A few comments about the upcoming election

Our 12-step programs, without exception, have some tradition or other guideline that states that they have no opinion on outside issues, since such things would interfere with their primary purpose of carrying the message.

That’s as it should be. Can you imagine an NA, AA or AlAnon meeting if a political discussion were to get started and be permitted to continue? It’s been my experience that very few folks in the rooms are middle-of-the-road sorts, and I’ll bet it would get really exciting, really fast, and the resentments would be flying in no time!

I don’t care to get involved in such things on this blog, either. However, there are a couple of personal opinions that I would like to voice (since it’s by blog), based on observations made during my time in recovery and for some time before. They are simply my opinions, nothing else. For that reason I don’t want to get a debate started, and comments on this post will be closed. If you feel a resentment because you don’t get to speak your piece in this matter, I suggest you call your sponsor and have a discussion about “fairness.” If your sponsor is worth a damn, it should make you forget all about this issue for a while. *snicker*

I was involved with social services as a police officer, before I got sober. After I went to treatment, although out of the mainstream for a few years, I kept track through various acquaintances and clients. Then I worked in the addiction field (as does my wife) and saw some of the issues firsthand. I have since kept in touch, again, through acquaintances and Michele, who is now an addiction counselor and psychotherapist.

It has been my observation, and that of a majority of the people I’ve queried, that social services — specifically mental health and recovery services — fare well under Democratic administrations, and poorly under Republicans. It’s that simple. That seems to have been true all the way back to the Kennedy Administration, and the rape of social services at all levels by George II has certainly demonstrated it over the past 7½ years. The Republican-dominated Congress of the preceding 4 years got things started, and Bush’s rubber-stamping of their every move during his first six years put the seal on it, as have his vetoes since Republicans lost control of Congress in 2006.

Without becoming any more partisan than that, let me say that I believe it is imperative for the interests of the recovering community that we not only elect a Democratic president in November, but also as many Democrats to Congress as possible. With the economy in the toilet, the people on the bottom are being hurt the most and — almost by definition — that includes people in need of treatment and addiction services. Even people with insurance have been adversely affected by the oppositional climate of Republican politics.

Look the various records over for yourself. Draw your own conclusions about what’s important, and vote your own conscience. But for heaven’s sake, don’t let someone else do your thinking and make your decisions for you, and don’t drink the Kool-Aid!

You’re a big kid now. You’re allowed to think. Just think clearly.