i have a question...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 22, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    so here's the deal. much has been said by the GOP about the health reform bill...they say "the people don't want it." the democrats say that the people would want it if they knew what was really in it. i'm just guessing, and given the fear factor, but if a national vote were held today, the health reform bill would get voted down.


    is the majority always right? at what point do the senators and congresspeople vote their conscience and not necessarily what "the people" want? i personally believe the GOP is hiding behind that idea, but let's say they really mean it. let's say they are getting calls from a majority of their constituents and they really feel that the health reform bill is unpopular and the majority of people they are representing are against it. should they still vote against it...even if they think that health reform is necessary and that there will be no "perfect" bill, but something is better than nothing?

    cuz here is where it strikes close to home, fellas.

    the "majority" of americans think that marriage is between a man and a woman. the majority of americans are not gay. it took a civil war and an entire decade to get a majority to see the plight of the afro-american minority. when does the weight of the majority and their opinion get put aside for the benefit of a minority who will never be able to out-vote them? when do the senators and congresspeople begin to see that, while the majority claims one thing, the "right" answer is to go with an unpopular decision to grant rights to a minority?

    and, if that answer seems obvious to you, then you might consider that this same argument is what fuels the anti-abortion debate. sure, they say, it is a law that abortion is legal and the majority of americans agree, but, they say, the majority of americans are wrong in this case. and so they endlessly argue on behalf of the unborn (a minority with no voting power) to overturn a decision made by the majority.

    so...health care reform, same sex marriage, and abortion: when, in your opinion, should our elected officials listen to us and when should they turn a deaf ear and vote their own conscience?
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    Mar 22, 2010 2:53 PM GMT

    what can i say? i'm bi-partisan curious. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Mar 22, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    Well, let's apply some common sense here.

    Would The Public have voted down equal rights for Blacks? For Gays? Yep. Of course they would have. We all know that. Some folks in Washington, though, at that time, did what was right. Did / does The Public vote down equal rights for gays in California? Yes. Does that make it right? I think not.

    One thing that some folks forget: a true democracy isn't the voice for the majority, but, is also the voice of those who can't speak for themselves....the sick...the injured...the oppressed...the poor.

    Would the public have voted down Social Security? Yep. Medicare? Yep.

    Is the misinformation beyond gross coming out of the special interests? Oh, yes.

    In The Constitution: "general welfare" means something, right? That general welfare shouldn't just apply to corporations, should it?

    With health care, it's more about wanting things not to get worse. A fear campaign was very successful, but, most folks know someone who will benefit immediately from the new bill. Is it perfect? No. Does it hand out corporate welfare to insurance companies, and line the pockets of Big Pharm? Yes. Does it do more than the GOP has done in decades? Oh, yeah. Does it help folks this week? Oh, yeah.

    If we can spend 15% of our GNP (5 times more than China) on two unfunded, and unneeded wars, we ought to be able to figure out how to make sure no person should go without medical care in this country, particularly if regular countries get health care in less than 1/2 of what's being spent now here (8% of GNP, or less). Are we that inept? If regular countries can pull it off, aren't we as good?
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    Mar 22, 2010 5:05 PM GMT
    thanks chuck for the reply.

    i think we can do what you ask...we've done it before. it is just that things have seemingly gotten out of hand. it has become one special interest versus another...and the losers are the ones that genuinely need help (okay, so i'm a little biased to gay issues...but i think marriage and adoption by same sex partners ranks right up there with women not voting and blacks drinking out of different water fountains).

    but i think it is an interesting philosophical quandary that folks use to their benefit when it suits them. politicians are against abortion because it gets them votes, and yet they are against same sex unions because they lose votes. depending on who you talk to, health reform is signing the apocalypse into law, or it is a long overdue vote for the american people.

    i think the "majority" question is an interesting one...because on the one hand it gives power to the people (a la the gettysburg address), but ignoring the popular vote gets us W elected twice, having some folks being accused of being elitist, and giving a lot of power to some special interests at the expense of others.

    i think this little snag is where most of our politics gets hung up these days...