In know that's a really broad question, but it's been one that's been heavily on my mind with the news reports of the White House trying (and it looks like they will be successful) to put the kibosh on funding for health insurance for children whose parents can't afford it.
There's just a real disconnect when the leader of the free world says, according to a New York Times op-ed that, "being without health insurance is no big deal."
"'After all, you just go to an emergency room,' " is the quote from President Bush Paul Krugman uses in his column today. (Again, it's behind the Times Select firewall).
But this is clearly the attitude of someone who has grown up with privilege and entitlement. I know he tries to play the part of a man of the people, but no matter how often he dons the western shirts, the ten-gallon hat and the cowboy boots, I suspect there was never a time he had to decide whether he could afford to have his children see a doctor.
Think how differently decisions would be made in Washington, if more of our representatives, and the President, had to worry about whether their sons and daughters looked at the military as their only option for funding college.
As the daughter of farmers, I thought long and hard (granted, it was decades ago) about whether it would make sense to spend a few years in the military to earn some money for the college education I was determined to get.
As college students, I'm sure that Barbara and Jenna didn't have to decide how to finance tuition, books and some meager health insurance policy. I did.
And can you imagine what recent Supreme Court decisions would have looked like if any of the Justices in the majority on privacy and discrimination cases had daughters who had ever faced an unwanted pregnancy or learned they had been cheated out of a fair salary just because of their gender?
While it's obviously important to me to hear what all the candidates have to say about issues, maybe it's time to dig a little deeper and learn about their roots.
Who grew up with the silver spoon? For the candidates who attended Ivy League schools, did they get in with the help of family connections or did they have to work for it? Do any of them really know what it's like for families to have to choose who gets health care?
Presidential candidates who have lived lives that more closely resemble the day-to-day lives of most voters could bring an amazing new perspective to this country.
Is one out there?
Originally posted here.