Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.
How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.
If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 17th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.
This was originally posted on September 17, 2009 on my old blog. I read this old post, which was written just eight months after Barack Obama was sworn in as President, for the first time since I wrote it a dozen years ago and was amazed how little, politically speaking, has changed. Actually that’s not true. It’s gotten even worse!
Fractured American Psyche
It seems that our national psyche is so fractured today that no matter what one side does, proposes, promotes, or suggests, the other side reacts vocally and violently against it. While this antipathy is not exclusively the domain of the Republicans and conservatives, they are the most vocal and organized in their opposition to any initiatives that promote progressive changes of any sort to the status quo. I guess that’s why they’re called conservatives.
As I think back at landmark social legislation of the 20th century, I wonder how many such programs would have succeeded if the technology we have today existed back then. Would FDR have been able to get the Social Security Act approved by Congress back in 1935 had the blogosphere existed?
Would Social Security be there for America’s retirees if conservative talk radio pundits filled the airwaves, and if 24-hour cable news channels provided a national soap box for anyone with a high Q-Score (high IQ score optional) from which to spew his or her partisan venom? I doubt it. After all, the Social Security Act is the very definition of socialism, is it not?
What about LBJ’s landmark Medicare/Medicaid legislation from 1965? Or how about the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Would Congress have been able to enact 1974’s Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA), or even the more recent Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 (COBRA) and 1996’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?
No, I don’t believe any of these programs could have stood the onslaught of instant analysis and intense partisan scrutiny available through the Internet and the plethora of talk-radio shows and cable news networks.
I believe that our nation’s political and legislative system is functionally disabled. There is so much acrimony emanating from each side of the aisle toward the other that little to nothing of real value can be accomplished from either the Executive Branch or Congress.
Our health care delivery system is in dire need of a major overhaul, but real reform won’t happen because of the special interests and self-serving ideological differences that get in the way of progress. If anything does come out of this, it will be a watered-down, toothless compromise that doesn’t effectively address any of the underlying issues that plague the health care system in this country.
Conservative politicians and pundits are using misinformation and scare tactics as they preach their gospel from their 24×7, technologically enhanced pulpits and stand in the way of needed reforms and societal progress.
And now these obstructionists are organizing efforts and encouraging parents to keep their children out of school on the day of Obama’s video cast so that they don’t even have the opportunity to hear the President encourage them, our children, to work hard and stay in school.