Thursday, August 6, 2009

Politics and Family

So my dad has apparently talked about moving to Canada. I don't think he's serious, and I can't say I don't relate (Abby and I had the same conversation and even did a little preliminary research during the Bush administration). And this is all hearsay anyway, so it might not even be explicitly true.

That said, I hope he's not driven to Canada by he aversion to socialized medicine, because he'd be in for a nasty surprise once he got there.

My father is a very smart man who has bought into some not-terribly-smart ideas. He's convinced that any Democratic president is going to try to take his guns away, doubly so of the Obama administration (despite no action that direction from the White House and repeated assertions that it's not on the agenda). He once told me that the reason Canadians have a higher life expectancy is because their socialized health care is so bad that they're healthier by natural selection.

Makes more sense than Bill O'Reilly's explanation, but not much.

This ties into a larger problem: political discourse has broken down. My father is not a party hard-liner (he's much more Libertarian than Republican) and he's not stupid and he at least tries to be informed about issues that are relevant to him, but you can't engage in a real debate about issues because everything degrades into cheap shots and ad hominem attacks. And all he knows are the sound bites because that's all anyone ever hears.

People are consistently complaining that they don't want their hospitals run like the post office without ever pausing to consider that the post office is run pretty well. I mean, would you rather your hospital was run like the cable company?

More on this later.



Anonymous said...

Your dad and mine would get along very well, except mine is more party-hardlined: Republican=good, democrat=bad. I tried to keep my dad informed during the elections and gave up.
Now he can't stop talking about "socialized medicine" and how we're heading that way, oh yes we are...and yet, the plans I'm hearing from the administration aren't "socialized medicine," but "supplemented insurance." I'm beginning to wonder if he even knows what socialized medicine means.

Bill Haworth said...

It could be worse than your cable company, it could be your cell company.

If you haven't been following David Pogue's journal on the NYTimes website, now would be the time. Look especially for his "Taking Back the Beep" campaign he's been recently writing a lot about.

Walter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Walter said...

Does anyone even know what the plan is for health care? All I know is Hannity says "Obama is going to destroy your health care" and supporters keep yelling about how anyone who opposes health care reform eats babies. No where in all this have I actually heard a cohesive plan that involves tangible changes. Even the AOA and the AMA are confused about what is going on...