20 March 2010

Forgive Me

but I think we have lost our nerve, as a country I mean.

Sure, we can send boys and girls to fight far away, but when it comes to shouldering our duty as citizens we are wimps.

Yes, I am talking about health coverage reform, and the baldly demagogic language that is breathtakingly hypocritical, all meant to stir a mixture of fear and outrage.

But the real intent is to cultivate an atavistic, atomistic idea of America as a wild west nation where all that matters is me and mine.

It looks all sorts of brave, but is really cowardly as courage in my world is about standing up for principles even when it costs you. Standing up for your rights, even if it hurts others, is not courage at all.

I say, let's show some real nerve in this country, not pretend courage.

- For example, let's have a war tax, one that pays for Iraq and Afghanistan. If we are really committed to do it, let's agree to pay for it with a tax increase. Whenever we enter a war, let's ask the country to pay for it. Send us all a bill, except for those in the armed services. Let's send them and their families a check.

- Let's see who's really pulling the strings, by publishing the tax returns of everyone in Congress and the State Legislatures. You want the public trust, trust us by showing us your stake. And that goes for all those vague organizations that run political commercials. Let me see names, real names, and companies. If you're that powerful why hide?

- And let's admit that health care works best when it is more like water departments and sewer departments and fire departments than it is like Walmart or Kmart or Costco. Man up America!


Bill Baar said...

Check Jane Hamsher at fire dog lake... or Howard Dean for that matter...this "reform" was bought the chicago way with payoffs to pharma and insurance companies with the mandate...and ama with a promise on medicare rates..

..so quit calling people cowards!

WFW said...

Chill, Bill

I was yelling at the culture, the whole shebang.

You are right about the horsetrading, but when, tell me, was any bill not written with a favor or two? I hate it, you do too, but why is it worse right now? That is what I mean by false courage, when those who did it before and will do it again, stand tall in the moral saddle. Is it really for noble reasons?

We get the government we deserve, and right now the culture is a 'gimme' culture where winning is everything, and honor is for fools.

Didn't someone write about being a 'fool for Christ?' Well, I am fool for America because I do think honor matters, which means serving the greater good no matter what. If they exist in the halls of power, I can't see them.

Bill Baar said...

Chill? You use fighting words.. condem a whole culture --one I went to war zone to defend I like to think-- and then you want me to chill?

Look in a mirror. You're the enemy on harsh and foolish language.... not our "culture".

WFW said...


I am truly sorry if you are angry. Nothing personal was intended. But I also am trying to say something I believe is important.

Far from condemning a whole culture, I am questioning some of the current forms it takes; in this case an individualism that, like other 'isms' focuses so much on one part of our culture that it ultimately distorts it.

You may know my article for the UU World in 2006 when I offered my theory of the 'two souls of America,' one of which is the cowboy rugged individual. It is very American, but not the only America. The pilgrim is also America. The two, ever in tension, create the dynamic and ever creative power that America has. But when one is dominant, we risk cultural orthodoxy and its attendent dangers.

I truly believe we have a dangerously high level of invidualism, the ideology, and that it is distorting us by exagerrating itself and ignoring the other America. I see it in the racial and homophobic insults hurled at member of Congress this week, the apolcalyptic language, the belief that if one is right anything one does is acceptable.

This started in the 1960s, btw, with attacks of Johnson and Nixon, and was present in the personal protests aimed at GWB during his administration. We have been going down this road a long time, and everyone has helped. I would say that the counter culture movement was the ironic seed of the modern libertarian sentiment, but that's another conversation.

I hope this helps clarify things for you Bill. Sorry again for your unhappiness.

Bill Baar said...

Not angry at all. You've wrote a foolish post. I'm taking the time to tell you.

That's all....

Elisa (Nudelman) Winter said...

Right ON!!! (Shouted with much enthusiasm and hands waving in the air.)

darla said...

Yes yes yes. And it does cost to stand up doesn't it? I am particularly intrigued by the concept of a war tax as, at least with GWB, the true (financial) cost of our perpetual war(s) were hidden through budget games. How is it we report counts of our fallen men and women but not the civilians dead in foreign lands? And...as a health care professional, I can say I agree that health care DOES work better as a public good than as a for-profit industry. When did health care become an "industry" anyway? It was, for me and my contemporaries, a mission, a service.