Monday, September 14, 2009

Beyond Reaction

It is easy to criticize the foibles of philosophical and political opponents. The current Administration is so out of touch with the Constitution and the deepest values that have forged our nation.

It is also easy to list "talking points" about What Must Be Done, as long as the author has no real responsibility to do anything!

We must get beyond reaction to substantive action that will actually improve the lives of American citizens, and, indeed, people around the globe impacted by American policies.

I challenge Conservatives and Republican leaders to show wisdom as well as passion and forge partnerships and policies that have a chane of working. I challenge Progressives and Democrats to confront history and recognize that bigger, centralized agencies do not work well and end up oppressing rather than serving.

Here are some thoughts to move us forward:

* Health care is not a Constitutional Right. It is, however, the compassionate prerogative of a civilized society.

* The Federal and State governments should regulate the licensing and practices of health care providers, ensuring that they are fair, honest and qualified.

* The government - at all levels - should not be the direct administrator of health services.

* No citizen should be without medical coverage. I do favor some type of grant to help the unemployed and underemployed have access to decent care other than an emergency room. BUT, this is not the same as current "public options" which are a mask for the long-term Progressive goal of single-payer care.

* Illegal aliens need to be placed on a road to legitimacy or deported. Of course, emergency care needs to be - and is - available to all people. Citizenship and legal residency need to matter again.

* Any illegals incarcerated in our systems need to be deported.

* We need to have well-prepared Delta Force soldiers on bases withing striking distance of terrorist strongholds. We do not need to be an occupying force in any nation. Let's bring the troops home, but let's keep a presence that will be able to confront these fanatical nests of evil.

* We need to live within our means. With our huge budget, this means a 10-15% cut in all spending, with no increases. Impossible? Not at all! Every department, every salary, every expense budget is affected. Only then will reality come home to our "public servants" at all levels. The only areas uncut are the actual resources for the poor (food stamps and direct aid monies) and for front-line troops (blanket and bullets) in the field.

* We need to stop being a wholly-owned subsidiary of China and other financial barons. Lowering the deficit, insisting on fair trade and lowering taxes on new enterprises will help restore our economy.

* Urban blight is not solved by more money. Washington D.C. itself is worse than some developing nations. How can abject poverty exist just blocks from the Capitol? It is time to forge real partnerships with religious communities, charities, social service providers, businesses and educators. It is time to get past all the PC language and posturing and create hope, jobs, safe environments and a culture of civility and moral rectitude. This must not be a new federal program, but authentic partnerships among those who live and work in the neighborhoods themselves.

* I challenge all Conservative and Progressive Foundations to give an accounting for where all the money goes and an assessment of organizational effectiveness. The results will be startling.

* It is hypocritical to promote abortion-on-demand and then criticize some cultures who choose to abort certain babies. When will we choose to be advocates for all the vulnerable: the unborn, physically/mentally challenged, the poor and marginalized and the infirm and aged? Only when we have a fully pro-life ethic will our compassion be more than words.

* It is time to celebrate small business, private property and success. Karl Marx hated England's shopkeepers. Hitler and Stalin hated private industry, but made private deals with select industrialists anyway. Mao killed millions and did not "leap forward" well. We can have private enterprise without environmental rapaciousness. We can care for God's world and watch it produce new wealth.

* We must be vigilant for the First Amendment - even when it offends our sensibilities. Preaching morality in churches, mosques and synagogues is not "hate speech." Conversely, Atheists have a right to assemble and critique religion - as long as they can handle losing the public argument most of the time. Opposing government funding of some expressions is NOT censorship - artists and authors can find other ways to communicate besides my tax dollars. Direct threats to our security should be taken seriously and Islamofascism must not be allowed to grow.

We will continue this list of forward thinking soon. The questions for all of us are, "Am I willing to do something for the good of others locally? Will I get involved nationally and globally, securing the same opportunities for others that I enjoy for myself?"