While politicians rail against dictators in foreign lands, they have become bullies in their own governmental chambers. The current attempt by a fringe group of Tea Party Republicans to hold the Affordable Care Act hostage to the passing of the budget is a childish tactic seen too often on playgrounds around the world. I want my own way, and will do anything I can to get it including threatening, pushing, shoving and withholding what is rightly yours. Shouting replaces dialogue as heels are dug in for the fight. Saving face is more important than seeking an equitable solution; a solution that responds to the needs of the greater good.
Sadly, leadership by bullying has also been present in the church. The American Bishops lost credibility for their aggressive stance against the Affordable Care Act. Health coverage for all took second seat to their voracious fight against birth control coverage.
Our own health care system is far from perfect. Currently, our rural town is suffering from a doctor shortage. Health care at no cost means nothing if there are no doctors to provide it. Yes, waiting times for tests and surgeries are a problem. But, we keep our politicians’ feet to the fire to make the system better and more efficient. We see health care as a right, not a privilege for the few.
Leadership by bullying is not leadership. At a time when we are becoming more sensitive to the horrible effects of bullying, we should expect more from those who have been elected or appointed to serve the people.