Who do you identify with?

It seems to me that come election time, people would give some thought to what impact electing one party or one person over the other would have on the things most important to them. Of course, family usually comes first, but tied to the family is that one earns a living to provide for the necessities of a family. I am constantly amazed at how easily people are distracted by collateral issues and seem to forget about voting for their own interests or selecting candidates with whom they have much in common.

I have noticed recent columns by a retired schoolteacher. He seems to be an intelligent fellow. His pieces are certainly well written, but it comes through loud and clear that he intends to vote against our current president. Most of the reasons appear to me to come from blogs or various sources of political rhetoric. What boggles my mind is how an intelligent, well educated, retired teacher could give serious thought to casting his lot with the candidate of a party whose state platform dismisses and opposes teaching the higher order of thinking, condones cutting public education funding by $4 billion, believes there is too much money being spent on education now, and is generally anti-science.

I suppose the retired teacher is no worse than the hourly wage earner who provides for his family through the sweat of his brow yet votes for a party that reveres the wealthy to the extent that money making more money is treated as far better than a worker making money. A party that believes a good business climate is one in which wages are suppressed along with the ability of workers to organize, and that injured workers ought to stop their whining and should just live with their injuries instead of thinking about suing their employers or other wrongdoers.

I’m also somewhat chagrined at seniors who would vote for the party who wants to abolish Medicare as we know it and curtail Social Security.

As I grow older, I become more and more concerned about health issues. I hear almost daily some ordinary working stiff or retired person make disparaging remarks about the Affordable Care Act, generally referred to in a snide way as “Obamacare.” It still is amazing the average Joe does not recognize the difference between his family’s situation and that of congressmen who have government funded Cadillac medical insurance, or rich folks like Mitt Romney who never give a second thought to whether or not they can provide adequate medical care to members of their family even if stricken with a catastrophic illness such as cancer, kidney failure or similar ailments. Families are driven to bankruptcy on a daily basis for lack of being able to afford or obtain adequate health care. Even worse, there are little children who die every day, particularly in states like Texas, because they do not have access to adequate health care. Most folks who are not rich seem to forget they are one step or one disease away from total disaster for themselves and their families unless the health care problem is addressed. The conservative response, to let the market handle the situation, is a phony and false promise. Who ever heard of the insurance industry figuring out how to take care of a bunch of sick people? It is to their gain to insure those who do not become sick and those who will never make a claim against them. Money and profit drive the private sector, not concern for the sick or the lame.

On another front, many veterans fell for the smear of a real combat veteran who ran for president with the “Swift Boat” lie paid for by a multi-billionaire. Now it seems they are trying to peddle as a real American hero a fellow who dodged military service during the Vietnam War in order to pedal a bike through France.

I will readily confess my bias, but it doesn’t take me long to figure out I have little in common with a fellow who has a Swiss bank account.

Carl Parker has practiced law in Port Arthur since 1958. He is a 1958 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law. Elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1962 and the Senate in 1976, Parker continued to practice law while writing and sponsoring hundreds of bills that became laws relating to every aspect of life in Texas, including many regarding consumer safety. His e-mail is cap1934 [at] aol [dot] com.

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