JIM CREES: Still to come - reasonable reactions to Supreme Court ruling

I’m not going to opine on the United States Supreme Court’s recent ruling on President Obama’s healthcare reform legislation.

I repeat ... I AM NOT going to write about last week’s ruling by the assembled justices regarding the proposed, and passed reforms.

What I am going to write about is the unfortunate responses to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Goofy stuff. Outlandish and nonsensical commentary.

And yet ... folks just love it.

Allow me to preface my comments with a little story.

Back in the day, I was enrolled in an English class run by a teacher who encouraged strong development of critical thinking skills.

Everyone in the class was, by default, a member of a debate club.

We were never allowed to take the supportive side of a debate on a topic which we actually supported. We always had to take the opposite side. In other words, I would have to argue in favor of issues of which I was not in favor, and debate against issues I would generally support in real life.

Learning to debate in this way taught me to at least try and understand the other side’s point of view in any argument — even if you continue to disagree. It also taught me critical thinking skills. It taught me to look at an issue for the issue’s sake, and to leave (as much as possible) the emotional side of the argument out of the mix.

This is something that was astonishingly absent in response to the Supreme Court’s healthcare reform decision.

Whether you’re on one side of the debate or the other in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act debate, you should be basing your discussion on solid knowledge rather than on media sound-bytes.

Let’s look at some of the most screeching comments of late - stuff people are already repeating with glee.

“This judge (Chief Justice John Roberts) is going down in history as the justice that shredded the Constitution and turned it into a worthless piece of parchment.” - Bryan Fischer, Christian-rights activist.

Really???

John Roberts (arguably one of the most conservative justices on the Supreme Court bench in ages) rules against what you happen to believe is true, and this constitutes a shredding of the Constitution?

Wow! No hyperbole there, Mr Fischer.

For as long as the Constitution has existed, the leadership of this nation and its citizenry have dealt with some pretty monumental issues, (slavery for example.) Still, healthcare reform is the single issue that leads to a “shredding” of the Constitution?

Sigh.

I might suggest that whether you are on one side of this debate or the other, the Constitution will not be destroyed, shredded, eliminated, or even budge too much from its intended purpose because of any single ruling.

The Constitution is a “living” document that shifts, changes, and morphs as time goes by, and in response to changing realities.

The Affordable Care Act decision will not run our Constitution through a shredder.

“This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.” - Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro.

Really??? No exaggeration?

An upholding of the Affordable Care Act legislation by the court is the “end of America as we know it.”

I guess then, the question begs to be asked — “How do you ‘know’ America?”

When people scurry about bemoaning the “end of America” because of this one piece of legislation, do they even know what direct effect it will have on their lives?

Will your taxes go up? How much?

Will your taxes change at all? How so?

Will your healthcare options improve/decrease? How so?

How will the Affordable Care Act actually affect yourself or your neighbors?

Or is it just a matter of “principle”?

Principle???

On what do you base those “principles.”

Following the decision, a Facebooker from Evart wrote:

“This is a sad day for America. Now we know for sure that the November election will determine whether we will remain free, or become a nation of slaves.”

So ... what you’re saying is that if a majority of the voters in a constitutional democracy vote in a scheduled election and choose a candidate not to your liking, the result of the election means that a majority of the voters democratically casting their ballots have decided to be “slaves.”

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury ...

There are any number of good and reasonable arguments to be proffered in support of, and in opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

“Next the government will force us to eat broccoli ...” is not one of them.

Try studying the Act and see if you can’t formulate a decent argument - for or against.

Knowing what you’re talking about will go along way toward insuring we don’t become a nation of “slaves” - slaves to stupidity.