Posted by: cctracker | July 7, 2013

So It Goes?

It’s been over a month since the last post.  I wouldn’t have thought a technical political column–about healthcare policy in this case–could provide enough spark to restart the engine. But Ross Douthat‘s column in today’s NYT is really about something more universal than universal health coverage: namely, how fraught with inner and outer obstacles is the human community’s struggle to face vital, practical and essentially undisputed truths, much less to craft policies and laws that reflect them.

A Hidden Consensus on Health Care – NYTimes.com.

Douthat claims that the ultimate solution to the healthcare crisis is the gradual expansion of the exchanges and the eventual elimination of employer  benefits. He also says this truth is basically clear to both parties, though neither can say so publicly.  In this case, “the truth” happens to suit my politics, but I don’t think that’s why I find his perspective so compelling. At a deeper level, the column is about rationality vs. irrationality in human social evolution; it’s a study of how profitable and seductive exploitative and self-serving rhetoric can be.

So what should our response be to such a story? Should it be anger with the ideologues and opportunists who hold so much of the political field? Or with ourselves because we’re so compliant when they massage us with narratives and rhetoric that make us feel like the other side is the enemy and that very little will be required of us since we’ve been right all along?

The cultivation of humility before truths larger than ourselves and  generosity toward others and the future we may never see is the fundamental work of “spirituality.” Without its influence in our culture by whatever means, explicitly religious or not, our political leaders will continue lying in order to lead us and a truly human culture will continue to be obscured by ominous, threatening clouds.


Responses

  1. Well said, cc tracker. You are right on.


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