Listen, I try to steer away from politics here — but these have been a tense few weeks. From left to right in the picture below: my uncle Robert, my mother, and my father. My uncle was a pilot in WWII, my father wrote code — he never spoke much about his experiences during the war, only telling me what he did was largely classified. My elders were very politically outspoken people, it might have been the era, and it might have been there weren’t the divisions that exist now. What I did notice growing up was that there was discourse and an exchange of ideas when politics came up, a respect for the process, a willingness to engage, a knowledge of civic duty, and a fierce pride in democracy. They may not have always agreed with every American policy, but they put their lives on the line to protect our society and our system of government.
I’ve lived in Europe and I have friends there, recently one of them commented on the extremes of our national character, and this is how I responded. We are a nation of moderates, we are trending multicultural and young, the extremists get air time because of certain cable networks, but you can see our character in the resolution of this national crisis, and the fact that the majority of Americans were outraged that it occurred at all.
As I’m typing this the state of things…
The result of the standoff that threatened the nation’s credit rating was a near total defeat for Republican conservatives, who had engineered the budget impasse as a way to strip the new health care law of funding even as registration for benefits opened Oct. 1 or, failing that, to win delays in putting the program into place.
The shutdown sent Republican poll ratings plunging, cost the government billions of dollars and damaged the nation’s international credibility. President Obama refused to compromise, leaving Republican leaders to beg him to talk, and to fulminate when he refused. For all that, Republicans got a slight tightening of income verification rules for Americans accessing new health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.
And, the House is about to vote… Hopefully we won’t see anymore of these antics until at least after Christmas.
God bless us, everyone!