us agree that something needs to be done.


  • Shakespeare

    Great post!

    Perhaps we've taught each other this-- we couldn't be more different, yet we see eye-to-eye on so much... yet differences (not just ours) show up better than all the commonalities.

  • The Mother

    Stephanie, I don't think you're going to get an argument that something needs to be done.

    The problem is that the current administration is just throwing things at the problem, not taking any time to do it right. Back door deals, stupid assumptions, poor figures, and closed doors are not the solution.

    Let's get doctors and economists in a room, give them a few months, and hammer out something that WILL work, without bankrupting the economy.

    Politicians don't understand healthcare, or the economy, apparently. They can't do this right. And if we're going to do it, we should do it right.

  • Stephanie Barr

    My point again. You and I don't necessarily see things the same way on healthcare, but, we agree that the situation, as it is, doesn't work.

    If we can agree on goals, then it's just the details to make it so. Why can't our government do the same?

  • Jeff King

    It could be... haven't really thought about it.

    I hope it all gets work out, I'm not thinking to well today, so i'll pass on getting into details or ideas.

  • Relax Max

    Like The Mother, I think we need to start over. Only this time with experts instead of partisan blowhards. Didn't we months ago say this was going to happen?

  • Stephanie Barr

    You mean the experts that have had more than forty years to make it work? The ones that give us higher costs and less medical care than any other industrialized nation (Based on nearly every objective stat - we're only the best "anecdotally" - which means nothing in the world of science)? That allow people to go bankrupt in order to receive care? Those experts?

    I know I'll be holding my breath. You all had your chance. I'm frustrated with the BS of the last year, but not more so than with the last forty years of being screwed by the system of "experts." If they wanted to do healthcare reform "right", nothing could have stopped them. Heck, if they'd spent the last year doing just that, healthcare reform would have died away. Instead, they kicked the premiums up all over the country so they can squeeze out the last bit of blood.

    No, I think it's past time to look out for the citizens of this country. I hate that too many politicians are bought and paid for, but it's more than clear that the experts you cite have been looking out for number one long enough. We can't trust them to look out for us. We DID trust them and look where we are now.

  • Relax Max

    You're right. The hell with those greedy self-centered experts. Congress is the only one to do this, the only ones with the people's interests close to their hearts.

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