So this speech is amazing, not just because it is a good speech. I think it is truly transformational in the sense that it represents a profound change in the way Americans think about politics and the ability of politicians to actually help people instead of looking after themselves and special interests first . . . President Obama is certainly known for giving good speeches, but this one represents yet another turning point I feel in his presidency toward making meaningful and transformational change in American government, and by extension, the world. Perhaps if Americans are healthier, if we no longer have to worry so much about getting sick and not being able to pay for our treatment, we can be more engaged and present in the decision-making that goes on in our name. My hope is that we can say goodbye forever to the disengagement and apathy that seems to have defined the past ten to twenty years of American politics, maybe going back as far as the Reagan era, not just because of health care reform, but seeing health care reform as one more step toward a truly just and equitable society that lives up to the promise and possibility of the idealistic language used in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution. My hope is that we are one step closer to realizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision and dream of a free and peaceful society. Yet we have a long way to go yet, not least of which are the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that need to end as soon as possible . . . .
“The perfect is the enemy of the good.” – Voltaire
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Which brings me to the deplorable conduct of the Tea Party activists that reminded many African American Representatives of their experiences in the Civil Rights movement and their work integrating schools . . . .
Rep. Ryan decries the horrible treatment of members of Congress by the Tea Party protesters, including Rep. John Lewis, who experienced similar treatment during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960′s, and Rep. Barney Frank. Democratic representatives give reasons to support the bill, measured with wishes of ways to improve health care in the future after the bill becomes law. Republican politicians follow with first a letter by the Texas Medical Association and then a long diatribe about how the American Medical Association does not truly speak for the majority of American doctors and that the Tea Party protesters were great patriots . . . and somehow that means that Democrats are demons and the representative actually uses the word Armageddon to describe the passing of comprehensive health care reform legislation, perhaps echoing the words of house minority leader Boehner during his tirade against Democrats and health care reform and support of the “Red Whatever-They-Are” astroturf Tea Party campaign financed and organized by the Republican party leaders and their friends in the health insurance industry. I never realized how much influence the health insurance lobby had in American politics until this past thirteen months of debate in the house and senate regarding health care reform. Yet now I think it is painfully obvious that the health insurance lobby has exorbitant influence in both the house and senate, and in both major political parties. The fact that the health care reform legislation is as the Democratic representatives describe as “middle of the road,” illustrates just how far to the extreme right-wing conservative perspective the Republican leadership in the house and senate has become. I am not sure which caucus is more extreme, the Republican house or senate, but I do think that the house has certainly a big advantage as far as sheer numbers of unhinged opinionators and halfbaked conspiracy theories masquerading as intelligent discourse and “setting the record straight” of the “lies” of health care reform (yet the so-called “lies” really extend to whatever issue and subject that the individual extremist does not agree with, and to a greater extent the entire community of like-minded individuals within the Republican party mostly dominated by right-wing extremists such as the racist and homophobic Tea Party protesters currently).
Sounds like a madhouse with angry protesters threatening violence & hurling abuse at Democratic lawmakers . . . I wonder where the anti-reform Tea Party protesters get their wild ideas about how the government is going to “take over” their health care & turn the country into a communist / socialist / fascist state? It might have something to do with Republican / conservative lawmakers and media figures warning about those very conspiracy theories and halfbaked scaretactics championed by the likes of Beck, Hannity, and Limbaugh. Yet without other circumstances besides the conservative media figures and lawmakers such as Boehner and McConnell, I can’t imagine that such a great proportion of the electorate would actually fall for such brazen lies and misinformation, except that the recession and poor economic situation has created a situation rife with possibility for unscrupulous snake oil salesmen to ply their nefarious trade & try to hold onto their own power and wealth, even though they would actually be richer literally and metaphorically if they didn’t resist positive change, but participated honestly in reform for the health care system, clean energy technology, green jobs, disarmament, financial reform, peace, etc.
Peace everyone! And good luck! Let’s keep working . . . Onwards toward peace, environmental sustainability and wisdom, and social justice for all the world, both human and nonhuman . . . a better world IS possible, and we are on our way . . . .