Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Doctor is in...

In a previous role in my company, I did a lot of contract negotiation, which meant dealing with customer requests and internally dealing with multiple entities that were looking for their own protection.  It's an extremely hectic role and one I'm suited well for given my talent for listening and approaching an issue from multiple sides.

A sales rep. I worked with, used to refer to me as the "Contract Doctor" and advised that if we were in an office setting, he'd put up a huge poster outside of my office of Lucy from Peanuts during contract negotiations, stating "The Doctor is in".

Today I'm expanding my practice, and offering service to all of those that are despondent from the election results yesterday.  I'm here to reassure you that the world will not end and our country as we know it won't look much different 4 years from now.  Now you may ask,"How do I know this and what experience I have with this sort of thing?"  Those are fair questions, and my response is, "I've handled this before."

While most of you, that are despondent celebrated during the two terms of the Bush administration, there were an equal number that felt the same way as you and they ranted on the same things. (Supreme Court Justices, economy, education, social issues, etc.)  They also thought it was the end of the world, and I counseled as many of them as I could and tried to set them straight.  We know we are constantly bombarded with information and opinion in today's society, but we don't always understand how much of that opinion is true.

Let me give you some examples of the messages that people received during the Bush administrations.

1. He'll elect Supreme Court Justices that will always vote along party lines.

2. The war in Iraq will never end and we will be spending money on Nation Building throughout our children's lives.

3. He'll ruin Social Security by taking it private.

4. "No Child Left Behind" will ruin our education system.

These are four that come to mind off the top of the head, trust me when I tell you there were many others.  Let's break them down.

1.  He did elect Supreme Court justices and the effect on the populous has been fairly minimal from their impact, the thing people forget is that by and large Supreme Court Justices work to stay true to the law as they see it, while it's influenced by their background, if you look over history, you'll see this, that doesn't mean there aren't things that don't affect the populous, but belief that they are all out to get the other side once they get on the court has proven for the most part to be untrue.  This goes back to our Constitution, they answer to no one once they are there.  Besides go back and look at how well George Bush (Sr.) picked 'conservative' justices, or even take a look at John Roberts and how his vote for the health care reform  played out.

2. The war in Iraq.  The war that was originally about Weapons of Mass Destruction, where they never found any.  It's over, and we survived.  The wars outcome will be debated over time, but it's over for now and done with.  We won't know for some time (if ever) on how it will affect the world, or whether it lead to "Arab Spring" or how those funds spent on the war contributed to the debt that so many point the finger at the current administration for.

3. After Bush's re-election, his main focus was trying to privatize Social Security, it didn't happen.

4. No Child Left Behind didn't push the school systems into oblivion, did it make it more difficult in some areas and better then others, likely, but that makes it no different then most other government programs. 

There are other examples, but I've long since forgot them, our politicians seem to struggle with getting real messages across so they rely on fear tactics to try and get their point across.  The Republicans did it this campaign, the Democrats did it for Bush's reelection.

I'm here to reassure you that you'll survive.  Let me point out a couple things that I would suggest focusing on.

1. Health care reform: It's unlikely to look like it does now when it's fully implemented, rarely do bills look the same at the start and their implementation.

2. Businesses will whither away under the current policies and taxes that the evil health care law will levy on them.  Take a look at some of these businesses that are cutting hours for jobs and health care coverage.  Many of them didn't exactly have the best track record in the first place.  Over the past 20 years all we've seen from businesses is continued cost cutting at the sake of their employees, while continuing to focus on rewarding shareholders and executives.  Pensions cut, health care too expensive, part timers hired en mass.  These atrocities have happened under both administrations, while bickering between parties goes on, isn't it time we took a harder look at what corporations are doing?

3. Spending and deficit: Congress has a role in spending, maybe it's time to put some pressure on them to cut some of the fat from the budget, that isn't a deceptive way to try and legislate morality. It's also time to acknowledge how awful spending has been for the last 12 years.  Some of you maybe too young to remember this (or choose not to), but a big reason that George Bush (Sr.) was beat in his re-election bid, was the deficit was too high, want to know how it looked when Clinton left office?   Spending needs to be corrected, but the model that says cut taxes and increase spending on the programs that we like (military, etc) doesn't work either.  Both sides of the aisle need to do a better job of that, and as long as we let them manipulate us into pointing fingers, none of it's going to get done.

4. The moral fabric of our society will break due to initiatives the president will launch.  Ah one of my favorites and the last one for the day.  Here are a couple questions to help you think about this a bit differently.

1. How many years of your lifetime has abortion been legal?

2. Did you know gay people currently live together, get married in certain states that allow it, and that many large corporations already offer same sex partner benefits?

Think about abortion, at this point in your life, it's probably been legal far longer than it hasn't (if it hasn't).  Has the earth crumbled?  This isn't to say your opinion on the matter is irrelevant, but realize this it didn't change under a president like George W. Bush, it was unlikely to change under a Social Moderate like Mitt Romney.

Now onto gay marriage, my point from the above statement is that no matter what fear the parties try and instill with you, it doesn't change what's happening today and the fabric of our society isn't going to rip apart because same sex marriage is legalized.  It's an easy issue to see people trying to inspire fear with, because if you really think about it, there is no good reason why an individual would oppose it, as it would have no effect on you whatsoever.

That's enough counseling for the day though, remember the sun will come up tomorrow and over the next four years (unless the Mayans were right) and that.....