Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Does Obama hate White people?

Actually for some, I think this question shoots to the heart of one of the problems in our political climate.

Before in history when someone disagreed with the president it was assumed it was because of policy. No one had to wonder if it was because of race. Well most Americans didnt have to worry.

Now we are at the first point in American history where the majority race is confronted with the concept (real or imagined) that the president may not have their personal interests at heart because of race.

Deep down inside we all have parts of us that feel a certain way that is unacceptable to our conscious self. We protect our conscious self from those feeling through various defense mechanism. One of my favorite is projection

a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people.
In other words. If you deep down inside feel like you hate your sister, but consciously you know it is unacceptable to hate your sister. You may begin to feel your sister hates you.

We all have prejudices that are born of our life experiences: how we were raised, our past interactions with other, and how we perceive others have been treated. Yet in many instances society tells us that our prejudices are inherently wrong-- evil. When truth of the matter its not the prejudices that are wrong, but how we condition our responses to them.

Yet these prejudices do exist in all of us, but consciously we feel that is wrong. Prejudice is a bad word right? Synonyms with racism and bigotry, right? Therefore I can understand how if that is lurking beneath the surface of our minds whenever those thoughts creep up near the conscious we have to do something before it pops up. And we do. We get rid of it, even better we give it to the thing that is causing us so much discomfort.

I would be guilty of grossly over generalizing if I stated I felt that this was the reason for all of the disagreement regarding the current administration, but I would be equally remiss if I didn't wonder how much it contributed to the intensity of the dissent.

Listen up Libs and cons: There is enough hyprocisy to go around

I sat playing with my two year old while CNN was playing in the background during the Senate vote to bring the healthcare reform bill to the floor. Not the nail bitter I think it was made out to be, but interesting enough. As I listened to the punditry dribble what constitutes post-election debate, I heard abortion was once again a line being drawn in the sand as, Tina Fey's 30 Rock character would put it, a "deal breaker".

This is nothing new; the topic is divisive and a hardline issue for many who are single issue voters based on abortion alone (which I think silly, but to each their own). But there I sat listening to the panel discuss the vote along political lines "Conservative" senator this and "Liberal" senator that. I began to wonder something. And maybe its just me; but isnt there a lot of contradiction within these political ideologies?

Ok. the right of the spectrum is against abortion. Yet the same group that professes the inherent preciousness of each life is the same group that is the biggest proponent of the death penalty. Is life only precious at the beginning? This is also the same group usually opposed to welfare which in most cases is designed to help take care of the "not aborted" babies. The right professes to oppose government intervention yet endorses heavy regulations when it comes to drugs,gambling, prostitution, abortion --the areas where the most intimate decisions regarding personal choices are involved.

Now the left side of the spectrum supports abortion. Yet the same group that does not feel life in womb deserves ultimate protection quivers at the thought of people taking the life of those which have committed heinous crimes against others. The left proposes that people should have personal liberty, based on personal responsibility, when it comes to drugs, prostitution, and abortions, but baulks when it comes to guns and again when asked to enforce personal responsibility when it comes to crime and welfare.

As ideologies liberalism and conservatism seem to have predetermined stances for the majority of issues facing this country. I always find it interesting that a person could be wholly one or the other on each of these issues without running head on to some of these inherent contradictions.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tort reform might save me money, but will it save you any?

As a doctor I am all for limits on personal injury or tort reform. Limits may ultimately lead to reductions in my malpractice insurance. Good for me, but I don't think it is going to be as big a cost saver to the system as people think.

I agree tests and treatments are sometimes ordered frivolously, but that is not all because the doctor is scared of being sued. Well, maybe it is. But that fear comes from the general public's expectations and it's influence on standard of care.

For an example of this is look, what happened last year when a body looked at mammogram recommendations. When the group looked at the recommendations for how often screening should be done the whole country got in arms about possibly changing the recommendations. Because even if studies shows you have to screen 1000 extra people to catch one extra cancer (being facetious) society wants those screens. Nobody wants to be that one in a thousand who isn't caught.

Now in order for tort reform to be effective for the public, and not just for me, there would have to be reform in the practices of medicine. This would involve looking at standards of care to see the cost/benefit/risk ratio of doing certain test in certain situations, or when to or not to treat certain conditions. Sound like the "death panels" the dems were accused of creating, right? But how else are you going to change the culture in medicine?

The funny thing is when dems mention creating bodies to evaluate these risk/benefit ratio's they are called death panels. When repubs call for tort reform which will ultimately lead to the creation of the same panels they aren't death panels anymore.

I think we need to look at the overarching similarities between both sides proposals. Finding the commonalities between the two points of view should make it easier to find compromises--makes sense to me

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not everybody at a Tea Party event is racist, but....

I have read many stories about the Tea Party movement suggesting that their is a hidden tinge of racism beneath the outrage of the movement.

Ok, now I have to say that I don't think that just because you are a member of the "Tea Party Movement" that means you are automatically a racist. But standing next to the guy holding the Obama sign with him a bone in his nose doesn't help. Now I have heard the defense that "just because I am at the rally and some people are racist doesn't make me a racist". I actually agree.

But I was thinking about something: Remember during the 2008 elections when everybody kept saying how racist Obama must be because he attended Jeremiah Wright's church?And remember how anti -American Obama was at that time because he "palled around" with terrorist Bill Ayers?

Now I only mention this to point out how silly we let the partisan spin, spin us. You are guilty by association as long as they aren't people you associate with? Doesn't make sense to me

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I dont think Congress would know what a compromise was if instead of slapping them in the face it lightly kicked them in the butt....

1. a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands

That seems a simple enough concept, so why is it so hard to get our Congress to grasp that?

My biggest problem with the whole healthcare debate isnt that I am not getting everything I wanted out of the bill. It is just that I dont feel that I am getting anything for those things that I wanted but are disappearing. I dont expect to get everything I want that is not true compromise.

There is no true compromise going on. In a true compromise I would expect to hear one party say what they previously were not willing to accept that they will now accept given condition X is met. I have yet to hear that from the republicans.

From the the democrats standpoint I would expect them to say we will only make X concession if doing so would gain support for Y. I havent seen that either. Not across the isle. In the democratic party there has been compromise because of a few "blue dog" democrats trying to tenuously hold on to purple seats.

With all do respect to President Obama, Ried, Gibbs et al., I dont want you all to slow down on healthcare. I think more than three decades is slow enough. What I want is you guys to sit down to at a table on TV and say: "If I give serious tort reform a try, will you try a form of some kind of public option? Two possible responses

1) Yes," ok lets bang this out" or 2) No: "Ok reconciliation and I'll holler back in 2010, and 12"

Sounds simple, makes sense to me.