Common Sense Politics

Joel Michael Herbert
5 min readDec 26, 2020
Photo by Paulius Dragunas on Unsplash

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the news, by politics, by the constant onslaught of issues that seem never-ending and unnecessarily complex. It’s easy to feel like the issues facing us are nearly impossible to solve.

They’re not. It’s time for a return to common-sense politics, a retreat from the smokescreening that so many politicians are so skilled at, that make us average folks feel overwhelmed by it all, to where we want to throw up our hands and disengage completely.

Certainly, many issues are complex, and require complex strategy and exceptional leadership to resolve. But many, many issues are not. Many issues are quite simple, really. There are clear solutions, and then there are powerful people making a LOT of money off of the status quo. What is lacking is simply the political courage of politicians on both sides of the aisle to stand up and do what is right for their constituents that elected them rather than the good old boys’ club that they belong to.

I am convinced that we need more straight talk in our politics, a boiling down of issues to points that make sense to the average person, not bills which consist of, to quote Hamilton, “too many damn pages for any man to understand.”

Health care is one of these issues. Most of us haven’t the faintest idea how health care and insurance really work, so we disengage in frustration, lamenting the broken system that we are bound under. In the meantime, obscenely wealthy insurance and pharmaceutical companies get even more wealthy, while the average American struggles to pay insurance premiums and afford prescription drugs.

I have personally lived this. I know what it is like to not be able to afford my prescription, so I’ve had to choose to simply do without. If I as a college-educated, privileged white man just trying to get allergy and ADHD medication have a hard time with this, I can only imagine what it must be like for people trying to get life-saving prescription drugs.

Just last week, my wife had COVID-19, and for 8 days ran a 103 degree fever, struggling to breathe each night. She was prescribed an inhaler to her by a local doctor here in Nashville, but then our insurance wouldn’t cover the inhaler, so we had to pay for it out of pocket. This same week, we both, who are part of the gig economy (my…

Joel Michael Herbert

Husband. Father. Artist. Storyteller. Armchair Theologian. Advocate, activist and politician. Gryffindor. [neuro]Divergent.