The Supreme Court’s liberals and conservatives appear divided about striking down a Wisconsin redistricting plan because it is excessively partisan. Following the arugments, former Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke out against Gerrymandering. (Oct. 3)
My family are Americans-by-Choice, having immigrated legally in 1978.
The process to obtain immigration papers was long and arduous, beginning in about 1975. We needed to coordinate a job for myself to support the family of six, including my wife and four children ranging in age from 16 years to 6 years, and their school enrollments based on a local residential address.
We sold our residence in the old country, mobilized finances to travel and to ensconce in the new life in the U.S.
With the optimism of youth, we accomplished all the requirements and arrived on Aug. 14, 1978.
Further challenges were learning to deal with new and strange accents and new money denominations, bank practices and climates.
There were fun moments, too, such as in a driver’s license test trying to understand what the examining official meant when she instructed me to “mash the button” to start the car, or to “make a right” at the next corner.
I have always considered us lucky immigrants. English was our native tongue, and we resided in a lovely suburb of Birmingham, Alabama. Our kids did well at school.
We have had our share of successes and failures.
Our nuclear family is now spread out to Georgia, California and Oregon. With cellphones, communication is easier than it was when we first arrived.
We are thrilled and grateful to be American citizens.
Still, there are troubling aspects to life in this country. Let me outline a few:
Gun Violence. In light of the recent Las Vegas events and frequent other gun tragedies, it is appalling that gun violence is so prevalent and tolerated in this country. I am told repeatedly that it is not guns that kill people, but rather disturbed people, and that the possession of guns is a hallowed constitutional right enshrined in the Second Amendment. Perhaps in the early pioneer days of this country there was rationale to allow the possession of deadly weapons for self protection. I believe that the gun threat will never be safely resolved, no matter the horror and immensity of gun-inflicted tragedies.
Unfortunately, given today’s political climate, it ain’t gonna happen.
Medical Insurance. The country is held hostage by the insurance industry. Medical decisions for coverage are made by non-identifiable persons in offices somewhere that decide whether patients are eligible for coverage or not. These unidentified persons (are they physicians?) decide on the payouts for medical conditions without ever seeing or laying their hands on the patients. In the medical school I trained at, such an approach to medical practice would have been considered malpractice and grounds for expulsion or lawsuit. In my opinion, the best medical coverage plan would be universal coverage for all citizens, paid for by a single payer.
Again, I’m afraid, it ain’t gonna happen.
Gerrymandering of Political Districts. This political manipulation of public opinion is undemocratic. We delude ourselves in thinking we have a representative government system if guile and money decide electoral choices. The same illogic applies to the Electoral College whereby majority opinion is ignored. Will this ever change?
It ain’t gonna happen.
I think we cheapen and demean our country by these and other manipulations.
Aubrey A. Lurie is a physician in Shreveport.
More by Aubrey A. Lurie
Read or Share this story: http://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/opinion/2017/10/14/lurie-america-beautiful-it-aint-gonna-happen/755911001/