We’re All in It Together

Anyone who thinks politics is a game is a danger to the survival of our nation…Democrat or Republican…liberal or conservative…libertarian or federalist…red state, blue state or yellow with purple polka-dots state. Those people who want to extend the life of these United States choose to look past their differences with others to create a useful dialogue where all voices are respected and appreciated. In these times, I believe it’s more important than ever to seek some balance in the perspectives we access through newspapers, magazines, websites and TV talking heads. I’m frustrated most times by the blind partisanship and ideological allegiance. I am refreshed and energized, however, when I read or hear someone who at least appears to get it: Hey, friends…we’re all in it together!

Those of you who lean left…who on the right do you read or listen to in order to know what our neighbors are really saying? Same for y’all who lean right…who on the left do you include in your news-seeking daily routine? True confessions…we tend to be social liberals but fiscal conservatives in our personal preferences. That means that both major political parties and both left and right factions drive us right up the wall at times. Granted, I’m more likely to yell obscenities at the TV when Fox News is on than MSNBC…but not by a large percentage of times. Because of this imbalance in my personal frustration, I’ve decided that I need more exposure to conservative thinking. Please note that I’m looking for ‘thinking,’ and not demagoguery…neither Rush Limbaugh nor Al Franken (in his talk-radio persona before he became a U.S. Senator) would qualify.

Here’s a recommendation for my left-leaning friends…try reading David Frum’s blog posts for a couple of weeks…I think you’ll have to admit that he gets it: We’re all in it together! To convince you that he’s worthy of your time and energy, here’s a recent post on health care reform, addressed to his conservative base of support but noteworthy for everyone. By the way, I’d also recommend Mr. Frum’s writing to y’all who lean right…he’s not an entertainer like Rush, but, in the eyes of many, he’s a pragmatic and loyal conservative. I don’t agree with everything he writes or says, but I always find him insightful, respectful and thought-provoking. Here’s the recent post…check it out. What if We Win the Healthcare Fight?
August 7th, 2009 at 4:04 pm by David Frum
“What would it mean to “win” the healthcare fight? For some, the answer is obvious: beat back the president’s proposals, defeat the House bill, stand back and wait for 1994 to repeat itself.
“The problem is that if we do that… we’ll still have the present healthcare system. Meaning that we’ll have: (1) flat-lining wages; (2) exploding Medicaid and Medicare costs and thus immense pressure for future tax increases; (3) small businesses and self-employed individuals priced out of the insurance market; and (4) a lot of uninsured or underinsured people imposing costs on hospitals and local governments. We’ll have entrenched and perpetuated some of the most irrational features of a hugely costly and under-performing system, at the expense of entrepreneurs and risk-takers, exactly the people the Republican Party exists to champion. Not a good outcome.

“Even worse will be the way this fight is won: basically by convincing older Americans already covered by a government health program, Medicare, that Obama’s reform plans will reduce their coverage. In other words, we’ll have sent a powerful message to the entire political system to avoid at all hazards any tinkering with Medicare except to make it more generous for the already covered.

“If we win, we’ll trumpet the success as a great triumph for liberty and individualism. Really though it will be a triumph for inertia. To the extent that anybody in the conservative world still aspires to any kind of future reform and improvement of America’s ossified government…that should be a very ashy victory indeed.”

David Frum, resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is the editor of NewMajority.com.http://www.newmajority.com/author/DavidF

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