Last night I heard Dennis Miller rail against the "nanny state" he thinks Obama and the Democrats are poised to usher in whereby the invigorating "American Way" of having to work harder and harder to keep a roof over our and our family's heads, food in our mouths, clothes on our backs, and, if we're lucky, minimally decent health care will give way to the innervating security of big government satisfying our every need and whim while we sit back snugly and twiddle our thumbs.
Well, I work my butt off forty hard hours a week for peanuts, I have no paid holidays or vacations, no employer-funded health care coverage, even though I work for a major metropolitan health care system, and no pension, and I pay an astronomical sum, given my and my wife salaries, for health insurance under COBRA because my "preexisting condition" makes it impossible for me to obtain even remotely affordable coverage any other way. And, even so, I have it better than a lot of other Americans.
I don't think that I or we would be sapped of all ambition and vitality if we had paid holidays and several weeks of paid vacation each year to refresh and recharge ourselves, solid health care coverage provided by our employer or the government, and a livable wage. In fact, I know I'd be grateful for all of this and willing and able to work just as hard if not harder to earn what I received. It seems to me that working too hard for too little in return and worrying constantly about finances and health care is what actually saps our energy and ambition most of all. Many of us are too preoccupied with just staying afloat, and I believe that the "American Way" can and should be about more than this and that the government can play an important role in making this happen without turning our country into an emasculating "nanny state."
I think that Obama, in contrast with many Republicans, believes this too, and this is one reason why I'm glad he'll be our next president.
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