|Words and photo by F LoBuono|
You've heard this slogan before: there are two sides to every story and then there's the truth. Pretty cogent, isn't it? In looking for the truth (at least as I see it) of any given situation, I feel that it is important to interpret the motivation of every protagonist and antagonist involved. We must peel away the layers of camouflage to discover the reality within. In other words, what is their raison d'etre or reason for existing? So, when I attempt to get to the root of a story by attempting to understanding its nature or essence, I rely on that axiom.To understand the motivation or impetus for their particular point of view (POV), we have to understand their nature. There, then, perhaps, lies the truth.
So it is with the current debate RAGING within our County on The Affordable Care Act, A.K.A as Obamacare.
Let's get one thing straight right off the bat: this struggle is ultimately about POWER. Both Democrats and Republicans want the power to run this Country as they see fit. I feel both believe that their policies to accomplish this are the right ones. And both make convincing arguments for their case. So, with the acknowledgement that this IS ultimately about power, let's get to the essence of each POV. What motivates each to believe what they believe.
The power base for the Republican Party is Big Business. If you look at virtually all of their fiscal policies, they are leveraged to support the growth of Big Business. They believe that in doing so, they can create financial stability through job growth. This, in turn, will foster a vibrant economy of a solid, working middle class, basically shepherded by a sort of benevolent, ruling upper class. In other words, if we reward the rich, they will feed the poor. It has a name: Trickle-down Economics. Since business, i.e. Capitalism, is built on so-called Darwinian Economics, the motivation is self-preservation through PROFIT. PROFIT is their core, their essence, their raison d'etre! It is their NATURE. Therefore, everything that they ultimate create is motivated by their BOTTOM LINE. By their very nature, businesses must do things that generate profit, or they will, simply, cease to exist. This is reasonable and logical - if you support such a system. However, even things that may be considered philanthropic, when executed by Big Business, are generally not done simply for altruism's sake. No. It adds to the Company's bottom line by creating an atmosphere of really caring (Public Relations) AND to provide massive tax exemptions! Remember, the MOTIVATION for Big Business is to create PROFIT. If they can do some good along the way, so be it. Making money, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. In fact, it is essential. It becomes a matter of degree. However, the BOTTOM LINE is the BOTTOM LINE and who determines how much profit is enough? They will say that this fosters an attitude of so-called self motivation. However, when one considers the nature of things, I don't buy it.
The Koch Brothers and the industries that they control are a prime example. They are among the richest men in the world and put their money where their mouths are. They are ultra-conservative Republicans who donate millions of dollars to conservative causes. And not all of these causes are purely political, either. They give millions to areas that will increase their bottom line. Since the Koch's made most of their billions in the energy trade, they give to causes that support less government regulation of Big Business, especially the Energy Industry. They would do everything within their power, for example, to destroy the EPA. Why? They would tell you that it's because it's a classic example of government over-reach into private industry and the EPA wastes taxpayer money. So, they would gut the agency allowing the Kochs to do WHATEVER WAS necessary to increase their bottom line! It's the NATURE of the beast. Along the way, the Koch's have also donated millions to truly charitable causes. One of the main theaters at New York's Lincoln Center is named the David L. Koch Theater in his honor. This, of course, is a good thing. But, once again, I am forced to question the ultimate motivation.
Now, the Democrats' policies appear to be the polar opposite. They seem to be heavily ladened with Social Programs. They are the supporters of Health Care reform, Medicaid, Welfare, and other policies that would benefit those less fortunate. Of course, this sounds great, but who will pay for such things? Generally, that burden falls on the middle class and there are many who would say, "enough already. Too many live off the sweat of my brow!" This, of course, is a legitimate concern to any hard working person with a family. However, let's get to the nature of what Democrats want. What IS their motivation? Does creating such policies line the pockets of Democrats? If so, how? I don't see the motivation as PROFIT. In fact, it costs money! So, why should we support them when some may see that as counter to the so-called "American Way"? Well, I see them as attempting, at least (motivation) to create a more balanced society for all Americans. Merit should be rewarded but profit should not be put before people. This is IDEOLOGY i.e. what motivates your policies.
Both parties do have a vision. Republicans BELIEVE that a strong economy, lead by big business, is the key to everything falling into place. In a sense, Social Programs will take care of themselves because the economy will be so healthy. In fact, in a GOP "perfect world", there would be no need for Social Services - everyone would be working! Businesses will self-monitor because, well, it's good for business- no need for Big Brother, i.e. the Government. The Democrats, on the other hand, believe that it is not in the "nature" of business to self-monitor and, therefore, contribute fully to society. They believe that it takes the strong, guiding hand of a benevolent Government to steer it in the right direction. Of course, to some, this is against the very NATURE of what it means to be an American.
This frames the current debate of the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) beautifully. By their NATURE, the GOP will fight it because by ITS nature, the AHCA can be seen as harming the profits of one of most profitable industries, one greatly supported by the GOP; the Health Care Industry. The AHCA at least makes an attempt at regulating the out of control costs that plague all of us in need of affordable health care. The GOP rails that we can do better by keeping Government out of industry but offer no viable alternatives (at least none that I am aware of). And, so, like petulant children, they are stamping their feet, holding their breath, and holding us all hostage. Why? Well, it really comes down to their NATURE. They often call Democrats "elitists" because many Democratic leaders have education backgrounds of privilege. However, in this case, shouldn't the GOP be called such? After all, aren't they the ones preventing all Americans from sharing in their own Government? Hell, they shut the place down, essentially saying "we're taking our ball and going home". Well, you can't get more elitist than that!
So, the bottom line of this article is: do you support the nature of the GOP, i.e. the bottom line. Or, do you seek a Democratic vision where profit is never seen as more important than people?