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Donkey vs. elephant: Health care reform

By Hope Pasztor 
web posted December 14, 2009

A picture says a thousand words, or so the old saying goes. In the world of politics, this phrase is exceedingly applicable. Sometimes a single political cartoon can adequately convey a political view more than would an entire essay on the same subject. Take for example, a recent drawing by political cartoonist, Clay Bennett. The cartoon depicts President Obama, clad in white gloves, a surgeon's cap and protective mask, wearing a medical robe on which are printed the words: "Health Care Reform". In the background, we vaguely see the lights of an operating room, and the picture is situated as if we're the patients awaiting 'surgery'. Obama holds two electric shockers; one in each hand, tools obviously needed to correctly carry out his operation of health care reform. One electric shocker depicts a red and blue donkey, the universal symbol for the Democratic Party, while the other electric shocker is embellished with the form of a red and blue elephant, standing for the Republican Party. The cord attached to the Democratic Party is intact, but the cord for the Republican Party is severed. Above his surgeon's mask, Obama's eyes are questioning, almost worried, as he surveys the non-cooperative electric shocker, symbolizing the Republican Party. Both shockers are needed to perform the task of Health Care Reform. If one shocker breaks, then the operation cannot continue as planned.

This political cartoon is made to represent the ongoing struggle for healthcare in our nation. Despite the present state of our economy, the inconvenience of the Recession, it's apparent that Obama is all for continuing more government-issued programs. It's wonderful how our president cares about the health our country, how he believes that every person, male or female, young or old deserves the right to a healthy life. Still, taxation of the people is not the way to go about solving this problem. If national health care reform was successful, most every hard-working citizen would find himself having to pay more taxes to the government in order to pay for this so-called "free" good. Extra taxation isn't the only problem that would arise with this plan of health care reform. People wouldn't have a choice in what medical clinic they frequented, nor what doctor they visited. We'd all be under the same government-sponsored health care system. My family has enough trouble sorting things out at the local military clinic on Post. Think of how much more complicated going to the doctor would be if everyone in America was under the same healthcare system!

We, as the American people, can choose whether to agree with President Obama's promotion of national health care, or, we can choose to oppose it. As shown in the political cartoon, the central part of the Democratic Party has chosen to side with Obama's idea of healthcare reform. On the other hand, the majority of the Republican Party has chosen to go against this policy. So which political electric shocker do you agree with? Democratic shocker, still intact with the plans for healthcare? Republican shocker that has broken free from these ideas? Now is the time to choose. ESR

Hope A. Pasztor is a senior in high school and wrote this essayfor her Pennsylvania Homeschooler's AP Economics class. After high school she's like to purse fashion journalism after she graduates from Liberty University with a degree in English. © 2009


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