Monday, March 22, 2010

Politics mini-rant: This has all happened before...

I try to abstain from political rants as much as possible. Like everyone, I have my opinions, but I'm not in politics and my skills do not lie in convincing people to vote one way or another. Regardless, I've been around politics to know that this has all happened before and it will all happen again.

This week the new Health Care reform passed. Many people I know loathe this reform, and many also praise it as groundbreaking (thus the conflict of my growing up in the conservative South and later working in "hippy-town" Berkeley). My opinions on this reform do not matter, but I do wish to briefly stand on my soapbox to remind everyone how politics works: over time, if a controversial legislation ends up working then it remains in service and people accept it and adapt to it (and the opposition may even take credit for it years later), if it does not work then it is removed or modified by the opposition when they regain power (and they always do).

No one party stays in power too long in our government. If life goes well the voting populace tends to be satisfied with the party, but once something somewhat negative inevitably happens (whether it is real or manufactured) people get tired and vote the other party in. This has happened for over 200 years and it will not change any time soon no matter what doomsayers say. In fact, the doomsayers have been saying the same thing for decades about everyone (the political party of the doomsayers usually matches to whoever isn't currently in power) yet we are all still here. Not all legislature works, and when it fails spectacularly (see: prohibition) a power change is usually not far behind. But if a bill really does work then people tend to forget all the "end-of-the-world" rhetoric and move on to whatever mundane gripe they have. Or, in some cases, when a power change eventually occurs the majority party updates the legislature with (minor) changes and claim the entire piece as their own.

Basically, many of the services people take for granted now (Post Office, Social Security, most regulation agencies, Medicare, etc) were at one point volatile political bills that people bitterly fought over. The ones that worked survived (or were modified), the ones that didn't were removed and eventually forgotten.

So if you truly believe that Health Care is bad, or you think it is the best thing since sliced bread, then give it time and you will be proven correct and vindicated either through its success, modification, or removal. Because regardless of how you feel now, the populace will make the "right" choice over time. But currently no one knows what that choice will be no matter how convincing they may sound.

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