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Three score and ten or more

Friday, February 20, 2009

I am seventy plus years old, and I have paid attention to a lot of presidents. The first President I remember was Roosevelt (actually he took office around the time I was born, so that is logical. I know it isn't so, but he seemed to be president till I was in high school. My dad was a union man and my mother, a working mother, and all of my family were working stiffs . He seemed a little bit like God in a wheelchair to a kid from Idaho.

My next President was Truman. He was belittled in the papers at the beginning of his presidency and he was despised by them at the end of his presidency because he (not North Korea and China, HE) had started the Korean war and fired Douglas MacArthur, and the war. was beginning to look eternal. As history sorted the facts, it was clear that he was an exceptional president.

Eisenhower followed Truman, and he began, as a war hero and a really impressive guy to be universally admired. I, for one, as a budding conservative, was so ticked off that the Republicans had nominated him instead of Taft, that I used the radio program I hosted at the time to campaign for Stevenson. (When I lived in Illinois later, I realized what a disaster Stevenson would have been)

I saw the transitions to Kennedy, Johnson,( who really gave me the willies,) Nixon (who lost me some friends, when, after Watergate, I confessed that even if I had known that Watergate was coming, I would have voted for Nixon since his opponent was such a total disaster), Ford, Carter, (bleah), Reagan (who really caught my attention and admiration as he campaigned for Barry Goldwater, some years before, Bush Senior, Slick Willie (who was a surprising good president even as he brought dishonor to the presidency), and George W.

I got angry at most of them, some of the time, admired most of them (Carter the exception, I don't think he did ANYTHING very well, either as Governor of Georgia or as President of the U.s.,though for the first ten years after his presidency, I thought he might be in the running for the best EX-president, only to watch him revert to form for the past ten years.) some times, but at no time did I ever feel frightened by any of them, not for my own situation, not for the future of the country, not for anything. My basic approach to the stupidity of some of the things that happened was to shake my head and think "This too shall pass."

I confess that right now, on a personal basis the Obama presidency has me frightened. The health care provisions in the new "Stimulus" policy wherein it is clear that health care to the aged and aging is going to be effectively rationed. It appears that there is going to be triage by committee, and major treatment will be allowed for only the "healthiest" of the sick and aging. The model for the new system (already signed into law, even though they are talking about more "Health Care" regulation) is the British system which, for awhile, rejected treatment for vision loss through macular degeneration (which appears to be genetic in my family) untill the patient was blind in one eye. (Fortunately the public rose up against that, and it was changed, but it is typical. In Britain, the aged are put at the back of the treatment list for most major surgeries and are "allowed to die). It seems like the past Governor of Colorado (I can't remember the name) who once said, essentially, that it is the patriotic duty of the aged to die.

According to an article by Betsy McCaughy,, former Lieutenant Governor of New York State, published by Bloomberg .

National Coordinator of Health Information Technology, will monitor treatments to make sure your doctor is doing what the federal government deems appropriate and cost effective. The goal is to reduce costs and “guide” your doctor’s decisions (442, 446). These provisions in the stimulus bill are virtually identical to what Daschle prescribed in his 2008 book, “Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.” According to Daschle, doctors have to give up autonomy and “learn to operate less like solo practitioners.”

(I wish I had the computer skills to reproduce her article.)

I remember well, Carter's laments about the malaise affecting the American public and creating so many economic problems (which, by the way were still worse than most of our current situation) and they are still mirrored by Obama's (Much more effective rhetoric) constant pounding on the phrases "crisis" "disaster' etc. Carter almost succeeded in convincing the public that America existed in the past tense, and Carter was an awful communicator. I am beginning to wonder if Obama will succeed where Carter failed since Obama is a masterful communicator.

I am really, truly discouraged and frightened for my health, for Janet's health, and even for my country. Somebody show me something to cheer me up.


At 10:32 PM, Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

Hey, you've still got your memory. Not too bad for an old fart like you! (Just trying to cheer you up.)

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

I prefer the term old coot to "old fart". Old fart hits too close to nature.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Norma said...

I'd love to cheer you up, but can't think of anything good about Obama, whether it's health care, security, education, nationalizing sectors of the economy. Nope. But I'll keep looking.

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

Cheer up, Richard. Carter may have been bad but he didn't destroy the country. Neither will Obama. Injure it maybe but not fatally.

When 80% of Americans (and even 58% of Republicans) want government health-care, you know it's inevitable. Fortunately it will never be universally mandatory as it is in Canada.

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Patrick, ;I am not reassured. Carter made an art of ineptitude. I naver had the sense that he had any idea what he was doing. We can survive ineptitude.
I think anyone who feels that Obama is inept isn't paying attention. He has shown himself very skilled in getting what he wants (except taxpaying cabinet members). Skilled manipulations of our freedoms is not something that just blows over with time. Skill is impressive, skill combined with energy is more impressive.
I am reminded of my congressman, a guy named John Barrow (Democrat, and I don't agree with him on anything). He is one of the most skilled politicians I have ever seen. He got into congress by beating the sox off a Republican who lookes unbeatable, and just keeps on agoin. (I suspect that he will soon be a senator -defeating another Republican and from that will be known nationally. He is too damn good at what he does.) He is Obama's equivatlent with a white streak of hair.

At 11:41 AM, Blogger Norma said...

If you were afraid a month ago, you must be terrified now (March 21). I've been out of the country, but what a return.


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