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Friday, February 11, 2011

Don't worry, this Bee-log won't be political in nature if I can help it!

I'm not going to proselytize, my political views work for me, and I live a very unique life. I will say, for the record, that I'm a registered Libertarian, and lately I've had mixed feelings about my party, and American politics in general. As a Libertarian, I've been happy to watch as the party get more acknowledgement and gain a legitimate presence and following in the socio-political brawl of American culture. I am also saddened that a relatively small and mostly logical group of people swelled in numbers and already started a rather extreme splinter group known as the Tea Party. It seems like the focus is a little off our rights and freedoms as citizens and more about the financial side of fighting government shenanigans, but the Tea Party, at it's heart, is still basically a Conservative Libertarian cross section of crazy old rich white folks. Conservative and rich, to me, usually just means they want to protect the lifestyle they've gotten into. That's not inherently a bad thing, and anyone would protect their interests. The problem as I see it is that when big money gets involved in a belief, movement, or set of values... it either it sways the direction of that belief to focus on protecting it's financial assets, or it corrupts the movement completely, giving outside forces cause to tap into it and pervert it. As a platform based on the notion of Liberty, the Constitution, and the importance of the Citizen, I had always hoped the power of the Libertarian agenda would be backed by people, and lots of them. Not superstars, talking heads, and bank accounts.

I was wary of the Tea Party, and most people not actively a member of that group seem to view them as potentially dangerous idealists at best, but I will say this. Even a misguided, misshapen clock can be right twice a day.

Obama(whom I'm actually not particularly against or for) made a big deal of this health care bill. I didn't like it, I don't support it, and even if I benefited from it, I would be against it on principle.

For the less political savvy reader, I'll break it down by spin:

The Good Side Of The Argument:
Healthcare companies will no longer be able to deny anyone healthcare
Yes, this is a good thing, one of the most glaringly immoral facets of our healthcare system will be dealt with

The Bad Side Of The Argument:
You HAVE to pay for healthcare, and they will take money from you if you don't get it, on top of that, by the time the positive effects for people with pre-existing conditions comes into effect, people will have already suffered and died from those ailments. The ones who survive still have to deal with the fact that their premiums are most likely going to be sky high. 

I'm fucking poor. I don't mean I have to turn off my plasma TV at night, clean my own pool, and cut coupons to make sure I have a good retirement... I'm a 27 year old father and I haven't made more than $12,000 in a year since I started working when I was seventeen. When I say I'm poor... I mean I don't have a car, and when I did, I could rarely pay insurance and my other bills. I'v been able to survive, have a roof over my head, and take care of my son through the grace of a very loving and loyal group of friends and family. If I could afford health care at all, I would have it. I don't have any pre-existing conditions(that I know of) I just don't have health insurance or life insurance because by the time I've bought diapers/wipes, juice/food for my boy,  groceries, secured gas money or bus passes, and paid my rent and utilities... I have enough money left for cigarettes and MAYBE a bit on the side for a splurge meal at a fast food chain. So besides the fact that it's un-Constitutional for the government to MAKE you pay for something, it's impossible to squeeze blood from a stone. There are a lot of people with bigger paychecks but bigger problems who are basically in the same boat. What would happen to us if we stay in the same economic situation we're in for a while(extremely likely) or it gets worse(rather likely) and then this reform hits, and suddenly we owe more money than ever? Sure, the economy might improve(not very likely) and more people will get more money and better jobs(very, very unlikely) and it'll all pan out. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but my Mama always ground home 3 things: 

1: Take care of your family
2: Hope for the best, but plan for the worst
3: Star Trek is better than Star Wars

I agree with her on the first two. My mother was a saint, intelligent and kind, wise and loving. Her loyalty and ability to see the good in everything was tested though.... she could never accept that Deep Space Nine was the last good thing the series managed to produce until the recent movie. As a somber side note to that funny anecdote... my mother passed away from cancer the same year that movie came out. She was all but penniless, hit hard by the flaws in the mortgage AND healthcare circles. When ever I think about that situation I usually end up fuming mad or sobbing with regret. It's not melodramatic to say that if we had lived in a better time for this country, there is a good fucking chance that she would be alive today, and living in the house she bought and maintained by working her ass off.

This country's population; immigrant and native, rich and poor, left and right...  contributed bricks and wood, cement and steel, blood and sweat, tears and laughter. We carved it out, we furnished it, we moved in. Then we gave the keys to people who would burn it down to insure they never have to give up their quarter-million dollar bonuses. This land is yours, America... we should be taking care of it, nurturing it, and taking pride in what it gives back. Instead we left it to the overseers to sell from under us, and now that the weeds are waist high and nothing is being grown, your stomachs are starting to hurt and the rent is due... and it's going to take a lot of work to put things right.

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