I give up. There is no common ground. I just tried to reason, in my head, with a close friend who exists on the other side of the great partisan divide that has arisen in this country. It doesn’t work. I doubt if he has ever even seen a food stamp or collected unemployment. I think his first car was a new Austin Healey 3000.
On health care, he has the best policy anyone can get. He has Medicare with a supplemental that will pick up the rest, regardless of cost. This supplement is provided by the state of New Jersey, by the way, as a part of his retirement benefit. In other words, he has the best of a totally governmentally run plan. At the same time he is against any health care reform that would offer the same to the 45,000,000 uninsured because he wants to take no chance that the changes could diminish his policy. He got his through his hard work and if others want it then let them work. Contrary to every other developed country in the world, the government in (t)his country does not owe its citizens the right to decent medical coverage.
On war, my friend does not acknowledge that the United States has ever done anything wrong. He feels that those countries that hate us, who want to kill us, do so because of the sweet life that we have over here. Those poor countries are jealous of how good we have it. I can’t pierce his argument. It’s like he doesn’t know about how Enron sabotaged India’s energy policy or he doesn’t see how our wars are related to upholding the interests of the multi-national oil companies. Members of the Saudi Royal Family were his classmates and school chums in prep school. My friend is firmly grounded in Republican dogma. It thoroughly supports his way of life and Republican pundits like Beck and Limbaugh totally rationalize away any reasonable criticism. I can’t get through or past those guys.
On the economy there is absolutely no hope. He (they) firmly believes that it is the Democrats who have destroyed our country. “The stupid policy that everyone should have a home even if they couldn’t afford it was a Democratic policy, unfortunately not subdued by the Republicans to any great extent. The government forced banks to make these bad loans and unfortunately the buyers, sellers, bankers, brokers, and Wall Street took advantage of it and it worked very well for all while housing prices skyrocketed. Buy now, don’t worry if you can’t afford it, the value of the house will go up and you can refinance or sell. No one was going to loose, it was a win-win situation for all. Well, over-supply came on the scene and the rest is history. The Republicans forgot fiscal responsibly during their recent years of control of congress, and Bush too, but remember it was the Republican Congress who brought us to a surplus in the Clinton years. The Democrats now have brought us to the largest deficit spending ever in our history and they still try to blame Republicans for everything. Well, blame is over, it’s their show now. Talk about bankrupting the country, the Democrats are on their way big time!”
I just give up. Education is not possible when the need for it is not recognized. And, as for that great hoax called “Global Warming,” well just forget about it. I give up. There is no common ground. I mourn the loss of my friend and of our once great country.