I am running for my first political office. I turned 60 last week and have been evaluating where I am with my life up to this point. I have written a number of blogs and have commentated on a number of issues for many years now. While I should be looking to retire and going into another direction in my career, I find myself unable now to do this because of the financial conditions of our nation, of the state of Illinois, and of my household. When I coached, I was often irritated by the ignorant comments of those in the stands since they did not really understand the game, the strategy, the rules of the game, and the conditions on the court/field. I think it is time to get out of the stands and into the sausage-making process that is developing policy.
While I am running to become part of a small cog of a large political process, I find I have a lot of research and understanding to get to before I want to become an effective member of this Board. So, I have been talking to a lot of conservatives, particularly now that the ACA has been upheld and their hairs are on fire. This has been a very interesting week.
So, here are the arguments I've been hearing and why I am very concerned. They truly believe that people in poverty deserve it. I have always thought this was an exaggeration by the Left about the extremists on the Right, but I am finding this is not the case. They truly believe that laziness is the driving force to this horrible state in humanity. When Alan Grayson went onto the floor of the House and did his presentation of the GOP health care plan (http://www.vxv.com/video/mJoiG6IAUg2n/alan-grayson-on-the-gop-health-care-plan-don-t-get-sick-and-if-you-do-get-sick-die-quickly.html), he was not kidding. I think it's safe to say that these guys are not pro-life, they are pro-wealth--period. Let's not kid ourselves here. If we want justice for all Americans, we need to come to this realization: we are not dealing with pro-life people. We are not dealing with moralists. We are not dealing with problem solvers. We are dealing with the ugliest form of political force. I have railed against money and its ugly influence on our lives when dealing with religion, health care, and peace. I think it is safe to say that it permeates every aspect of our decisions.
The challenge I have, should I get elected, is to make sure that I stand up for the right choices when weighing all of the factors separately. We can't get things done if the money is not there. However, I can not in good conscience agree to a decision between a moral choice and a financial choice if the financial choice means crushing the moral choice (e.g. the many times we hear about an insurance company deny a young patient treatment because it hurts the bottom line). I hope I never become so cynical in choices that I end up doing something so horrible.