Thinking and Living Bureaucratically in America

National Journal’s Ron Fournier is sorry:

I’m sorry you campaigned for reelection on the famous false promise: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”

I’m sorry your aides debated whether to tell the full truth (that people could keep their insurance only if it hadn’t changed and if it met your standards) and decided instead to institutionalize the lie.

I’m sorry that when Americans recognized the deception you tried to reinvent history: “What we said was you can keep it if it hasn’t changed since the law passed.” No, no, no, no, no—that’s not what you guys said.

I’m sorry you didn’t trust Americans with the truth.

Unfortunately, like the X-Files, the truth was out there.

It wasn’t easy figuring out what this monstrosity called Obamacare was all about, which prompted Nancy Pelosi to make her famous remark that they’d have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.  But one thing was clear, to me at least: you couldn’t keep your health care coverage (and I’m thinking individually here) after it was passed if there were ANY changes in the policy.  I wasn’t even sure that the additional provisions mandated by Obamacare (such as keeping your mid-20’s children on the plan) wouldn’t give the government the opportunity to cancel everybody’s policy and start over. So I acted accordingly.  Up to now, things are good, or as good as they can be.  But one never knows.

A long time ago one visitor to my web site family, after reading this, asked me if I was a prophet.  I told him I’d leave that up to him.  I think there’s too much self-validating “leadership” out there, based on my experience in the church.  And, based on the performance of the current Occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that problem isn’t restricted to Christian churches.

I certainly wouldn’t claim a prophetic gift here.  What I will claim, however, is that years of working in my family business, including dealing with the Internal Revenue Code, all of the other laws and regulations out there both Federal and state, and of course selling into a market dominated by public works, convinced me that survival depends, in no small measure, on thinking bureaucratically.  Many of my fellow U.S. citizens thought that I was crazy (and many doubtless still do)  but realistically dealing with the maze of government stuff, including what laws and regulations really said rather than what people thought they did, was essential in keeping things moving forward.

That does alter your life.  It’s one reason why I take such a jaundiced view over the civil marriage debate.  If people on both sides really understood the nature of American family law–and I’ve documented some of this on this blog–they too would call for the abolition of civil marriage.  Instead we have a debate driven by people who place the sentimental value of a piece of paper from the government ahead of the reality behind it, and whose goal is to convince enough people deluded in the same way that their take on the subject is the right one.

But I digress.  Is this heavy emphasis on “thinking bureaucratically” or “living bureaucratically” unAmerican?  Of course.  But we have a choice: we can stumble through life swallowing the pap our leaders feed us with catastrophes following, or we can take the trouble to sort things out the way they are and get through them in reasonable order.  I wouldn’t be silly enough to say that such leads to infallible success; stuff happens, the bureaucrats sometimes get the best of us.  But as Keith Green used to sing, we do our best, and God takes care of the rest.

People say that these United States won’t survive the current state of affairs.  That’s doubtless true.  But I think we need to concentrate on making things better for the inhabitants than fixating on the nation itself.  After all, Jesus Christ died for sinners, not nations.

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