On Being Politically Undecided
Politics among physicians are interesting. No. That is untrue. Politics among physicians are boring. They are ridiculous in their sameness. Physicians don’t argue about politics. They bleat the same opinions, all of them. It sounds like an argument, but all the opinions are the same. I can’t go to the physician’s lounge without hearing about Obama, and the Democrats, and how awful they are, and how they will destroy medicine. All physicians are Republicans. At least in the deep South. Odd for an area that used to be in majority Democrats. Doctors are Republicans because they want to believe they are Haves. After all, who do the Republicans protect but those with money? And of course doctors are rich, right? Actually, not right. I know because I am one of them, and I recognize that a few paltry hundred thousand a year does not make me a Have. It makes me lucky, and well fed, and I don’t have to worry about money by and large, but I know the difference between that and being a Have. I just don’t have the kind of money the Republicans are interested in. That kind of money means more than a nice house. It means nice houses, plural, and nice boats and nice airplanes, and small beautiful islands in the Caribbean. These silly physicians don’t have those things but they don’t want to understand or admit that on a scale of wealth, they are paupers. Just a paltry few hundred thousand a year. Imagine, I can hear the true Haves, the billionaires, snorting.
I do understand the physicians’ concern with Obamacare. I’m not going to villify it, because I don’t understand it well enough (that’s another thing doctors won’t admit – they understand everything perfectly) but I think I do see that my income is going to go down with Obamacare, because there just isn’t enough money to go around. Wanting to insure everyone is a noble cause, but where is the money going to come from? There isn’t any now because there wasn’t any before. So maybe Obamacare won’t be so good for me personally. But won’t it benefit the masses? Isn’t that what it’s supposed to be about? These folks argue that the masses don’t deserve help – that the fact that they are poor is somehow their fault, nay, their choice.
So my politics are quiet, because unlike everyone else they are uncertain, and also because I don’t feel like being assaulted by my peers in the physician’s lunch room. I am not a Republican. I am not certain I am a Democrat either. I hold some politically liberal beliefs, which in this part of the country make me a lonely girl indeed. There may be others like me, but I imagine they too are alarmed by the lusty braying in the office to speak up either. Actually, there may only be one of me. I don’t really know. I do know that I am lonely, and I don’t join in these discussions. I just don’t have the smugness these other fools have. I don’t have the temerity to believe that my opinion is the only right one. I only know I don’t support hate.
I support the right of a woman to have an abortion. I am a hypocrite because I would never perform an abortion. I don’t like abortion, and I think this is where the politickers go wrong – they assume that people who support abortion like killing babies, love it in fact, and would go on to do abortions on wanted children were it allowed. That is not true at all. In fact, I really dislike abortion. I hate that it has to exist. But as an Ob/Gyn, I can see the bigger picture. The numbers don’t lie. The last time abortion was outlawed, the numbers of abortions did not decrease at all. Women simply desperately took their business to back streets and alleys and had dirty coat hanger abortions and died in droves. And I suppose the anti-abortion folks would say those women deserved it. But here’s what happens: the women who have unsafe illegal abortions now come into emergency rooms dying. And the onus of saving these poor dying people falls upon the Ob/Gyn, who had nothing to do with the damage but it is already done. I don’t want to spend my career dealing with septic, dying women who have had illegal abortions. And that is what will happen if it is outlawed.
I support gay marriage. I have discussed this before. I am not gay, but I believe in equal treatment for all people. No, the churches should not be forced to perform gay marriage; I understand that this would be a violation of church and state. However, I believe a legal civil union should be allowed for all despite sexual orientation. We love who we love. And we should not be vilified for it.
So spare me your politics. I have a few friends from other parts of the country, who hold more liberal, Democratic beliefs, but the stridence and the generalization and the overconfidence are there too. It is just as annoying on the other side. I would say I envy those who KNOW their political beliefs but I would be lying, because I think people who think only one choice is correct probably haven’t looked at all the facts. I know I don’t know all the facts, but at least I admit it. So who will I vote for in this election? I’m not saying. I’m not interested in foisting my beliefs, or lack thereof unto the unwitting poplulace. Just like the old adage about not discussing religion or politics, these politics are nobody’s business but mine, . I know that there are people out there for whom I formerly held respect, but now that I’ve heard them hooting and carrying on, on either side, I’ve lost my respect. If I have one belief, it is that people should suspend disbelief, and understand that all things are possible on either side of the coin. We shouldn’t have to choose a side. But side-choosing is human nature, the Us and the Them, and so the hooting and derision will go on until the end of time.