Sunday, March 20, 2011

Would You Rather...?

When my kids were young one of the games they played required nothing other than their imaginations and wit. It involved absurd choices of impossible scenarios and the determination of which was the lesser evil.
For example one would ask the other, “Would you rather be an ant about to be stepped on by a big fat guy or a moth getting squashed on the windshield of a fast moving car?”
Some bright people at a toy company eventually hijacked the simple exercise of imagination and turned it into an unnecessary board game but that’s America!
But the funny thing is the game, like Trix® is not just for silly kids but is inadvertently played by every living person every day and with far more important consequences.
Every choice we make whether it be conscious or sub is determined by a decision and most of the time we will choose the path of least resistance or greater return.
And armed with that knowledge and the time to research our decisions or those of others we can generally understand their underlying cause.
In today’s world where most of us are aware of the environment and its importance to our continued life and well being the choice to cause no further pollution would appear to be a ‘no-brainer.’
If simply using disposable, biodegradable paper cups for our morning coffee could help the environment there would appear to be no reason not to do so.
So why did the Republican leaders in the House of Representatives actively choose to overturn a Democratic decree to use paper products in government cafeterias?
Did Speaker of the House John Boehner find some obscure study that shows biodegradable cups are harmful? Perhaps he and his Republican colleagues are deathly afraid of paper cuts and they feel they are saving Americans from that awful fate.
Or could it be some lobbyist or special interest group has quietly explained the facts of life on ‘the Hill’ to the leadership of the House?
“Would you rather continue using the paper products or buy my service, wink wink, say no more, say no more.”
Now I am not saying he's on the take, nor do I mean to impugn the reputation of the good Representative from the great state of Ohio but he did make a conscious choice to overturn a good existing policy. I am certain he is not being unduly influenced by special interest groups, or at least I hope not, right?
Our Congressmen and women must make real hard choices every day. These choices affect the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans. In some cases they could change the course of world history so they must be debated lucidly, using all available facts.
Even choosing which problems to tackle first is a signal of their utmost importance and a choice they should not take lightly.
That is why the decisions by the Republican leadership across the country should make all Americans sit up and take note.
After running for office on the mantra of creating jobs and promising to work on that as job one the new House majority has instead chosen to set its sights on:
Breaking labor unions and taking away their collective bargaining rights;
Firing or laying off many public workers and teachers to balance the budget deficit they caused by removing any tax burden from the wealthy;
De-funding such subversive organizations as National Public Radio;
Taking away support of that silly family oriented group known as Planned Parenthood;
Explaining away tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy by claiming they will create jobs (only not in America);
Overturning hard fought legislation that sought to clean the air we breathe by defunding the EPA;
Refusing to remove subsidies to the most profitable industry in the history of the Earth, oil companies;
And repealing any health care law that seeks to help Americans in need but cost insurance companies some of their record profits. (This was actually their first decision in office!)
The list of choices these men and women have made in the few months they have held the majority in the House is staggering and will surely stagger the middle class and others for some time to come.
Many of the above choices, as well as a few others had only two things in mind, break the backs of groups who support the Democratic Party and funnel more wealth into the pockets of the wealthiest of the wealthy.
Choosing big business over Big Bird may not seem like a big deal but it is a clear one.
The choice for the American voter would also seem clear.
But if we can survive the strange choices being made by the Republican Party until November 2012 we can then show them our choice for new leadership going forward.
Oh, and as for the question at the top of this post I believe the answer is obvious, the moth! Clearly both creatures would be dead but at least the moth would cause the murderer to take note!

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