Article Comment 

What we will become

 

 

Other industrialized nations provide universal health care, from Australia to Canada and Finland to Israel. Our Medicare and the Veterans Health Administration have demonstrated what can be done, even with a shortage of funding and focus.  

 


Yet the current efforts to provide medical care are being met with vile and irrational hostility. Why do intelligent and good people respond so? 

 


The indignation appears to come from like-minded folks who behave as if they are threatened, as if they have been slighted or insulted. It is familiar. It reminds me of the reaction to integration; and it seems that period of racial discord and the events now occurring share a lineage to the presidential election 149 years ago.  

 


The object of the anger was and is the government, a government trying to legislate benevolence, trying to correct injustices and protect its citizens. Why does that make people mad?  

 


Why are we offended when there is no offense intended?  

 


Racism is not an adequate explanation of what is happening; it is too simple and too exclusive. Even racism, a particular form of snobbery, is a sign of something more profound.  

 


Rush Limbaugh and others like him know what this profound thing is; they might not understand it, but they know how to use it.  

 


There is reasonable opposition to health care. It is good. But the animosity hinders progress, and it will interfere with all progressive motions our nation tries to make. 

 


"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies." The words were not heeded when spoken and nearly a century and a half of tragic lessons have resulted. We should be mindful now. In a family and in a democracy, humility and tolerance and compassion are vital. The development of a family and a society is the result of the actions of its members and these actions are our responses to each other. What we think of those around us and how we respond to them determines what we are and what we will become. 

 


 

 


Mike Murphy 

 


Columbus
 

 


 

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment Thom Geiger commented at 8/16/2009 8:50:00 AM:

Mike, Mike, Mike...how long have we known each other? How long did we work together? I know how intelligent you are, too intelligent to call up the last desperate accusation in a heated debate on a social topic...racism.
I'm just guessing here, but I'll be most readers of your letter have little or no knowledge of who you are or your involvement in the local and national political theater, some of which might and can be surmised by reading the letter. Still, there is much that your words here don't reveal.
I know you to be a very intelligent and compassionate individual, a humble person who is also very passionate about the causes he believes in. Although you are what I have always considered a deep thinker on issues of social, moral and ethical issues, I think your passion tends to lead you to say and to think things that need more consideration before being set in concrete.
You and I are the same age. Like you, I can remember many topics and subjects that were lightning rods issues when we were growing up, throughout our teens and after we were both married and had families. Issues that prompted angry debate, marches, demonstrations, graffiti, fires, sit-ins, boycotts, confrontations with civil authorities, even riots and criminal behavior; civil rights, Roe Vs. Wade, desegregation, the Vietnam War and the draft, women's liberation, gay/lesbian rights, the religious/cult phenomena of the 60s and 70s. Those were not conservative students, marchers, demonstrators; they were supporters and believers in the liberal side of an issue. I supported the rights of those individuals to protest, including non-violent civil disobedience, and I'll bet you did too. I consider that right a basic right and freedom we have in this country, something no one, not even the government can take away. Almost all of those 'liberal' causes were eventually successful and not because of inflated, worn out and disingenuous claims and accusations against those with an opposing viewpoint. They won out because they were right.
Those grey and white headed citizens we see today, showing up at town hall meetings in opposition to the (as yet) undefined national health care plan that will affect them and their families, many of those same people were hippies, opposed the Vietnam war, supported changes in national social policy, including civil rights women's rights. They are not racists (I hear that charge every day on WTWG radio AM1050) and that accusation makes me ill and quite frankly, a little angry. They are worried about something being forced on them, something that no one, even President Obama, has even seen the final version of yet. They are upset that something is being forced on them with such lightning speed, without a thorough review and without their input. The sudden deadline, hurry up factor, 'whether you like it or not' nature of something as monumental and huge as this is disturbing to most of the people you see at these meetings. I support their right to be angry, to question, to shout and to protest, and I am disappointed that the old, tired and worn out charge of racism has been leveled against them.
While the actions of these concerned citizens might remind you of the reaction to integration, the charges of racism being used in this debate remind me of the way the charge of being a communist was thrown around in the McCarthy era. I know you know better than that.

 

Article Comment gogetum commented at 8/16/2009 5:59:00 PM:

YouTube - Ronald Reagan on Socialism & Liberalism
copy and paste this, we were warned.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=iShCXx_xZDQ

 

Article Comment JC commented at 8/17/2009 6:23:00 PM:

In the UK, socialized health care (the NHS) was started by Winston Churchill and supported by Margaret Thatcher (along with every other prime minister since).

Why are their conservatives so much smarter than our conservatives?

 

Article Comment I Didn''t Know commented at 8/18/2009 10:37:00 PM:

Well golly cheeze-whiz...thanks Mr. Johnson and Mr Gogetum!! You guys are jeeenuzzez!! Did I spell that rite?? If we just subtract the 26 million and ship them all back to Mexico and kill the other 20 million blue-gum lazy peeple...this kountree wid jest be purrrfect. Then if we could jest git red of those liberals and form us a knew nation down here in ole mizzizzippe we wood have it made!! Let's Get R' Done!!

 

Article Comment I Didn''t Know commented at 8/18/2009 10:45:00 PM:

Well golly cheeze-whiz...thanks Mr. Johnson and Mr Gogetum!! You guys are jeeenuzzez!! Did I spell that rite?? If we just subtract the 26 million and ship them all back to Mexico and kill the other 20 million blue-gum lazy peeple...this kountree wid jest be purrrfect. Then if we could jest git red of those liberals and form us a knew nation down here in ole mizzizzippe we wood have it made!! Let's Get R' Done!!

 

Article Comment gogetum commented at 8/19/2009 5:00:00 PM:

For Mr. duplicate poster, I Didn"t Know, sounds like you need to get on the same plane with JC, one way please. Bye Bye. Mr. Johnson would probably agree.

 

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