I grew up in a town called Patchogue, and although I haven't lived there for forty years it will always be my hometown. Patchogue is about 60 miles from Manhattan, and so it was and continues to be bit too far from the city to be a commuting town.
Much of Patchogue is Trump country, and I often find myself with some, but few like-minded thinkers when it comes to the fitness of the president to serve. And, until the election, after repeated admonishments from my more rational spouse, I was basically silent -- with Patchoguians -- about my firm views on Donald Trump and what he represents. I do get a chuckle out the talking heads, however, when they speak of separate bubbles of Americans. I have no doubt I am far from the only Clinton voter whose life-long acquaintances believe in Donald Trump.
Since the election, I have been far less circumspect with my hometown family about the president. And yet I tread carefully. I do this for a number of reasons Many of the folks I know voted for Obama, and did so twice, and so whatever happened in November is complicated. How do I tell Gina (we've been friends since the 60s) what to do after she lost her beloved nephew in Afghanistan last year?. Gina's nephew Louis had returned there for another tour of duty because of the limited opportunities he had on returning home. And what do I say to Bruce (not this Bruce), whose son joined the marines at 18, stayed until he was 32, did four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and is now enrolled in community college because he cannot get a job?
Still, post-election, I cannot stay silent, and I have resorted to social media to appeal to the fundamental goodness that I believe with all my heart exists in just about everyone. And so I search for consensus where I believe it can be reached. My recent focus is healthcare, and below is what I posted on Facebook this morning, and hopefully my introduction will help to explain how I approached the issue with my Patchogue peeps.
This is my 10-point proposal that I posted this morning, and I present for your consideration and critique:
1. Healthcare is a critical issue to every American.
2. Some people think government should help provide universal access to health insurance, and others think that government should provide universal insurance coverage. There are good faith arguments to support both positions (aka a lawyer's dream and a nightmare for others).
3. There is nobody, absolutely nobody, that I have read or spoken with or heard from, who believes that Obamacare is perfect, and some folks think it's worse than simply less than perfect.
4. I hosted a couple of discussions on FB over the last week that corroborate my firm belief that one thing we should not do is rush to make changes--just because of campaign promises.
5. Simply put, "repeal and replace" is not a healthy way to change healthcare.
6. Moreover, it is not true, I submit, and dangerous to accept, that Obamacare is imploding. We have time.
7. It is bipartisan, apolitical, and the right thing to do, for everyone to call their representatives to say this one simple thing: "I don't love Obamacare, or I can't stand Obamacare (however you feel), but if we're going to change healthcare one way or another, please don't rush."
8. This goes for Democrats too, and to my brothers and sisters in the Democratic Party, here's what I think. I understand that there are reasons to argue that Republicans, who for years called for "repeal and replace," should stew in their own hypocrisy. But that and $2.75 get you on the subway. This is healthcare, and none of you out there think that Obamacare should continue as is. That means that even Democrats need to roll up their sleeves--certainly at some point. That's what I'm going to say to my representatives.
9. I don't think this is about the president. I think he wants to be able to say something was done, and he doesn't have a dog in this hunt. It's entirely transactional for the president on many issues, and healthcare is one of them.
10. So this is on Congress, not the president--at least not at this point. Lots of you folks who usually vote Democrat but supported Trump should keep this in mind. "Repeal and replace" is a Republican concept that predates President Trump and his adoption of that theme in the campaign. Please don't believe that "giving the president a chance" to do what he was elected to do means letting Congress play politics with the health of our kids and grand kids.
Penny for your thoughts. Thanks.