Need a political chart for these next six months? To help find your way through the thicket of speeches, phot-ops, ad campaigns, endorsements, and dirty tricks? Here’s a thought….
The number of opiod painkillers like OxyContin has surged 400% in just the last 10 years. More than 110,000 active-duty Army troops are currently on antidepressants. Stats like these shouldn’t surprise you, for they reflect a nation deep in worry. And yet, national worry shouldn’t surprise you either. It’s been a state of mind ever since the settlers’ first communities experienced their first attack by Native Americans who had the audacity to consider us invaders.
But now 400 years later, national worry has changed. It’s done a 180. Now patients and communities don’t always look to the government for help. For many, the government itself has become the enemy. For many others, though, the government has remained an indispensable player in the progress of their lives. The bottom line then is this: What should we do with the government — feed it so it can do what it sees as its job, or starve it so eventually it shrinks back to size?
This then is the real bottom to the bottom line.
Between now and November, half of Americans will see President Obama as a visionary trying to organize government as a service-source for everyone according to their needs; the other half will fear him as a revolutionary trying to use government to punish the winners. Try to cut through the rhetoric, the cliches, the gaffes, the gotchas, and for heaven’s sake the babbling pundits. The real bottom line issue is: do we continue to feed the government so it can do its growing 21st C job, or do we starve it by slashing taxes & expenses so it doesn’t have the diet with which to keep growing?
To be sure, it’s more complicated than that. There are a host of people and principles at stake about which we’ll be hearing startling revelations and exposes. And yet, perhaps we can think of it this way. The nation is standing over the patient in Intensive Care, deciding if feeding it more will result in a revived savior for our endangered way of life….or a resurrected scavenger ready to swallow us up.
Can you remember that…?
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