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August 18, 2009

On the Right Side: Politicians should lead by example


It's hard to follow what is happening in the U.S. while being here in Romania, but it is quite easy to see that politicians are having a heck of a time trying to sell the idea of "Obamacare" to their constituents.

They have no idea what is even in the bill since they haven't read it. Whenever asked a specific question, they mumble something incoherent and try to move to another topic as quickly as possible.

Many of those people who have read it say we should be scared of what the bill includes. And these same politicians are going to vote on something representing one-sixth of our economy and affecting nearly every U.S. citizen? It might have worked with the cap-and-trade bamboozle, but not this time.

Obama himself is in full campaign mode, armed with his teleprompter, charm and rhetorical excesses, and telling everyone that opponents of the bill are lying and using scare tactics to defeat his proposal.

Excuse me, Barack. What is a pathological liar doing calling other people liars? Your image comes to mind when that old saying, "you can tell he's lying whenever his lips are moving" is used.

Scare tactics being unfairly used? Excuse me once again, Barack. You have used scare tactics (the "Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling" strategy) to get legislation passed ever since you entered office.

Sorry, Obama, you're like the little shepherd lad who cried "wolf" once too often. More and more people every day are simply beginning to ignore you. It's too bad you didn't show your true colors while you were still running for office. The country wouldn't be in anywhere near the perilous position you have put us in.

OK, Barack, lead by example. Will you be the first to sign up for your government-run (don't even bother to try to label it anything else) health care plan?

Will you promise not to receive special treatment and allow your loved ones to jump to the front of the line in an emergency? If not, explain to me why your loved ones are any more important than mine?

How about you, Kerry, Byrd, Dodd, Pelosi? I pose the same question to all of you. We all know you'll "think about it" or ignore the question altogether. We know your answer and your actions will be poles apart.

It might be time for normal citizens to take off their gloves and get serious. I don't really care how big some people want our government to become. Neither do I care how much of a nanny state some want.

There are certain lines a government should not step over. One of those lines is determining who gets medical treatment and who doesn't.

Another is having them put a value on our economic worth. And the final line is allowing politicians and bureaucrats to determine who will live and who will die.

Does the government really think that I, and millions of others like me, will stand idly by and allow you to prevent my wife or my sons from receiving a medicine or a procedure that exists and that would prolong their lives? It just isn't going to happen.

There most certainly will be serious political consequences as a result. Do some of you people want to have your parents, grandparents, people who have lived a long and honest, law-abiding life, be told that they aren't worth the cost of being kept alive? Think about it from a personal perspective before you answer.

Personally, I would consider it to be the same as an attack on the lives of my loved ones. How would you expect me, or others, to politically respond?

I think it is time for these elitist politicians, on both sides of the aisle, to realize that we citizens (and not illegal aliens) are important more than just at re-election time.

We are the most important people in their political careers all of the time. They were elected to speak and act on our behalf, not to think they know better than we do about what is best or be swayed (paid?) by special interests when they go against what the majority of their constituents want.

Be very careful Mr. Politician, Mr. Bureaucrat, Mr. Obama. There are political consequences.

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Tom Sears is a professor of accounting at Hartwick College in Oneonta. He can be reached at SearsT@hartwick.edu. His column appears every other week.