Monday, February 15, 2016

Politics, Life and Priorities

I generally don't blog about politics anymore.  Everyone has their own views and sometimes those views can be pretty strongly held.  At the same time, I've always been somewhat of a political animal, and it's impossible not to be intrigued by the political machinations going on today.  I have long realized that the next presidential election isn't about Obamacare or gay marriage, it's about the Supreme Court.  This weekend, that became even more apparent.  It is no longer a theoretical possibility that there will be openings on the Supreme Court.  It is now a fact.  I've watched the unfolding of the political posturing with fascination.

I find it remarkable that "conservatives" who espouse the concept of following the constitution, so easily state that the President should not nominate anyone to the Supreme Court because there will be an election in 9 months.  Does that mean that once a President is within 12 months of the end of their term, they should stop being President?  What about 12 months a one day?  The constitution states that the President should nominate a candidate when there is an opening on the Supreme Court.  It doesn't say, "but not if the President only has 9 months left in office."

At the same time, I will readily admit that both Democrats and Republicans do the same thing.  I am not going to let the Democrats off the hook.  However, just because the Democrats have been partisan does it mean that the Republicans are allowed to be just as, or even more, partisan.  I read an interesting article today on the fact that our system of government is unique, and in some regards has not yet withstood the test of time.

Oh yes, I've discussed politics.  How does that have to do with life?  Well, I have been driven much of my life to want to make a difference.  I even thought of running for office at one point.  The degree to which I want to effect change has not always been a healthy motivator for me.  Whether it is in regards to traditional political change, or my favorite subject of healthcare, I have often felt obliged to do everything possible to influence policy.  When I take it too seriously, it is not healthy, so I have endeavored to take it less seriously.

Finding ways of sharing my viewpoints is great.  Whether anyone listens is actually not important, or at least not too important.  Whether change occurs is even less important.  Why?  Because ultimately we can not and should not be judged by outcomes.  We need to live with ourselves based on whether we speak out for what we believe in.  My priority in life is my family.  I have a great wife, kids, and now a grandson.  My other priority has, and, I have recently realized, will always be improving the lives of older adults in our society.  That is why I went back to work.  That is what I work towards every day.  My final priority, not surprisingly, is exercise.  Not because I love running 20 miles, but because I love being both healthy and healthful.  Also, because I need balance and exercise provides me with the ultimate balance.

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