Relax, would ya?

Posted: Thursday, March 25, 2010 by Travis Cody in
15

I don't generally look for controversy in this space. I'm just not interested in shouting matches. I don't mind a reasonable debate, but that kind of discussion is in short supply these days. So I stay clear of controversial topics.

However, sometimes I just want to make a point.

There's an element out there shouting that "the people" don't want this health care legislation. This element is saying that Washington Democrats didn't listen to what "the people" want. I find that highly amusing.

None of these folks proclaiming a 100% objection to the bill asked me or Pam whether we want it. I'm a people. She's a people. If you're one of those out there presuming to speak for all of the people by shouting that "the people" don't want the legislation, then I just want to let you know that you forgot to ask me and you forgot to ask Pam.

So your 100% sample is a couple of people short.

Hey gang, you are an individual and you may or may not want the legislation. But remember that you speak for yourselves and not for anyone else. You may be part of a like-minded group, but unless you did a really good count of yourselves, I can pretty much guarantee that you are not 100% of "the people" as you seem to want to proclaim.

Hey...you may not even be a majority of "the people".

So chill. If you don't like the legislation, then you have options. Write to your representatives. If your reps voted for the bill, then I guess you know what you're doing when they come up for re-election. If you do like the legislation, then you're good to go.

If you appreciate that something got done, but you don't think it's enough or you think it's too much or you think something else is wrong with it, then again you've got the power of your pen and the power of your vote to make yourself heard.

Online polls are not scientific. That MSNBC.com poll that some of you seem to be using as your "the people" evidence? The sample is anyone who knew about the poll, had a computer, and bothered to go and vote on the thing. I didn't know about it and I still don't know where to find it. Pam didn't know about it until I showed her a couple of posts I came across that referred to it.

Again, we be people and we didn't get counted. So one more time, less than 100% of your "all of the people".

Nobody knows what 100% of the people in this country think of the legislation unless they've spoken to all 309 million of us.

So again, I say relax. Ease up on the rhetoric. Nobody knows what's going to happen, and a lot of folks out there are getting riled up unnecessarily. Certainly you should speak out if you oppose the legislation. I'm not suggesting that you shut up and take it if you have a beef with the bill or the way it was passed. But be constructive when you protest and don't presume that your opinion is going to carry the day.

And try to listen to others who might not agree with you. You don't have to change your mind, but neither of you is stupid because you don't agree with each other.

Here's a link to an article from US News & World Report. It's probably not going to change anyone's mind, but maybe it will remind you to settle down and not let anyone scare you into believing something about the legislation that may not be true.

Here's a sample from the article, written by Rick Newman.

It will be a long time before we know whether the historic healthcare reform finally passed by Congress will make the system better or worse. But the rhetoric surrounding the yearlong ordeal has already set new standards for overwrought fearmongering. There's a long history of pre-emptive hyperbole in Washington, in which the combatants on each side of an issue paint a dismal scenario if things don't go their way. But the dire predictions almost never materialize. Businesses adjust. Lawyers find loopholes. Lobbyists get new rules watered down. Entrepreneurs come up with better ways to make money, regardless of constraints. And if the new rules really do fail, we have this little process called electoral politics to make sure the government responds to voters' concerns.

Keep this in mind. Republicans were voted out of office in the last couple of elections because a majority of people were tired of what they thought Republicans were doing to them or not doing for them. So it stands to reason that if a majority of people are tired of what they think Democrats are doing to them or not doing for them, then Democrats will get voted out of office in the next series of elections.

That's the way our system works, gang.

Peace.

15 comments:

  1. Jeni says:

    Well Travis, make that 3 people who weren't opposed to the Health Care Reform Bill cause no one contacted me and asked my opinion either!
    I don't know if this bill is the answer to the health care issues faced by many, many in this country but it is at the very least, a start. At least I hope it will be that much anyway.
    Thanks for posting this as a reminder that not everyone agrees with everything that takes place in Congress and the Senate in D.C., but that we do have other options available when we don't like things that have been done -like voting people out of office the same way they were voted into office!
    Good post, great reminder!

  1. Coco says:

    Polls are the least accurate means for measuring the opinion of a population. We are inflicted with polls and surveys at our school on average once a month. The students who actually bother to read the questions and respond to them in a thoughtful manner represent about 5% of the actual group who complete them. And do these time- and money-consuming exercises make a difference in the education system? Not so we've noticed thus far.

    Recently, the NB government made a decision to sell our power monopoly to a neighbouring province. The news reported that, according to the polled population of NB, we believed this to be a positive move. NOBODY I know was asked their opinion and it was later discovered that the "poll" was nothing more than a door-to-door pamphlet in the Premier's constituency, of which only 20% were actually returned, and that the question was worded in such a way that a dedicated linguist would be hard pressed to comprehend exactly what was being asked. There was a great hue and outcry throughout the province at the piracy of the Grant government over this, so much in fact that many Ministers backpedalled from the deal and even left office over it. This morning, the news reported that the deal had "fallen through". My point is, several months ago, a "poll" was used as the justification for the waste of our time, attention and money in the effort to push this bogus deal through without consulting the majority of the population of our province. In this case, "the people" were heard.

    I hope it works out positively for your issue, Trav. (hugs to Pam and you - thanks for visiting my blog the other day!)

  1. I'm not fond of the new legislation, but I realize that there are multiple opinions about this issue. I know of several who want it and several who don't. Like I always say, there are many flavors of ice cream and toppings for pizza. Not everyone likes everything and some like other things...

  1. Mags says:

    Amen brother! I especially liked this sentence:

    "You don't have to change your mind, but neither of you is stupid because you don't agree with each other."

    I think lots of people forget that. Thanks for posting this Trav.

  1. Barb says:

    Well said, Trav. Nobody asked me either. Just saying.

    I had some of my favorite discussions with my now diceased father-in-law. Some people found him to be overbearing, sharply opinionated, argumentative and a pompass ass at times. I found him to be incredibly intelligent, passionate, sensitive, loving and yes, somewhat biased. Our conversations were often about the 2 taboo subjects - religion and politics. We were never in agreement on either issue. However, we both knew how to discuss without arguing. We both knew how to listen and hear another point of view that was different than our own. Without emotion. Without name calling. Without raising our voices. Without being disrespectful. Without giving even the slightest hint that one thought the other was wrong, or worse, stupid. And we both learned things. And I miss him dearly.

    I don't know if this health plan is the right plan or not, but at least something now exists that can be chiseled and honed.

    As always, Trav, I enjoy your writing. Written any poetry lately?

  1. Marilyn says:

    Wow. A voice of reason. I really liked this post. Especially the part about how neither of you being stupid.

  1. Bond says:

    No one asked me either...nor Nancy, we are are up to, what, 6 peoples who did not respond?

    This whole thing is so over the top with fear mongering it is crazy.

    As I said over on Dianne's site, you can protest, hell, we have protected for decades, by the nasty slander that is being spread is making me ashamed for the people of our country

  1. JohnH985 says:

    Count me as one of the people not asked either. That's the problem with the political process today, you can't just disagree with the other side...the other side has to be evil.

  1. I don't mind stating plainly what I think. This goes for real life and blog life. When I let loose with my views on a controversial subject over at my blog, my comments drop to a lone cricket! I've never had a shouting match on my blog, only lurkers who've read what I said but didn't feel like adding to the discussion. So far the most controversial post I've written was my book review about The Golden Compass. If you remember, the rightwingers held a successful boycott against the film adaptation, fueled by lies that would have become obvious if only they had read the book. The stand they took definitely bit into the film's box office.

    I had some wonderful, respectful discussion over that post. Makes me hungry for more of the same. I'm just not sure if my readers will ever delurk themselves when I share my opinions on certain subjects.

    As for the historic health reform bill, it's the second thing that's happened in the world that I thought I would never be lucky enough to see with my own eyes.

  1. I'm not opposed to reform, I just have NO use for incumbents. They're only motive for doing anything is re-election. They have no real interest in helping anyone but themselves. Why doesn't health care reform look like the House and Senate health and retirement plans? Just askin'.
    I know, I'm old, I'm grumpy, and I'm probably being a little too confrontational.

  1. You always have just the right words Travis. Well done!
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  1. Excellent post, Travis. Even and reasonable. What scares me today that there are some people who along with the screaming and yelling are actually doing harm, committing violent acts or saying hateful things for political reasons...

  1. I love the message bottle!! What a wonderful post. You spoke for so many of us. We be people too!

  1. Good points, hon. I wish people would just shut the hell up & give it a chance, but sheeple are notoriously ignorant. <:(

  1. I'm stealing this message bottle, Mister, and throwing it in the big ole' bloggy ocean. So there.