BUT, but, but...why haven't they been moving? We missed some golden opportunities to grow as a country after the Bush years and the financial collapse...
What Could Have Been
When President Obama was elected, I thought the first thing he would say was,
"I'm a community organizer at heart, and I know that we can get through this together by helping each other in our own communities. Remember the March of Dimes! A little help from every one is all we ever need to make it through. We have gotten through times like this before, and we do it together, person by person, community by community, state by state, until, at last, our Nation is back on its feet once again!"
Instead he said,
"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.
It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.
Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom."The first quote would have not only inspired the nation to act, but would have given us a great bridge between the "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!" conservatives and the "We must ensure food, shelter and health for all our fellow citizens!" 'liberals.'
Ah! That would have been a great message.
SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE
Then, on the conservative side with healthcare...the individual mandate can be traced all the way back to 1989 in connection with the conservative Heritage Foundation. The individual mandate lines up with conservative rhetoric that everyone should be responsible for themselves and their own healthcare.
Obama compromised his original single payer idea to death, and Obamacare is what we got.
Not only do I not understand why Repubs were against their own ideas of an individual mandate, which they have spent ridiculous amounts of time and money fighting...
But...why wouldn't Republicans support single payer healthcare to begin with? In fact, Republicans have supported it before (click here for another Republican doctor for single payer.) The main reason I can think of for republican support, quoted by Republican Jack Lohman, is to...
"get health care off the backs of corporations so they can be more competitive with products made overseas.”Duh! Right? or Left? Hey, we shoulda coulda come together on this.
Think of how much money you pay every month for health insurance through your employer. Your employer pays that much too...for every employee. It's nuts. It inhibits business growth and profits.
REPEAL OF THE PATRIOT ACT
Obama could have vetoed the Patriot Act, and done away with the NSA and homeland security. I mean, don't we already have the Pentagon, the FBI and the CIA? Doesn't congress have committees for stuff like this? I don't care which ones we cut, but we don't need all these spying orgs.
Dems should have done away with these agencies, created or expanded under the mischievous Bush admin, because of civil rights violations, and Repubs should have wanted to to shrink gov't and stay true to the Bill of Rights. But, no. Obama extended the act for 4 more years, and Repubs relied on extending it to show their strong stance on anti-terrorism.
Why the hell do they call it the 'patriot' act anyway? The whole thing pisses me off to no end.
You know who else it pisses off? *Some* of The Tea Party.
Just imagine a USA, inspired by intrepid leaders to build community together with a reinvigorated sense of citizenship and "pull yourself up by your bootstraps' can-do attitude. Imagine healthcare for everyone without fines or haggling with insurance companies.
Imagine a citizenry versed on the constitution and filled with pride because they did their part to uphold it- the sense of valor and Americanism that would have gushed after the repeal of the Patriot Act!
Ah! That's nice.
It coulda happened.
What Can Be
ACTION IN CONGRESS
Here we are again, a fresh new start, a new day! More Tea Party candidates elected to congress and a 'lame duck' session for the Pres. Now, Obama's term will soon end, but he is far from powerless or needing help. In fact, he has had so little help throughout his Presidency, he is probably all practiced up on governing solo.
Like I said, I am glad Repubs have control of congress. They really should not be able to blame the Pres as much.
They can fully utilize their 'pull yourself up by the bootstraps' mentality and try to make something good out of this opportunity.
REPEAL THE PATRIOT ACT and DEFUND NSA SPYING
First, let us, instead of repealing Obamacare, repeal The Patriot Act; instead of defunding Obamacare, let us defund spying on Americans at the NSA.
If we are gonna haggle about healthcare, let us start somewhere easy and impactful- Tort Reform.
If we're really lucky, we will somehow get single payer.
To shrink government and give some relief to local government agencies and municipalities, why not start a campaign championing the role of the citizen? Common good and self-sufficiency starts at home. I think both sides of the aisle can agree on this.
Not only will a campaign for citizen involvement- like taking care of your older neighbors, keeping up parks and streets, feeding our hungry and helping our homeless with jobs, skills and support- take a load off gov't, it will put the people in touch with their leaders, and help to dilute the influence of big business and corporations in policy making.
We can still have an invigorated USA, inspired by intrepid leaders, and held up by active citizens. It will take more than imagination, it will take good 'ol brave American leadership.
The ball is in your court Republicans, Tea Party. Let's see some good action!
Make a great day!
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