Share Tweet

Can a Liberal Change His Mind?

August 23, 2009

I find it very difficult to be open to other positions or ideas when I am sure my own position or idea is the right one. Doesn’t this make sense? Why would anyone that is sure he is right stop and give an open honest listen to something you already think is wrong?

What I try to do in my life is act on my beliefs with confidence, but, in the back of my mind, I must accept that what I believe might be wrong. I should always be open to reconsider the data and to change my mind when the data and rationale indicates that I was wrong.

What I’m thinking about at this moment is political ideologies, Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, the anti-health reformers vs. the health reform advocates. Watching the Town Hell Meetings (not a typo) I see people being down right ugly to other people. The people on the news coverage are not participating in a debate; they are clearly there to prevent a debate. I get a little peeved at the conservative shouters thinking they are either crazy, Insurance Industry promped people, political operatives, or ignorant people with the analytical skills of a plastic toilet seat.

Yes, yes, I know this true believer whacko behavior can be liberal as well as conservative, Democrat as well as Republican. I do remember the Democratic Convention in Chicago and the wild, crazy behavior of that mostly left/liberal/progressive crowd.

I heard Dancing with the Stars Tom Delay talk about a Town Hall Meeting he had years ago where liberals brought in quadriplegics and dumped them on to the gym floor in an effort to create such a hub-ub that the intended discussion could not take place. [I also read that when this incident occurred Tom Delay wasn’t even there. It was a Speech Lie.]

These disruptive acts of political protest should not surprise us, because they are defensive skills we learned in elementary school. When someone is telling you something you don’t want to hear you place your hands over your ears and make nonsense noises as loud as possible.

Now I have already said I get horinked off by the conservative noise campaign, but I am just curious enough to wonder about myself. I admit that I have issues that are so important to me that I feel myself psychologically stopping up my ears, and shouting while my tongue flaps about. If I have a small herd of sacred cows grazing in the pastures of my mind then maybe I should reconsider these beasts. Are the positions I hold animals that I can release?

One such sacred cow for me is the Public Option in the Health Reform bills being stuck together with old chewing gum wads and broken shoelaces. My brain is yelling at me right now as I type, “WE caved on Single Payer Health Care without even trying, so the Public Option is already a compromise. We would be better off with nothing if we can’t have the Public Option, you spineless, gnat minded dough-dough head.”

Do I really think this? Am I prepared to give up any bill because it fails to have this one provision included? Wouldn’t some health reform be better than no health reform?

I’m starting to reflect on possibilities here. Imagine the health reform bill looking something like this:

  • Every American would be required to have health care (sort of like what we do with car insurance in most states.) This would mean that 47 million Americans currently with zero coverage would be required by law to carry a health insurance policy.
  • Since a huge block of the uninsured are young healthy people who stupidly believe they will never get sick, never be in an accident, and will never get old, this means that a lot of these 47 million people will pay for a health care plan and not need to use it much. That will help cover the aging Boomers who use health care services a lot.
  • The insurance industry will be compelled to create policies that are affordable to meet government regulations and they will do so in order to get a piece of that 47000 pool of new customers.
  • Without a Public Option the government will have to create some sort of system for assisting the poor in paying for this required insurance.


Now this does sound better than no health reform at all, doesn’t it? My mind sticks its big toe in the sand, rocks it back and forth making a little crater and then reluctantly mumbles, “Yeah, I guess its better than nothin’.”

REALITY CHECK

The conservatives opposing health reform are going to oppose any reform that changes things.

  • To the conservatives and government haters the only reform they want is the one that contains no reform whatsoever
  • Conservatives and government haters are not going to accept mandatory health insurance
  • Conservatives and government haters are not going to accept government regulations on what cost and coverage will be required of the insurance industry
  • Conservatives and government haters are not going to want a penny of tax money to go for helping the poor and disabled in paying for their mandatory health insurance.


Maybe I have an unfair view of the conservatives and government haters, but if I do it is their own fault. I have tried to pay attention, I really have, but all I hear from conservatives and government haters is what they are against, and I can’t think of even one reform supported by their people.

Why are Democrats trying to negotiate with people who are opposed to every item on the table? What kind of negotiation is it when one side gives in on everything and the other side gives in on nothing?

Can a liberal change his or her mind? Not without compelling reasons.

860 - 8 - 0 - US