POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Respect doesn’t necessarily mean agreement



With the state legislature beginning this week, it would be easy for me to engage in my favorite sport, partisan posturing. While I respect the state’s conservative-leaning leadership for the sincerity of their beliefs, I obviously have some differences with many of their positions. As I recently told one of my rather conservative friends, we agree on what many of our problems are, but we’re far apart on how to fix them.

So, I’m going to use this space of the first Point-Counterpoint of the year, Doc. Holliday, not to challenge my conservative counterparts like you on politics, but on compassion. What our state leaders need to bring to the Capitol this year is more compassion for their fellow Mississippians and less commitment to ideology. Now, this is not to say that conservatives are cold-hearted and non-feeling, but it does mean that they sometimes put their political positions over what could be greater benefits for a greater number of Mississippians, those being children, the poor and less fortunate and nonviolent criminal offenders. And the way to show compassion for these groups, in my mind is by appropriating more state dollars.

So, I’m calling on my conservative friends to support pre-K expansion, expand Medicaid, and fund alternative sentencing.

The first two positions, actually require more common sense than compassion. After all, it is proved that pre-K programs prevent high dropout rates and improve early reading skills. And it is also proved that the more poor people who have health care, the less dollars we have to spend on rising insurance and hospital charity costs.

But the last position isn’t just heralded by so-called progressive like myself. Earlier this week I heard that same position from so-called conservative Gov. Phil Bryant. Gov. Bryant says jails are filling up far too quickly and we need to find alternatives.

That sounds like a rather progressive and compassionate position to me.




James, I agree with you and our governor that new ways to reduce our jail populations need to be explored. Now let’s talk about compassion. When does compassion in the hearts of politicians morph into a desire for even more control? The answer is when the politicians begin to tell exceeding falsehoods to get laws passed. Then their compassion transforms into lust for the increasing tyranny of power and control.

The definition of fraud is to do unlawful deeds or to gain an unfair advantage. The Democrats in D.C. gained unfair advantage when Americans were told, during the last two elections, if we like our health plans and doctors that we could keep them, period! Americans now know that they were grossly deceived by our leaders! Laws that are passed by fraudulent means should be abolished.

The Affordable Care Act is now being dubbed the “Unaffordable and Uncaring Act” by many Americans who are suffering from its passage. Why would any legislator in Jackson want to add more than 300,000 Mississippians to a plan that is unraveling daily? Honest compassion does not pass a law by expressively deceiving citizens. More than 5 million have so far lost the insurance plans they preferred and barely afforded.

It is unwise to trust a politician who informs you that compassion drives them, then uses ever increasing government programs (extracted from taxpayers) to divide among exclusive constituents. Which really drives such politicians, “Compassion” or the lust to increasingly enforce legal control over other people’s livelihood? Proverbs 11:6 says “Good character is the best insurance; crooks get trapped in their sinful lusts!”

Consistent wisdom is urgently needed in Jackson and Washington, D.C. Level-headedness is what our political leaders in Jackson are providing as they delay adding more people to a Medicaid program already overloaded. The best thing about our new healthcare law is that it is finally creating enough adversity in our nation that honest citizens with real plans should arise from the debacle.

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    Perfect example of what’s wrong with governance on every level today; you’re both partisan hacks. I sincerely hope MS residents are paying attention and will vote you both out if you stay this course. One speaks of compassion while the other speaks of distant bogie-men. I call BS
    to the both of you.

    The reality is MS takes more than it gives to the fed; has for decades; and will continue to do so as long as it maintains the current status. On the one hand, the Far Right of the state warns of federal control, all the while demonstrating the worst of economic progress within its own borders.
    On the other, the Far Left wishes to throw more money under every stone, all the while showing clearly they can’t manage the money they get now. The State has zero credibility to manage its
    own affairs until it can, at the very least, reach national averages.

    The gentlemanliness we Southerners are supposed to be so famous for dictates we honor the generosity of those sister states who give more than they receive by managing that generosity in such a way to bring us to that level of black ink stability, without federal assistance. Where is the proof of that?