Americans expect their representatives in Washington to produce results. By not collaborating, by not cooperating, by forming a "Party of No," some of them might score points at the grass-roots level of partisan politics, but they ignore the patriotic imperative, which is to serve our country. We can build a better society by building better working relationships in the halls of government. Creating consensus is one of the main roles of a leader. Our expectation of our leaders in Washington is that they work not for their own political fortune but for the good of the nation.
The fact that many millions of Americans lack essential health care is not only a political issue, it's also an economic issue. When our people are in better health, they're more productive, and that makes our economy stronger overall.
Disagreement over policy is not a bad thing. It's part of the give-and-take of statecraft. The Social Security Act, after all, took two years to pass in the midst of the Great Depression. We all realize that this isn't an easy process and that various viewpoints must be weighed. But disagreements need to be handled in a manner that's civil and professional, and not so blatantly obstructionist. The constant goal must be the greater good.
The politicians have to remember that the loyalists of each party aren't likely to change their positions; it's the people in the middle, the independents and centrists, whom the politicians have to worry about. They're usually the ones who can make or break a campaign. They're the ones who must be swayed, and they tend to insist on substance instead of slogans. To them, the brand is far less important than the actual product. If the centrists determine that certain politicians acted more obstructively than helpfully on an important issue, then those politicians might be in for a tough time when the next election rolls around.
As the administration warned last week, insurance companies are getting ready to ratchet up the cost of health care premiums. We're hearing about major increases, well into double digits, all across the country. Millions of people, especially the needy, are going to be hit hard unless our politicians live up to the trust that the voters have placed in them. Now's the time to act and finally take care of health care reform.
Posted by: easttxisfreaky | February 23, 2010 11:35 PM
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Posted by: katzedes | February 23, 2010 3:49 PM
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