As I said recently, I've been ignoring US politics for awhile now. Barrack Obama is president of the United States. I'm not saying all is right in the world and that he's going to be the perfect president. But the world is a much better place than what it was a year ago. So you're more inclined to just let the world be, relax a bit and not worry quite so much about what's happening south of the border.
However, the collective losing of shit over a health care proposal is pretty perplexing from a Canadian perspective. I'm not saying what's in Canada is perfect, but it's a damn sight better than what's in the United States. We've occasionally thought about moving to other parts of the world over the years. We certainly loved our time in Australia and there were a couple of Caribbean islands that we would have no problem living on.
However, we've never thought about living in the United States. And it's not that it's a bad country or filled with crazy people (OK, probably about 25 per cent of the country is deeply crazy). It's just because the health care situation there is so completely fucked, why take the chance? At least in Canada you know what you're getting.
In the US, I'm pretty sure my grandfather would have been dead years ago, or my family considerably poorer for his treatment. Cathy's convinced she would be dead or her family bankrupt if she had been born in the US.
So I don't pretend to understand or to have completely followed what it is President Obama is trying to do in the United States. But surely God it has to be better than the mess that currently exists in the United States.
So that's why images like the ones below, from a protest march in Washington yesterday, just baffle the hell out of me.
I mean, dear God, really? You don't like the president, I get that. But this is the tactic you're going to take? This is hate and kind of language you want to bring to the debate?
I keep reminding myself that there were people who likely said worse things about former President Bush. And while I don't like him or pretty much anything he did during his presidency, I can understand there would be people who would be offended by some of the things said about him. Probably the same people who are carrying signs like this about President Obama.
But this is the best you can bring to the debate? This level of unconstructive bile, lies (there's no way Obama is on the same level of Hitler and Stalin. No one is) and just unwillingness to engage in any kind of debate. It would have been foolish for the Left when Bush was in power, even if Bush was far more likely to completely ignore people who opposed him. At least the current president has shown some willingness to talk and listen.
This kind of unreasoning hate is always baffling to me. I suspect it's probably just as well.
1. Women and men - Josh Rouse
2. We are nowhere and it's now - Bright Eyes
3. Dirty knife - Neko Case
4. Play it all night long - Warren Zevon
5. Dublin in Vigo - The Chieftains