Disclaimers come at the end, but this one needs clarity from the beginning. This isn’t Republican or Democrat. It isn’t pro or con the current bill. I am not protesting or supporting this huge document of a bill that few people have read and even fewer people understand. Vitriol and condescension blanket both sides with enough spin to alter the planet on the axis. Any attempt at that illusive ‘civil discourse’ is instantly muddied by name calling, innuendo and partisan leaps to conclusions that cannot possibly be reasoned and civil.
I have my opinions about health care, about our President, and about our system of government. Those opinions are not the issue in this blog.
We live in a country without equal in terms of freedom and opportunity. The National Anthem brings me to honest attention and appreciation. Speaking with men and women who have served our country in the military is my privilege. I honor them and their sacrifices.
We are in economic crises mode and I have tried to understand how ‘trickle-down’ became this cruel joke creating greater and greater pain as the trickle has dried. Those who have plenty can never understand those who never experience adequate.
All the above disclaimers to set-up my comments on the Sunday session (March 21, 2010) where men and women voted to decide to vote… where the man pounding the gavel looked as confused as I felt… where questions asked went unanswered… where condescension reeked on both sides of the aisle…where a variations of civil discourse were not worth the pretense…where pork politics was alive and well…where an electronic vote for a simple one word yea or nay took 15 minutes so absent members could return to the chamber and push a button.
Yesterday, I told my friend and fellow blogger, Patti, that I was not going to write about the Sunday Session, that I might fail my own constant plea for civil discourse. I could find little about which to be positive or hopeful. I was worn out by watching, by listening and by the negative atmosphere that prevailed. Absolutely could not find my Polly Anna self.
And then another opinion weighed. Another opinion adjusted the light just enough to help me see this from a different perspective. How often have I run-on about how important it is to look at the perspective of those with differing opinions.
Today, a family member talked about the Sunday session, commenting on what an amazing system we have in this country. He said that the gavel at the end of 15 seconds of released time is not laughable. “It works,” he said. He even did a bit of a scoff session about my ‘civil discourse’ stuff, saying that civil dis-obedience was a major part of this country’s beginning. He reminded me of the grease that quiets the squeak.
The framers were awesome men who set the course of the rules. Appeals will come. Pork will trim. Political soul-selling often gets paid with Dorian Gray coinage. Changes will happen.
Once again, I find wisdom in the perspective of another person, perspective that allows me to look at my own views through the eyes and experiences of others. Granted, I may not always change my views, but I learn.
“My country ’tis of thee…”