Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Big Issue

CSN at Red Rocks, 6/2/2010, photo by Buzz Person
Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills & Nash, wrote a song titled “Teach Your Children.” Readers of a certain age will hear the music in their heads, particularly the refrain of the first chorus:

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
The song is from the early 1970s and was written against the backdrop of the “Big Issue” at the time: the war in Viet Nam.

We’ve got an election coming up in two weeks, and there is another big issue being debated. It has to do with the direction America is headed: whether it is toward a government based upon the domination of a single political party or “back to the future” of our Constitution with its checks and balances.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, has a vigorous stake in the election, and is featured either positively or negatively in the political debate. You might have seen video of her comments to the National Association of Counties (NACo) on March 9, 2010 in Washington, D.C. Here is the featured sentence:
But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy.
The subject is healthcare reform, and she is selling Democratic Party legislation to her listeners. I’ll include the paragraphs before and after the sentence, so that you can see the context:
You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting.

But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy. Furthermore, we believe that health care reform, again I said at the beginning of my remarks, that we sent the three pillars that the President’s economic stabilization and job creation initiatives were education and innovation—innovation begins in the classroom—clean energy and climate, addressing the climate issues in an innovative way to keep us number one and competitive in the world with the new technology, and the third, first among equals I may say, is health care, health insurance reform. Health insurance reform is about jobs. This legislation alone will create 4 million jobs, about 400,000 jobs very soon.
Speaker Pelosi is like one of the Sirens in “The Odyssey”. She is beckoning you to her politics, and has some compelling arguments:

--If you are a legislator, you don’t have to understand the legislation you are endorsing.
--If you are concerned about jobs, she knows where the jobs are.
--If you are concerned about money, she knows where there is easy money.

It’s all going to be “very, very exciting” and the only cost is the price of your allegiance.

I get it.

But I’m still hearing the refrain from “Teach Your Children” and wondering what Speaker Pelosi teaches her own children (or grandchildren). Does she teach them critical thinking or does she teach them allegiance?

There is an election coming up, and it will be interesting to see what America chooses. What’s the “Big Issue” this time?

It has to do with what we teach our children.

UPDATE 10/23/2010:
Linked by Left Coast Rebel!  Thanks, Tim.

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