I love being a dad. A father is something that most post-pubescent males are biologically equipped to become with minimal effort, and unfortunately, sometimes minimal post-activity upkeep. But being a dad takes work, and of all the things I’ve done, it is the most revered title I’ve ever earned.
Being a good dad means teaching your little ones life lessons, and as I tell my kids, my job is to “teach them the lessons to help them grow up to be good humans.” But every day that I watch the news it seems we have several hundred people in Washington, elected by a public that doesn’t appear to be paying much attention, whose parents dropped the ball entirely when teaching those lessons.
I’ve been keeping a keen eye on the current healthcare debacle, with Conservatives attempting to deconstruct the plan known as Obamacare, which was sold as a way to put America on track with the rest of the world, in terms of healthcare for everyone, but fell drastically short and became more of a vehicle to fleece small businesses and make insurance companies (and their highly paid lobbyists) a lot of money. I’ve been watching the back and forth between some politicians who have vowed for years to dismantle Obamacare at all costs and others who deliberately misinformed the public to get it passed in the first place. It has a lot of similarities to the lessons I’ve been working to teach my kids, and makes me worry about the future of our great nation if these squabbling children can’t play nice.
Nancy “you have to pass it to see what’s in it” Pelosi has sent a shot across the bow to the GOP by saying their rush to get it passed shows that Republicans are “terrified about its potential effects.”
“They have this vote tattooed on them. This is a scar that they will carry,” Pelosi told reporters at her weekly news conference. She was counting on her voting base to forget her childish actions in pushing the original Obamacare, or at the very least, not be paying attention to the garbage coming out of her mouth.
I’m not saying that Conservatives are squeaky clean in this either. To establish a directive to dismantle the hallmark plan of a previous administration at all costs rather than try to fix it isn’t quite exemplary behavior in itself, and is akin to a child with a broken toy insisting their sibling’s toy be broken as well to “make it fair.” But to get upset and publicly discredit someone for pulling the same, exact, childish antics you pulled in the not-so-distant past is a clear example of behavior I’m trying to discourage in my children.
And the squabbling has spread beyond the children in Washington to their media representatives, as well. Listening to a segment with NPR host Warren Olny yesterday with guests from The Center for American Progress, The Kaiser Foundation, Politico and The Washington Examiner sounded alarmingly similar to arguments I hear between my seven- and four-year-olds.
Name calling, he-said-she-said, “but you said” and a plethora of childish activities have erupted in our political landscape, where it’s no longer popular to be civil, listen to what the other side has to say and form your response based on their point of view in civil discourse. Listening to politicians and the media argue over semantics and devolve to name-calling has, unfortunately, become a part of reality in our great nation, and I hope that my children can grow up to be better than that.
Robert Patrick Lewis is a Green Beret OIF/OEF combat veteran with 10th SFG(A) and is an award-winning author of “The Pact” and “Love Me When I’m Gone: the true story of life, love and loss for a Green Beret in post-9/11 war.” Follow him @RobertPLewis on Twitter or on his RobertPatrickLewisAuthor Facebook page.
**The Views and Opinions expressed in these columns are those of the writer, not necessarily those of SCV Publications/Santa Clarita Gazette.**