A Word from the Wise

September 22, 2010

My father, a truly beautiful soul, passed away a few months ago.  A wise and patient man, just a few days before his passing, he admitted to me that he doubted that there was a heaven or that he would ever see my mother, his beloved “Ruth,” again.  One thing he was sure of and never failed to remind me: “Moderation, son, everything in moderation.”  Of this my father had no doubt.  He told me so when I was three and he reminded me when I was sixty three.

In these insane times, with absurdly incompetent Tea Party/ Republican candidates running in almost every state, there is an “old lesson” to be learned by “progressives” and  all others who would improve the lot of the common man.  It is not what one wants that is of importance, but what one needs, and the more impatiently they are sought, the less likely the needs are to be met.  If our ideas are “right,” people will vote for them in due time.  Our job is to make the argument, then prove to people that the ideas are functional.  For instance, continuing corruption and abuse of the Medicare System is no way to prove that you can run other socialized programs such as a public option.  In fact, by the time the bill for a public option had been prepared, it was already corrupted beyond recognition.

It seems that whenever Democrats run an extremist candidate, that is, one who demands immediate and usually incompetent change, that candidate loses.  When Democrats run moderate candidates like Jack Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama or the scores of congressmen and senators in ‘06 and ‘08, somehow they seem to win.  The second “old lesson” to be learned is that the Democratic base is not “ultra progressive.”  It is liberal, reasonable and moderate.  They all seem to agree on the ultimate goals, but not in the way to go after those goals.

The Republican base, much smaller, is built largely on extremes of anger, hate and counter productive self destruction.  They spend their days listening to Millionaires convincing them to make the rich richer and their party’s base poorer.  To win these people and independent voters over, Democrats need to demonstrate that their policies work, not promise that they will work!  The proposals must be based on logic and competent administration of policy, not graft, corruption and impatience.

Under the leadership of Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel, Democrats elected one moderate candidate after another, achieving surprising majorities in both Houses, but Democratic leaders bullied these senators and congressmen.  It was as if “ultra progressives” considered them to be their lackeys.  Deaf to their warnings, well meaning “ultra liberals” tried to force often brilliant ideas such as the public option, while completely ignoring the heinous corruption and waste in Medicare: the same corruption and waste that surely would have destroyed the public option as well!

The hand writing is clearly written on the wall.  It is time for moderate Democrats to take over the Democratic Party.  If President Obama actually studies his own campaign promises and the issues involved, he can embrace his own ideas rather than the failing advice of the Democratic “fringe.”  Theoretically, I am a member of that “fringe.”  I am in favor of a public option, of stripping insurance companies of the right to collude, of portability across state lines, and eventually of socialized medicine, but all are impossible unless the President himself champions the cleanup of Medicare and other miserably corrupt government programs and agencies first. This cannot even be considered until the bogus Attorney General Eric Holder and his concubines are asked to resign from the current Junior Bush “Justice Department.”  Under current leadership in the House and Senate, the administration is in danger of losing both Houses to Republican control.  The only way to prevent this from reoccurring is for a moderate Democratic House and Senate to convince voters that they know what they are doing.  Once the President loses the House and its subpoena power (he has already dissolved all relevant investigative committees) he will be left with only the bogus Holder and his infamous harem of corrupt prosecutors to protect him from the upcoming witch hunt.

Meanwhile, the “ultra progressives” can stew on the sidelines while they wait to take power again.  Maybe they can use the time wisely, trying to figure out how to fairly administer socialized medical care to more than three hundred and thirty million patients, when we have thus far failed so miserably with forty million Medicare victims.

Allen Finkelstein, D.O.