Thursday, March 3, 2010
           Vote Already! Then Throw Out             
The 'We Know Better' Crowd!


Commentary by Bob Rucker, Former CNN Correspondent 

    Does anybody in this country still remember being taught back in high school or college something about a democracy being "a messy thing, but basically it's rule by the majority with respect for the minority?" Then why in the name of common sense are we allowing the crazies to impose their will on us SO MUCH?

    Most of the nonsense fueling the great healthcare reform debate is nothing but pure propaganda. The Republicans seem to love their "scare and dare " strategy so much, they find every way they can to steer helpless Americans away from seeing the obvious need for reform right now. In essence...So what if we the people decided we liked Obama & Hillary more than McCain. So what, if in 2008, both Democrats made clear healthcare reform would be their top agenda, and we elected them with that clearly in mind. So what if history says this messy democracy is always replete with examples of the public being strongly opposed to something, fearing the worst. Lincoln's freeing the slaves in the Southern States ultimately did not destroy the nation as widely predicted. Reagan's proclaim to the Russians to tear down the Berlin Wall did not trigger World War III with Soviets as many pundits then suggested. Bill Clinton even won re-election and survived a bogus impeachment effort despite well crafted GOP efforts to distort the facts about his personal life mistakes making him unfit to stay in the Oval Office. Will we EVER learn to expect just the opposite of all the doom and gloomers???

     When are we going to get it? Big change...important change...badly needed change is ALWAYS met with tough resistance. Instead of freaking out about the Tea Party movement, with all their racist laced rhetoric and sensational claims of imminent doom, why not take a chill pill and see those folks for exactly what they are. Loud mouths almost always get it wrong...HELLO! Let them blow off steam. It's what poorly informed people do when they don't get their way on everything they want. Spoiled brats are like that.

      This nation picked an intelligent man for president who demonstrated his ability to lead, listen and force the selfish children of Congress to stay on point and off political message at the recent healthcare reform summit. Since millions in our country these days can't seem to stomach the responsibility of face to face discussions and negotiations, be it politics or social dating, it was refreshing to see Mr. Obama boldly take charge and force the issue. Despite GOP persistent distortions, the public is NOT overwhelmingly opposed to the compromise plan.

      Today's America may long for the days of wartime leader like FDR or strong arm presidents like Lyndon Johnson or Richard Nixon to get something done, but truth be told, we as a people can't seem to handle that anymore. Too many of us now count on computers to arrange our personal  choices and organize our lives.
So it's no wonder most of us would rather stay in the dark about the details of meaningful and historic healthcare reform, and just let some jaded, profit motivated political hack scare the be jesus out of us with ridiculous talking points like "death panels for the elderly" and "ObamaCare" posters fashioned with the likeness of Hitler. It would seem we've gotten too lazy to see the big picture for ourselves, and more importantly, stay committed to our collective vote to improve the greater good by providing more Americans will affordable healthcare.

     Well, I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Would those spineless Democrats we elected in Congress in 2008 kindly do the will of the people and pass the Obama health care proposal! Then let's see if time can work its usual magic like it did with equally controversial legislation like social security, civil rights and medicare. We've learned, now in hindsight, how important it really was to have the courage to ride out the initial storms those plans first created.

     Maybe then, after passing healthcare reform, we the people can move onto the midterm elections this fall. But this year, let's not allow ourselves to be sucked in and pumped up by simple-minded fear tactics and obviously dishonest pledges to restore America to the wonder years like under Ronald Reagan, ( which, by the way in all reality, was anything but great for poor people and the middle class in the 1980s.) In 2010, we the people should have our own intractable mindset and force the politicians to meet our litmus tests or be expelled from Capitol Hill.

      Demand simply that every incumbent member of Congress publicly explain their reasons for trying to sneak each piece of expensive pork projects measures into defense and other important legislation. Then follow-up and ask those clowns in Washington if they are SO concerned about the nation's growing deficit, why was their pet project still more important than America's overall economic future?

      For every new candidate running for Congress make them prove their political nomination was not paid for by those political street gang thugs from both parties who are more interested in numbers and muscle then public needs and expectations. Make potential newcomers as scared as we are about our economic futures.

       Above all...Forget those clever slogans like "Let's take back our country," and try taking back our common sense! Instead of falling in line with outlandish groups, crazy causes, pundit preachings and self righteous profiteers with slick political talking points, let's all remember our heritage as Americans. We did much more than dump some tea in a bay to send a message to a British king. Our ancestors had the common sense to create a complicated federal system so no one man or party could hold us all hostage. Instead of avoiding the process of learning how our government is structure and work, let's do our job and try! Otherwise those idiots who keep getting elected based on false claims and scare tactics will keep toasting themselves with champagne while we try to figure out how to pay our water bills.

      It's better to send packing some or all of those big title folks in Washington and take our chance with a Congress of full of freshmen, then to see all of America go down the tubes because we keep electing officials whose self importance never allows them to grow up and stop digging in their heals like school yard bullies.

      Maybe it they faced the real prospect of unemployment like we do. and we forced them, their egos and their treasured families to be more understanding about the realities faced by every day Americans, maybe these stubborn, "we know better" political leaders will stop showing our children how stupid and costly it can be to  prioritize an entitlement mentality.


Prof. Bob Rucker 
School of Journalism and Mass Communications
San Jose State University





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