Our beloved Brew.

Our beloved Brew.
R.I.P. Big guy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Next True American Revolution

Watching the healthcare debacle that is playing out in this country embarrasses me as an American. If the rest of the world wasn't convinced before that this nation has lost its greatness, this episode may complete the picture. America is more divided today than any other time in its history other than the Civil War. Healthcare is just the latest example.

Lies and distortions are flying from both sides. Politicians desperate to protect their personal interests dance the dance of the insincere. Big Pharma, the Insurance Industry, and healthcare providers have both sides of the aisle in Washington right where they want them -- in their back pockets.

No meaningful reform will come as a result of the political "two-stepping" being done by all parties. The Democrats will claim victory if anything makes it to the President's desk for his signature regardless of how meager the change. Republicans will claim they saved the nation, future generations, and your grandmother from being snuffed out by government agents while she slept in the nursing home, if they can deny the Democrats in the slightest way. From what I've read of the actual legislation, it isn't the profound improvement some people claim, nor is it the evil face of Socialism some of the far right suggest. Frankly, much of if it is bureaucratic, bean counting and vanilla.

In the end, both sides are more interested in the 2010 election cycle than advancing the country. As such, Big Pharma, Insurance and the hospital/medical community needed only to disrupt and delay to get what what they want - to maintain the "status quo" as much as possible. Significant, and controversial legislation has a little chance of passage after January 1. The campaign season will take precedence with no candidate wanting to risk their neck being caught on the wrong side of a vote. So after the first of the year, all parties agree to "play nice" and keep hot topics in limbo until after November. Yet another reason, the entire election process in this country needs to be revamped. We'll wait eleven months for anything of value on any topic to happen. Elections, and the money tied to them, not public service, now command every heartbeat of elected officials.

History would tell us, that with notable exceptions like Germany in World War II, revolution is usually instigated by the "have nots." Given the climate in this country, I expect it will be the conservative middle to upper class that will seek to fight to protect what they consider theirs, in less than the peaceful terms we as a nation like to pretend to be our way of handling domestic disputes in these enlightened times.

At some point in my life, I anticipate I will witness a real, bloody revolution, in the form of a civil war in this country. Maybe that's not all bad. Maybe that's what every good democracy needs from time to time to clean out the cobwebs, and earn its freedom. We are certainly proving that under the veil of peaceful discourse, corruption, self-interest and profiteering have the upper hand. The foreign enemies of America who would like to see us destroyed may need not try to disrupt our way of life. Coupled with an unstable economy that is far from correcting itself, as some "wishers upon a star" would have you believe, left to our own devices, we appear to be doing it to ourselves.