Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Thoughts on Change, Politics, and Other Controversial Topics

Based on a Facebook conversation regarding this article, I want to share some of my thoughts on change and this country, and people's impressions on change and our country's future.

If you want a quick synopsis of the article, it is written by a former West Point graduate complaining about the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, and what a shame it is that cadets are now allowed to be openly gay, and how West Point represents society, and basically America is falling apart because West Pointers are allowed to be openly gay.  When I first started reading the article it was so ridiculous that I thought it was satire until I got further into the article and realized this guy was serious.  Maybe I wouldn't have taken so much offense to it, except he also made a statement along the lines of "first women, and now this!"  I'm sorry, I didn't know that having women and gays at West Point was an indication of the eventual downfall of America. I didn't know that the only people who are good enough to represent American values were straight, white males.

This also sparked some other thoughts.  I am tired of hearing political parties complain about how the other party is going to destroy our great country (okay, I guess that is more the conservatives against the liberals).  Our country is still fairly new in the grand scheme of things.  Things have been changing since our country was established.  Actually, our country wouldn't even EXIST as we know it if the country's original founders didn't WANT change, so in short, our country was founded on change.  How can people expect that things won't change if that is what our country was founded on?  If nothing ever changed then several of these people complaining about it would probably still be peasants working on a farm somewhere under some land lord.  If nothing ever changed, everything would still be based on the class system, and if you weren't born rich, well then sorry... You were going to be eternally stuck in your position with some oppressive monarchy stopping you from moving ahead in life.  Hm... but I guess in THAT case, change was good.  Right?  Or, there's the whole issue of slavery.  Yeah, there were definitely some people who were against getting rid of THAT too.  Or how about when domestic violence was okay and legal because it was up to the family to deal with it because the man was the head of the house?  I realize I'm making some rather sweeping generalizations, but with every change, there have ALWAYS been people who have rejected the change.  I wish people would keep that in mind when they make generalizations about how our great country is falling apart with every new change that comes about.  Our country is new, was founded on change, and will probably continue to change, and that doesn't necessarily mean that it's coming to its demise.

I can see some merit in some of the arguments... I am a Christian - not a perfect one, but I am religious - and there are some things I see that do bother me, but that doesn't mean that I want everything to be the way it was back in the 1800s just because people were more religious back then.  I suppose I'm sort of a rare breed because I'm a Christian in the military, but I'm also fairly liberal in some areas, perhaps because of my own background.  I do not think that everyone who uses welfare is a drug addict or lazy.  I also don't think that having universal health care is a bad idea.  I know, I know, I'm against everything that most people in the military think is the right way.

I know from first hand experience that sometimes welfare is necessary for short periods of time.  Sometimes things happen that are out of someone's control.  It could be anything from leaving an abusive husband to serious health problems that have temporarily left you unable to work, and until you know someone, you can't really judge their situation.  Sure there are people who abuse the system, but the majority would rather feel that they are actually doing something productive for society.

Many, many people I know are very against universal health care.  To be honest, I don't know all of the details of it just yet - though if it all sticks around, I'm sure I'll learn all about it in my master's program.  But I do know that I don't think it's such a bad idea - despite the many opinions that President Obama is trying to turn our country into a socialist state.  Here is a news flash: part of how we came out of the Great Depression was with public assistance programs.  Just become something has always been a certain way doesn't mean that it can't be made better.  Maybe I am slightly biased on this because of my own family health issues, but I don't think someone should be denied health care because of situations that are likely out of their own control.  Without getting into too much detail, I have seen how not having health insurance can be a downward spiral, and oftentimes the lack of health insurance is not a willful choice by the patient (ever tried getting health insurance when you're too sick to work enough hours to get employee benefits?)  Just some food for thought.

I can see myself veering toward a little more than I intended this blog post to be, so I'll stop while I'm ahead. This is just some food for thought.  

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