Nobel Economics Prize Winner Paul Krugman recently wrote "Historians will remember President Obama as one of America's GREATEST leaders and will disdain the Republicans that obstructed him at every turn." This was in response to the June 2015 Supreme Court Decision that ObamaCare is here to stay.
I am writing this post in a hospital cafeteria with Fox TV blaring in the background. Fox appears to have made it, it's mission to denigrate President Obama and to get us to devote our time and money to promoting their view of proper sex, politics and religion.
Sex, politics and religion arouse strong instinctual feelings because these are existential issues. "People are very good at killing one another. Feelings that inspire loyalty and adherence to a code help people band together to defend themselves, their families and their tribe against enemies who want to kill them. Survival is the only absolute mandate." Christianity, Protestant Work Ethic and Politics.
Fifteen months ago I retired after four decades as an educator. Last class I attended was about how the brain works and how knowing that could make me a better teacher. What the presenter said was consistent with my observation that feelings are master; facts their slave.
Positive feelings inspire acceptance; negative feelings inspire rejection. The anatomical fact is about 80% of the human brain is devoted to instinctive control of things like breathing, heart beat, motion and emotion; Only about 20% is devoted to rational thought.
Inspiring fear negates the fact that this nation has thrived for almost 500 years because it was founded by people who arrived here on their own without priests or government officals to tell them what to do. Life was brutal, many died but they eventually prevailed.
A Facebook Friend "Liked," posted and forwarded Dr. Krugman's opinion which started the following exchangeMe: In my opinion President Obama has had an extremely successful presidency.
Friend of my friend: I doubt it will turn out that way.
Me: Been told it takes 30 years to know real legacy. Let's have Tea at Wildflower in 2045.
Friend of a friend: If I can make it to 103 I'll be there.
Me: I suspect by 2045 we'll be thinking most of what we used to think important wasn't that much. My Grandmother lived to 102 so a date's possible. I really like chai tea.
Being an elder has "mellowed" me. Facts balance feelings better now.
I believe most Americans believe Christ was right in his admonition that it is our duty to care for children, widows, the elderly and ill. ObamaCare is a flawed start towards that goal - let's fix it.
Christ was a socialist (read the book) and most of us reject pure socialism because it doesn't generate enough wealth to sustain the lifestyle we enjoy. I read The Economist and that center right journal credits President Obama's response to "The Great Recession of 2008" being what prevented the world from falling into another Great Depression. In fact the economic recovery he engineered is one of the best in history, especially for the wealthy. He is not a socialist.
While extreme rise in income inequality is a current reality most of us also reject pure Capitalism wherein royalty own all property and are the only ones to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Wanting to have a thriving middle class makes sense since it is the cumulative wealth of the middle class that historically made us different from most of the rest of the world. If "trickle-down economics" works it's manifestation is Chris Rock's observation that ours is the only nation where poor people are obese.
I believe this nation thrived because we started as the " land of the free and the home of the brave?" It is my sincere hope we do not let fear cause us to ignore facts and act irrationally in ways that make it impossible to sustain our way of life. I am looking forward to chai in 2045.