There was an irony in recent letters to the editor (Feb. 8) that was not lost on me. One was appalled at the apparently foregone conclusion that there would soon be 10 million uninsured people in our country (repealing Obamacare), while the other seemed to suggest we continue to indiscriminately let hundreds of thousands of uninsured people into our country? And I’d be willing to bet the two writers would probably agree with one another.
The letters were very representative of what we have seen in the news the last couple of months (years?), an approach to issues that is heavy on emotion and light on realism and reasoning. And why wouldn’t they be? We are living in a time when feeling eclipses fact, logic and common sense and the very suggestion that it should be otherwise ensures a swift onslaught of name-calling by those seeking to forward the feelings-first approach to everything. We get ourselves into as much trouble when we overemphasize feelings as we do when we underemphasize them.
The need for immigration reform has been obvious for too long no matter what side of the issue you sit on, yet what sense does it make to reform a system that will, in all likelihood, continue to be evaded by the majority of those required to use it? We must be able to enforce its use, which is to say, control our borders. It is my belief and hope that once President Trump accomplishes that, he will then simplify the process of immigration.
Having said that, the social systems in this country have a capacity, just like any other country. The fact that there is a need for America to take refugees speaks to the impossible burden of one country taking on so many, yet, most fail to apply a similar logic to our southern border.
And I will simply say about Obamacare that the majority of Americans, including many of those who supported it initially, do not want it. I can tell you from experience that there is a lot of room for improvement in the so-called Affordable Care Act. What the president will offer as a replacement remains to be seen, but it is far too soon to sound the alarm.
This country elected a new president who is unlike any we have had, with the seemingly overwhelming hope that he would put American citizens and economics first, and I see nothing inherently hateful about that. I have some concerns, too, but I intend to reserve judgement until there is a body of work to judge, which will be about four years from now.