I waited, like a lot of folks, for the vote to come and go and allow the passage of time to ease my rage and angst along with the subsiding blood pressure spike. It was only a couple days ago, after all, that I wrote a piece admitting that I had already come to terms with the idea of health care reform becoming law. That it already has Obama's signature on it after 36 hours (even though we were promised 120) really doesn't bother me...I knew this day was coming. How it got passed is what bothers me, as does the degree to which several of our most sacred of Constitutionally-granted rights were soundly mocked and impugned, to varying degrees, along the way.
On March 21, 2010, our progressive Federal Government successfully affirmed one of our Founders' worst fears:
During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
Ahh...history repeats itself...over, and over, and over again. Promises made (and votes bought) with fixes we'll never see notwithstanding...where are we in the health care debate? Better still, where are we headed as the incremental Federal takeover of the private sector trudges on?
We've seen tens of thousands of people marching, protesting, calling their Congressmen, and demanding that this takeover not be allowed to go forward. We've seen our Political heroes promise to stand against it only so long as the cameras were pointing at them. We've heard a President suggest (straight-faced, no less, and with his ventriloquist dummy standing upright in the background) that he is just doing what the "we, the People" asked him to do:
Tonight, at a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics. We pushed back on the undue influence of special interests. We didn't give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges. We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people.
I still can't shake off that last sentence: "still works for the people."
We are being asked to believe that a Federal takeover of the Health Care industry is actually giving US back control of our health care decisions...presumably because we control our Politicians and they do OUR bidding. Funny; a very large number of us just finished telling them not to vote for this and they did anyway. So, NOW we can trust them to do our bidding....that last time they ignored us was only for our own good...THIS time they'll do what we tell them to do. Do I have that right?
In the 3 days since the votes were cast, money is being thrown at the GOP, websites are going up looking for signatories to unite AGAINST what has been done, and experts from the 4 corners of the political universe are out in droves telling us how to repeal this mess. These are fine and decent initiatives, and I support them all. But...they are not going to do any good unless the advice of a well-known pundit and born-again-activist is heeded along with these other activities.
For all that can be said about Sarah Palin (and I've said some of it myself), she reminds us that-barring the other rights we've slowly had taken away from us-the right to vote remains intact. Whatever else we succeed in doing about this mess, there is ultimately one very large step we can (and must) take now:
This is just the beginning of our efforts to take back our country. Consider yesterday’s vote a clarion call and a spur to action. We will not let America sink into further debt without a fight. We will not abandon the American dream to government dependency, fewer freedoms and less opportunity. Change is made at the ballot box. If we work together, we can renew our optimistic pioneering spirit, revive our economy, and restore constitutional limits.
Stand tall, America. November is coming!
If ever there was a time in our history that we needed to get everyone registered and everyone AT the polls come November...this is surely it. If ever there was a time when the American people needed to stand up and be heard-where it matters... this is surely it. Our Federal Government has just successfully beaten its employers over the collective head with the very Constitution they were elected to uphold and defend.
They need to be beaten back into submission. They need to be reminded of who actually runs the show around here, and there is only (ultimately) one way to do that.