As a registered Independent, I’ve regrettably grown accustomed to debating issues from the middle as extremists to the left and right shout hateful vitriol at one another at the tops of their lungs.
What I still can’t accept, however, is either extreme using lies, empty logic, hateful rhetoric and/or exaggerated claims to make a case for their own personal unwillingness to find a more moderate compromise to the problems we have in our nation and within our local communities.
When the president won his first term, he did so in part based on a pledge to honor "transparency and the rule of law,” a promise he said would become “the touchstones of this presidency."
In a December 4th Dispatch, Robert from Whitestone agreed that the president’s vow on Obamacare was indeed a lie, yet the letter-writer justified our president’s dishonesty by explaining that “the reason was a good one and the end result was a huge positive.”
Sadly, many moderate, middle-class families, small business owners, and group leaders of small office insurance policies have grown to understand that the “end result” of the Affordable Healthcare Act (AHA) has not been fully realized. Unlike the “huge positive” that Robert extols, things are not what they would seem.
And unlike most middle-class families and small businesses, dozens of connected groups and organizations in the United States have been given exemptions to unreasonable AHA requirements. More recently, one of New York City’s organized labor unions filed a lawsuit challenging the AHA, which they say could “bankrupt” their organization.
Many of the shortcomings of the president’s version of affordable healthcare have been discussed and debated over the past six years, not just in the media but around offices and living rooms as well.
As a moderate, nonpartisan voter with serious questions - and what I believe to be reasonable issues with this federal mandate - I’ve been shouted down by people like Robert from Whitestone for not knowing enough about the law, for being unreasonable, or for simply being “stupid.”
As evidenced by his recent letter, perhaps he and his fellow progressives were being more transparent than I thought all along.
“Some Americans are stupid and don’t know what’s good for them,” Robert writes in defense of President Barack Obama’s little white lies about AHA, adding “it’s like hiding a pill in a dog’s snack to give it the medicine it needs.”
Dogs? Really Robert?
Depending on the extremist du jour, I’m either called a “liberal communist” for standing up in defense of social values I hold dear, or a “tyrannical right-winger” for questioning the policies put forth by this Administration or for demanding accountability from my government.
Dictators like Gaddafi viewed dissidents as “dogs,” responding to dissenting opinion with government hit squads.
Robert from Whitestone reduces all opposition to party politics, reasoning that only “Republicans oppose Obamacare,” without providing any substantive opportunity for discussion about the obvious problems with the law.
But no matter how well-intentioned any law or government program, lying to the people and justifying that deceit by categorizing the electorate as too “stupid” to know better is not only wrong, but historically it has also been the first step in the downfall of most modern civilizations, governments and cultures.
A great and sensible moderate president once said “the ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.” After reading Robert from Whitestone’s reasoning of why we Americans “had to be lied to in order to pass Obamacare,” I’m trying desperately to figure out who it was that JFK was referring to at the time?
As an independent American, I’ll concede to being “stupid” for refusing to validate government deception against the American people, however enlightened the reason, but only if Robert from Whitestone will agree to be the poster child for President Kennedy’s 1963 warning to the educated citizens of the United States about the erosion of our core principles, values and overall security that results from the oppression of public inquiry.
As President Kennedy noted in that same speech, it is “the truth that makes us free – and will keep us free.”