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Friday, Aug. 26, 2016

Dear Congressman Ellsworth

Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2009, at 12:06 PM

An Open Letter to the Honorable Brad Ellsworth and his constituents

First, by way of disclaimer you should know that I have voted Republican reasonably faithfully in every General Election since 1964. You were the first Democrat for whom I have memory of voting in such an election.

Second, what is here submitted is intended neither as criticism nor suggestion. Surely having been elected to a second term you already have had a healthy share of both.

The immediate catalyst for writing has nothing to do with any particular legislation you are considering or recommending. Rather, I was motivated by the announcement you had cancelled planned public meetings because of on-going disruptions of these events. Disruptions which are, allegedly, organized by forces opposed to Health Care Reform of any type.

Your announcement reminded me of an event organized by then Senator John Danforth held not too long after the Kennedy assassination. Danforth, heir to the Ralston-Purina fortune, was then the fifth wealthiest man in the U.S. Senate. He drove himself, accompanied by one aide. The only conflict presented was his disappointment no one had thought to prepare coffee.

The world has changed in 45 years and I do appreciate your decision about meetings with constituents. But, frankly I do not understand the opposition as I have seen it portrayed on broadcast news reports. It seems a shame such tactics have forced honest debate to be so inconsiderately gagged.

As I understand what I read in the papers, the President of the United States and Congress are seeking some kind of healthcare reform. The good news is that Congress is taking a few weeks off, so the inevitable has been temporarily postponed.

Long ago I learned not to worry too much about proposed legislation. The outcome is never as good as proponents propose, nor as bad as opponents opine. Besides, two years later Congress always has to go back and correct all the unintended consequences.

I hear there are over a dozen different bills in play right now, including the President's, for consideration. What we are likely to get won't be exactly like any of them. What finally comes out will be a compromise created by some 535 different people, each with their own agenda; and agreed to by a President who knows this is as good it gets.

What the President ultimately signs is not the reason I voted for you, or any other candidate.

In the end I vote for whom I honestly believed is the available candidate who might best do God's work on earth. Perhaps I was wrong, but I don't know of anything in particular you may have done to change my original opinion.

All I ask is that you DO what you honestly believe is in the best interest of your country and we your constituents. It does seem that when we ask more of any mere human we are beginning the descent into the anarchy so cherished by those who disrupt Town Hall Meetings for their own profit and/or advantage.

You have no good reason to recall Congressman, but I once slipped you this note via an aide: In his dying scene of "Saving Private Ryan" Tom Hank's character whispers to Private Ryan, "Earn this."

David L. Lewis is an observer of and sometimes commentator on life who may be reached via e-mail at kayanddavid@joink.com.

Showing comments in chronological order
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Very well said.

-- Posted by michael.galloway1 on Tue, Aug 11, 2009, at 12:36 PM

Wonderfully put and fabulous blog David!

-- Posted by karenmeister on Tue, Aug 11, 2009, at 3:23 PM

Healthcare reform, call it the real name health care dismantling, nice blog, would be nice if the intended recipient read it moreover, heeded it.

-- Posted by Edward Kane on Tue, Aug 11, 2009, at 7:27 PM

Edward Kane:This health care "reform" has so many sides to it that it is a circle. Some thoughts to throw out there: While I see the need for health care coverage for all, I cannot see that the congressional officials be exempt from it. If they are deciding what is "good enough" for some, it should be "good enough" for them as well..Let them have the same coverage that they are proposing and then they can pay out of their own pocket too if they want more than the basic proposed.

Another thing: Are not medicare, medicaid, and VA coverage all government health care plans? Why not see how these are working for people and pick at least the one that is doing best and use that model? Then all others who wanted, or could afford additional coverage buy supplemental coverage as many seniors are doing now.

Maybe I am naive but would this not be the obvious thing to do? Thus reducing all people's premiums who are already getting coverage by just having them buy supplemental? Then they would see increased taxes to cover the basic government policy? Of course this would increase due to coverage of those not covered at all at present. While I see that as yet another burden on taxpayer, I also see it as inhumane for some of the working poor to not be able to afford coverage even if it was their unwise choice early in life not to get the education needed for job that would have coverage.

Do we all give up some more in order for all to get the minimum? Or do we take the stance that it's dog eat dog and survival of the fittest and early death and poor health to those who had bad luck or made poor choices?

Like tithing at church; there is a point where we as humans take the selfish route for our own benefit. Whether it is ourselves personally or our family members. We conveniently forget those we cannot see, If we didn't forget we would be poorer as individuals but others in the world who have near to nothing would be better off. Alas though it is not a perfect world and we are going to have to figure out some sort of plan that most voters can live with. The big question here is not whether we need a better health care system, but how much can those who do have one bear to part with their assets in order for those who don't have health care to get it.

It is not only a budgetary issue for the country and ourselves. It's soul searching one. I wrestle with this on a daily basis. How much are my "wants" more important than others' "needs"? Then on top of that, what will be my future "needs" that over rule today's "needs" of others?

Am I preparing enough so that I won't be someone else's burden in the future? That goes for me as an individual and my support of government spending with regard to my childrens' tax burden in the future.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Aug 12, 2009, at 9:23 AM

It is not surprising that people are getting disruptive and rude at "Town Hall Meetings". After years of expressing the desire for balanced budgets, less government and lower taxes, then, electing those politicians that promise balanced budgets, less government and lower taxes (time after time after time after time after time) and not getting them, well, after a while the only thing you can do is yell. If things don't change it almost looks like the town hall meetings may become violent.

It sure is ugly. But, take my word for it, you can try and coax a pig into a truck. Some pigs will walk right up the ramp. Some take a kick or two. Others, well, they need a 2x4. Yet, others, won't go regardless of what you do. They end up getting let out into the lot, then later, the tranquilizer is brought out. Right before the truck leaves, the stubborn pig is dragged, unconscious into the back of the truck.

Politicians are much like pigs. They have they're own agendas and their own logic. They wallow in the mud of politics in Washington DC. As citizens, the approriate, constitutional amount of force must be used to get the job done. The problem is when we elect a representative they have 2 to 4 years to screw over the populace and wallow in the mud before we can get out the 2x4. Lets all just pray that we don't have to let any of them back out into the lot. But, come 2010, there will be a "dragging" of sorts. They will be dragged from Washington.

The worst problem is that the politicians have made it so that if even when they are fired, they don't have to endure the laws and problems they, themselves have caused. Its a tradgedy. They screw us over without repercussions. This is not what the founders intended. Not at all.

-- Posted by TheRider on Thu, Aug 13, 2009, at 10:06 AM

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