13 July 2012

The way I see it

Election season has been in full swing now for too long and I've largely remained silent about politics aside from a dust up with my sister. Besides that, many of the people around me share similar views, which has made discussion a pretty moot point.

But this election cycle has been getting to me.

My family squabbles started with the Supreme Court upholding the individual mandate of "Obamacare," a name I repeat with reservation, though it is growing on me because that name will only cement the presidency of Barack Obama in the annals of American history even more so than was his election as the first Black president.

I cheered the passage of "Obamacare" originally because I believe that access to health care is a right and not a privilege. The change - from privilege to right - I considered equivalent to the Voting Right Acts of the 1960s as a great equalizer. Another leg in the stool of citizenship to give Americans "certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness," according to the Declaration of Independence.

I don't think "Obamacare" is perfect. I don't think anyone who supports it thinks it's perfect, but it's a step forward.

The never-ending mantra of Republicans to repeal "Obamacare" misses the point that Obama won his election vowing to reform and give health care to all U.S. citizens. That was the clear message of his defeat of John McCain, but that didn't stop Republicans from standing in the way. Here's a fact: Everyone in Congress represents people who support health care reform and who are against it, and yet nearly every single politician only spouts off one view, which means every single congressman/woman is ignoring some of their constituents.

The level of condemnation against "Obamacare" baffles me because so much of it has yet to even have a chance at succeeding. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional, so give it a chance. Find what works and build on it. Identify what doesn't and change it. But to throw it out and, as GOP presumptive presidential candidate Mitt Romney says, "replace" health care misses a major point: This sort of health care reform has been attempted for decades and has always failed. What makes Romney and the rest of the GOP think they will replace it with the success Obama had in getting health care reform passed? No, that message is, in my opinion, a lie. Repeal might happen with Romney in the White House, but replacing it with any sort of meaningful reform won't happen.

But the Republican obstructionism goes far beyond "Obamacare." It was the rallying cry of Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader of the Senate in October of 2010: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." That means their only goal has been to be block everything that Obama has tried to do to move this country forward. So in blocking everything possible, what have they done? Nothing. And more importantly, they haven't given Obama's vision a chance to even work and they haven't given some of their constituents' own hopes of Obama's stated goals and policies a chance. So how can they say Obama's policies have failed, when it is their own policies that are failing?

In my opinion Republicans haven't shown that Obama's policies have failed. And their failed logic is just one more reason why I can't even consider voting for a Republican in November.

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