Wednesday, September 2

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I don’t know about you but I’m overwhelmed by all the vitriol being spewed on both sides of the health care reform debate. Or the same -sex marriage debut, and the value of torture-excuse me “enhanced interrogation techniques” was it good or bad? And how about the bank bail out? Sheesh if any of the dire predictions of doom, catastrophe and the fall of our civilization are true we are in deep, deep shit.

Now wait a minute. Let’s get real here. Have any of the extreme claims from past controversies ever come true? No. When women sought the right to vote, the critics said it would lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

“ I do not wish to see the day come when the women of my rac in my state shall trail their skirts in the muck and mire of partisan politics. I prefer to look to the Americna woman as she has always been, occupying her proud estate as the queen of the American home, instead of regarding her as a ward politician in the cities. As the mother, as the wife, as the sister she exercises a broader and deeper and mightier influence than she can ever exercise ro hope to on the stump and in the byways of politics in this land.” - Rep. Clark of Florida speaking to his colleagues in 1915.

This turned out to be exactly the opposite of what happened. When Truman deesegregated the military, the critics were sure it would erode unit cohesion. It didn’t happen. ( ironically the same claim is being made if “don’t ask, don’t tell” is repelled but I’m getting ahead of myself). Now we hear that the government is going to take away our guns, the socialists are taking over and gay marriage will destroy society.

"It does not affect your daily life very much if your neighbor marries a box turtle. But that does not mean it is right... Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife." A line from the text of a prepared speech to the Heritage Foundation by Senator John Comyn (R-TX) that he deleted.

 "One thing is certain, these snappy comparisons make great talking points. Such emotionally-laden statements get noticed pretty quickly. But since we’re really only talking about consenting adults who want to marry each other, comments like these are also irrelevant." Jim Burroway on Senator Comyn's prepared speech and similar references by Bill O'Reilly, Senator Rick Santorum and Rev.Jimmy Swaggart. -Quote

OK. Let’s all just step back for a moment, take a deep breath and consider the impact of hyperbole and wild speculation on what ever issue is being debated. Afterall the more outrageous the claim the less likely it will happen.

A lot of things will change whether we like it or not. Health care coverage may get better or worse or not change at all. Other countries have managed it, so can we. But the only way we’re going to find out is to allow events to happen and adjust accordingly instead of running around like the sky is falling. Humans have a great capacity to adapt to change and create new environments. We managed with women’s suffrage, desegregation, and now with bringing adequate health care to all American citizens.

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