“He was born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad,” wrote Rafael Sabatini in the opening line of Scaramouche, a novel about the French Revolution. The lead character hides from his enemies by acting like a buffoon in a comedy troupe while becoming a master swordsman.
My sense is there’s madness in some of the insane logic used against new legislation.
Isn’t it madness to lead a futile effort to shut down the federal government unless the Affordable Care Act is defunded? Polls show people overwhelmingly think it’s a bad idea.
When Medicare was introduced opponents used the same arguments against the supposedly disastrous federal program, now overwhelmingly popular with seniors.
Medicare is popular with me. It covers routine medical examinations that have diagnosed three lethal cardiac conditions since 2005: an abdominal aortic aneurism, atrial-fibrillation and heart failure. Over the past three years doctors have repaired the aneurism, installed a pacemaker and prescribed a sleep apnea machine and four preventative medications.
This summer doctors consistently recorded my blood pressure around 90/60 with a pulse around 56. They said everything looks fine and asked about my activities.
Three to four times a week I play doubles tennis, walk my dog for over a mile and work out with weights. My wife and I rode our bikes over 100 miles along the Danube in Europe earlier this year.
They said, “I’ll see you next year.”
Without preventative care I’d probably have spent more money for emergency care and live a seriously debilitated lifestyle, or be dead. Obamacare extends that same preventative medical care to the uninsured along with taxes and fees that will fund it.
So I have to laugh at a politician who rants that my support is necessary to defund Obamacare by shutting down portions of the government that runs my popular federal Medicare program.
A year ago I saw madness in the November election regarding Washington’s ballot initiative permitting marriages of same-sex couples. At the root of public acceptance of same-sex marriages is people’s experience with loving couples in their families and their friends’ families.
In September I had the pleasure of witnessing a same-sex couple publicly pledge their love and commitment to each other in a civil wedding. (See the Hoiland – Hartley wedding report elsewhere in this issue of the Empire Press).
Afterward I reviewed the reasons opponents gave for not permitting that public pledge of love.
Opponents didn’t claim opposition to love. Instead they said the law would shift marriages from an institution that binds children to their parents to an arrangement focused on personal desires of adults.
Not in this case. The couple traveled to meet their respective families who loved their child’s partner. After their families’ acceptance they proposed to each other.
The parents of one bride and her children and grandchildren from an earlier marriage attended the ceremony. The other bride has no children and her father is too ill to travel, so the couple will travel to his home for a ceremony with her equally accepting family. Later I saw the new grandparent playing with her first grandchildren. Those scenes looked to me like everyone is bound together in love.
Another opposing argument was that parents would lose control over teaching their children that marriages are only for heterosexual couples. That couple was demonstrating how two same-sex people in love can unite families by publicly committing to each other to keep their love strong.
The root belief that fosters opposition to same-sex marriage seems to be an argument against recognizing love between people of the same-sex. It happens. Isn’t it madness to argue against love?
Laughter is a gift when we sense the world is mad.