Over the last half of the 20th century I learned clichés, fables, and "old wive’s tales" are repeated simply because they illustrate absolute truth. Experience sees through birdbrain proposals, usually dismissing them with "there’s no need to reinvent the wheel."
Successful football coaches keep running plays which work well. My late friend from Michigan, Fred Jamroz, coaching in the Silverdome pursuing a state championship, loved a fullback trap up the middle in long yardage situations when opponents expected a pass. Fred termed it "30 Trap," and when talking about it, would look over his reading glasses and say:
"If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!"
Decades ago, I learned and coached the system run by then-Georgia Southern offensive coordinator Paul Johnson. Johnson helped legendary Erk Russell win three national titles before winning one himself as head coach down in Statesboro, brought success to Navy and now works for Georgia Tech. How did Johnson create the best offense in football, stoppable only when his own players drop the ball?
Well, in his Division I-AA Georgia Southern days, Johnson could only recruit players who were a step slower than Division I prospects. Thus:
"Necessity is the mother of invention."
Recently one of my former football players, a deputy sheriff here in Newton County, was shot in the line of duty. His life was saved because a family friend provided him the very finest grade flak vest, which stopped a bullet which would otherwise have killed the deputy.
The Hallmark greeting card folks have a motto which is spot-on: "When you care enough to give the very best."
How wonderful it would be if our county would provide top-notch flak vests for all peace officers who put their lives on the line for us every day. It would serve as a silver lining to a dark cloud of tragedy surrounding this recent episode and bring some lasting good from it.
Here’s something that’s been around longer than even I suspected. Back in October, 1901, the Packard automobile folks intimated that the best way to know quality is to "ask the man who owns one." Good old word-of-mouth advertising has endured for generations.
My daddy was still alive during the civil rights movement in the early 1960s. From Alabama to Boston, organized marches and carefully orchestrated demonstrations were frequently on the television news. Naively, I asked why the demonstrations seemed to happen every day.
"The squeaky wheel gets the grease," Daddy said.
Now we have a president who wants to reinvent the wheel that is America’s health care system, to let the Federal government determine every facet of care for everyone, thus necessitating the implementation of socialized medicine.
And that’s just wrong! Whoever perpetrated the notion that government should sustain people from the cradle to the grave?
Nevertheless, seeking to learn all I could and believing that when you care enough to give the very best, you ask the man who owns one. I have.
I talked to the architect of one of America’s finest health care plans, that of California some 30 years ago when that state was solvent, and who once headed one of Georgia’s largest HMO’s. And over the last two weeks, I’ve contacted as many health care professionals as possible to ask what they think of ObamaCare.
In my little corner of the world, not one doctor, nurse or hospice worker — not a one, mind you — favors President Obama’s plan.
Hey, I’m not making this up. Every last person in health care I’ve spoken to is opposed to socialized medicine.
So my question is why is it even being considered?
All across this country, whether at televised town hall meetings or in casual conversation, regular everyday citizens express overwhelming opposition to ObamaCare.
The president is decrying the disruptions to town hall meetings, saying they’re orchestrated. Sort of like civil rights marches and demonstrations, but with the shoe on the other foot.
This much I know for sure: the overwhelming majority of everyday folks I’ve talked to are adamantly opposed to socialized medicine. They know our health care is expensive, but they also know it’s the best care to be found in the world.
Friedrich Nietzsche warned, "Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."
And a monster is what America will have, indeed, if the Congress, legally bribed by self-serving lobbyists who in turn grovel at the feet of whoever resides in the Oval Office, gets into the ObamaCare business.
It’d be like letting the fox guard the hen house.
Nat Harwell is a long-time resident of Newton County. His columns appear regularly on Sundays.