Monday, July 1, 2013
A Failure to Communicate
People don’t say, “let’s discuss this issue and see if we can come to some agreement” anymore. It’s even more prevalent when it comes to the social issues like abortion and gay-marriage.
The Texas abortion law, SB5, took center stage this weekend and both sides stuck to their talking points. I don’t talk about abortion issues because of my ignorance of the subject. I did notice that the conservatives wanted to talk about the 20- week abortion cutoff period but not so much about leaving a large state like Texas with only 5 abortion clinics. The pro- choice people took offense to men in government making reproductive health care choices for women. As far as I can tell, Wendy Davis and others took a stand to prevent SB5 and other forced legislation like the one that was signed by Ohio governor John Kasich. The Ohio abortion bill was inserted into a budget bill in order for it to have a greater chance of passing. The bill mandated a trans-abdominal ultra sound for women seeking an abortion. It also would cut off public funding to rape crisis centers that advised women on abortions. Then there is Jim DeMint ,who insisted that some women wanted the state to force them to have an ultrasound by saying“ thousands of women want an informed choice, want the opportunity to get a free ultrasound, which they can get not from Planned Parenthood but from a lot of these pregnancy centers.” And free of charge; how about that? The bottom line; women have been bearing children since the beginning, yet some conservative men still think they know what’s best for them. They insinuate that women and their doctors are so dumb that legislation must be enacted that spells out when they can and cannot do. They rarely talk about the mother or the doctor’s decision or what happens after child birth, when they are cutting off funding for low-cost women’s health clinics, contraception and Plan B. I hope I didn't mess up the message for women but if I did be sure and let me know.
One conservative was complaining because the liberals had the audacity to complain when they won three out of the four Supreme Court decisions last week. I never thought it was a sporting event; I always thought that court rulings were an interpretation of constitutional law.
I saw the perfect example of a failure to communicate in the George Zimmerman trial last week. There we had a veteran trial lawyer in Donald West going against a less sophisticated 19 -year old. It was as they were speaking different languages on different planets. Mr. West was vigorously trying to defend his client and the witness did not want to be there. The defense lawyer seemed surprised that some people in some neighborhoods do not willing co-operate with the police. He was equally surprised that the witness did not equate the word “cracker” with racism or that a teenager would leave out an important detail in her testimony to protect the family of Trayvon Martin.
Just this morning, a poster wrote that LeBron James and the Miami Heat were unpatriotic and disrespectful because they were moving from side- to -side as the National Anthem was being played, as opposed to holding their hand over their heart like the San Antonio Spurs were. Professional athletes hear the national anthem over 100 times during the course of the season but in this case, it just might have been nervous jitters instead of it being disrespectful.
There’s a reason we have we can’t communicate when it comes to national politics. Right now, in the House of Representatives, there are 234 Republicans. Only four Republican representatives are in a district that represents both parties. There’s only a 10% Hispanic population within the district represented by those 230 Republican representatives because of gerrymandering. It will only get worse now that the Supreme Court has struck down the pre-clearance provision. There’s an interesting article in today’s Politico blog stating that the gerrymandered districts will benefit the GOP in the very short term, but it will doom them in the long run with the independents that they need to win a national election.
I see signs where we are getting better at communicating because certain myths are no longer taken for granted. For example: It wasn’t too long ago people were still believing the urban myths about welfare abuse because I see more people are now comparing that abuse and cost to others, such as the farm subsidies. Twitter, Facebook, Google are the equalizers that keep people more informed nowadays. Of course in some cases those sources of information can be manipulated to keep people misinformed.