EARL WATT, L&T Publisher
It is amazing how the emotional bonds have grown to a fevered pitch in politics, and it is that same heightened apprehension that is leading to violence, kidnappings and hatred.
First, I do not believe any president is or will be the anti-Christ. I do believe Christians have been the targets of bad legislation, but I reserve the anti-Christ label for a true evil that will lead to the immediate coming of the true Christ. Since that hasn’t happened, I believe the use of the term is overdone.
For people on opposite sides of the political spectrum, they always see the leader on the other side as the anti-Christ, but that again is a symptom of the overall angst we are experiencing in politics today.
Not far behind the anti-Christ claims are the comparisons to Hitler. There an online term for this called Goodwin’s Law, which states, “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1.” That means if an online discussion goes long enough, someone will eventually be compared to Hitler.
As one president leaves and another takes office from the opposite party, both are targets of these outlandish claims that add fuel to the fire.
Neither did anything like Hitler, and neither brought the world to the rapture, thereby falling short of being the anti-Christ.
The language that has led to this environment has come from our elected leaders, and Barack Obama and Donald Trump both have a hand in fanning the flames.
And so does Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, and the list goes on and on.
The Affordable Health Care Act is a prime example of how hatred is spewed rather than a simple examination of the facts.
The goal of Obamacare was a noble one — drive down health insurance costs by requiring it from those who aren’t covered, and allow everyone who likes the coverage they had to keep it as well as keeping access to their current doctor.
This bill was passed strictly on partisan lines with not one Republican vote.
The results have not lived up to the promise. Costs have skyrocketed, coverage has been diminished, policies were removed, and people lost access to their trusted health care providers.
Both sides are coming to the conclusion that something has to be done, that the promise of Obamacare has failed.
And it should stop there. No claims of fraud or anti-Christ comparisons. An ill-conceived plan was rushed through Congress, and it didn’t live up to expectations.
It’s not the first time, and it won’t be the last.
Now Republicans have to solve the problem created solely by the Democrats, but they cannot solve it by repeating the same mistake of trying to unilaterally present a replacement.
The Republicans will pass quickly a repeal measure, and Democrats know that it won’t automatically kick anyone off of coverage. But some in leadership are pushing that false narrative as a way to attack the opposite party.
There are two better options that used to take place by our elected officials.
When a law needed to be passed, and both sides know that Obamacare cannot remain in its current form, then both sides presented options, they debated the merits, and then a vote was taken.
Republicans failed to do this seven years ago, and it paid off politically even though it hurt the American people in the long run. By offering no alternative, and condemning Obamacare, Democrats used their 60-vote majority in the Senate and overwhelming numbers in the House to pass the bill without one Republican.
Since then, democrats have been decimated, losing more than 1,000 elected seats nationwide.
While Democrats paid a heavy price, so did the working class with higher premiums and reduced coverage.
Trump now has the obligation to fix it, and it will start by repealing the current law and creating a new one.
And he will need Democrats at the table sharing their concerns so that the new law will have a fighting chance with bipartisan support.
That is the other method of creating law, forming a bipartisan committee that can garner support from both parties.
When this is attempted, there will be rogue representatives and senators, usually from the far fringes of both parties, that will unite in an effort to kill the legislation, choosing nothing at all rather than compromise.
These are the voices that will be referring to their own as sell-outs and the opposition as dangerous.
We cannot start to believe that compromising on legislation like this is evil. It is necessary for both sides to get a bill they can support, and at the end of the day, that is the role of our elected officials — to work together for the benefit of all.
When you hear outlandish claims, those are the voices that will not help move America forward.
When we hear personal attacks rather than policy concerns, those are the voices that thrive in conflict, not in governing.
Next week, Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, and bills will be flying quickly, on the economy, health care, trade, taxes and more.
If you watch a news outlet that only talks to the haters, reject it. If you watch a station that is only a cheerleader, reject that, too.
Look at the policy, not rhetoric. Decipher whether or not you believe you will have better coverage with the new policy or the old.
But this is not about personality, it’s not about Making America Sick Again as Chuck Shumer has said before a proposal has even been made. These are baboon hearts, and we should reject them.