What’s next?

This is an important mid-term election, politically, not just for the country, but also for the Piedmont Triad region of NC.  Here in the 6th district, the venerable and honorable Howard Coble is retiring after 15 terms in the House, and state-wide, Senator Kay Hagan is up for re-election.

The field is crowded (to say the least) for both seats on the Republican side.  There’s one thing in common with most of the candidates though, and that is all of them have made repeal of Obamacare their #1 priority and messaging.  Understandably so, as generally speaking, it’s unpopular with many Americans.  Yes, there are a few “success” stories out there, and I’m not going to discount them, but for every success, it seems there are 3 more who have a negative experience.  And not just because of the website, but sticker shock.

I myself am one of the “negatives”.  While my insurance is provided by my employer, it is essentially an individual plan that he pays for.  I don’t need much, I’m a single male in my 30’s, good health, and as such, my premium was only $135/mo.  My plan wasn’t “ACA-compliant”, and so I would have been moved to a new plan that would have increased my deductible (from $2,000 to $4,000), increased my co-pay from $25 to $35, and increased the co-insurance from 20%-30%.  All of this for… wait for it… $259/mo.  (I was since allowed to keep my current plan, at a new rate of $165/mo, but for how long is anyone’s guess).  Oh, and I get maternity coverage and birth control (aka pills and abortions), which I so obviously need.

Let it be noted that while I believe in a woman’s right to chose, I don’t like the idea of abortion as a method of birth control and wish there were less of it.  But I’m not going to say “change the right to choose. ”  That’s a topic for another (and more inebriated/enlightened day).

Back to the original point though.  Every candidate’s central plank is “repeal Obamacare”.  Second is “protect the 2nd amendment.” How do you choose your “front-runner” if all of them run on the same thing?!

You have to look at everything else about them – what their plans are beyond repeal.  Because let’s face it, if you want to be re-elected after this term, you have to prove to me that you can do the job beyond one major task.  Otherwise, you wind up in the same boat Kay Hagan is right now – her one “accomplishment” is unpopular amongst the populace and she really can’t run on the rest of her record.

If we repeal Obamacare, what’s your solution for a fix?  How do you propose addressing a $17trillion debt (and continued budgetary deficits)?  How do you uphold the spirit of the 2nd amendment while still making sure that I or my friends or family can protect ourselves against a home invader?  Are you really going to win my vote based on calling the other candidate a liar and a cheat and whatever else you can think of under the sun?

40% of the voters already have made up their mind whether they will support you or hate you based on that little letter after your name.  I’m in the 60% – you have to convince me you can do your job beyond the latest popular topic in the news.

I’m reminded of a line from The West Wing (I’ve reduced it down to the barest form)- 

Ten-word answers can kill you in political campaigns. They’re the tip of the sword. Here’s my question: What are the next ten words of your answer? Your taxes are too high? So are mine. Give me the next ten words. How are we going to do it?

You’re on the clock, and you’ve got until May 6th to convince me.