Friday, August 21, 2009

You can't win the war until you win the battle

Over at PajamasTV they're calling a cautious victory for the health care and budget protesters.

Color me jaded, but I can't believe it was that easy. I still hear lots of rhetoric from the White House about pushing Health Care through. If they're pulling back at all it's just to try their next favorite tactic: stall and hope everyone forgets about it.

I don't think the Administration has learned anything yet. I don't think they're listening yet. I think they're only pretending to listen. They're appearing to change their minds, but at the same time they still protest about the protests. That doesn't appear to me to be a concession. I think it's more like the kid to, when mom says no, goes and asks dad.

So what is America to do now? Keep up the pressure. We've got their attention, at least, and that's more than we've been able to do previously. It's a start. But we need to keep holding their feet to the flame, and we need to stay vigilant. They are going to try an end-run at least once before they actually concede any kind of defeat.

In the mean time, we can also raise the level of discourse:

- No more shouting matches, please. That's so "Bush Era". We're different. Let's show it. Be respectful, but don't be a push-over.

- No more guns at protests. That was stupid, even for a radio show stunt. It distracts from the real message we're trying to send. Stop it.

- No more "Kill Obama, his wife and kids" signs. That person got detained--and quite frankly, should be arrested. That's beyond the coverage of the First Amendment. I wouldn't be surprised if they were an Obama-backer hoping to do their man a favor by discrediting the legitimate protesters.

- Do not forget. Those of you in areas where your elected officials have been hiding from you or talking down to you--remember that. They're counting on our faulty collective memory to kick in before the next election. Do not forget. Vote them out. Support the reps. who are listening and get it. I don't usually vote Democrat at the national level, but right new we've got a Democratic representative in our area who is listening, is talking sense, and largely voting the way I would like. If he keeps it up I will vote for him next time. People like that deserve our support.

- Stay informed. A vigilant populace is our only guard against unresponsive and oppressive government. And it's not just this administration. Though I agreed with some of what the previous administration did, they were just as deaf when it came to listening to the people. I understand what some of you were feeling back then a little better now. Whether we agree on the issues is irrelevant. We need to join together to force our government to start listening again.

- Do the "reaching out" that they refuse to do. Remember all of that talk of bi-partisanship, post-partisanship, and reaching across the aisle? It didn't happen, did it. But let's not let them drive a wedge between Americans. Let's show them a good example. Let's start talking to each other. Let's start working out problems ourselves. Let's start treating each other with respect, try to understand where each other is coming from, and see if we can't find a third option that moves us in a better direction.

- Turn off the Professional Outrage Squad. Both sides have them. They're not doing us any favors. Their jobs, as they see it, is not to bring people together. They're to stir up the flock to keep sending them drawing a paycheck. As much as I like Glenn Beck's "Common Sense", I still will not listen to his shows. He always sees the worst in everything the other side does. We don't need that.
< >< >< >< >It's like my kids when they get in these moods where they are constantly watching each other to find something to tattle about. No one is giving anyone even the slightest bit of room for error. Everyone is holding on to every little piece of ammunition they can get. We're still hearing about Michelle Obama's "For the first time I'm proud..." speech. I think she misspoke then, and I don't care to keep hearing about it now.

It's not too late to turn America around. It's not too late to return decency to our national dialogue. It's not too late to build bridges so that even when we don't get our way on issues we don't start reaching for the torches and pitchforks. Wouldn't it be nice to feel like we were at least heard first, and that perhaps the result we disagree with was at least modified out of respect for our point of view?

It can happen. But We The People have to make it happen. Our government won't do it for us. We have to make them. And that starts with re-making ourselves.

1 comment:

Ronaldo said...

Amen, bro.