I am thinking today about a child’s story I remember as having been read to me when I was a little boy. Its message has stayed with me through the years and down to the present day. The story was “The Little Engine That Could.” The story tells the tale of a small train engine that takes on the task of moving a huge and heavy train over a high mountain against immeasurable odds. Throughout the performance of the task he repeats over and over to himself: “I think I can… I think I can….” on and on. Struggling mightily he reaches the mountain top and he changes his saying to; “I thought I could… I thought I could…”
The message is, of course, that no task is too daunting if we believe in our goal, and if we believe we can achieve it. No task is too daunting! Or is it? Did that children’s story tell me a lie? Was President Obama’s mantra throughout the campaign a lie? Should “Yes We Can” become “Yes We Can if the task isn’t too difficult?” Is that where we are going? Is that where we are?
The Party of Jefferson and Jackson seems to believe that, and since that is the party into which I have placed my hope, I am dismayed. I was listening to a radio report yesterday when a representative of the current Democrat House majority stated that his group believed in a Health Care Bill with the Public Option, but they were willing to forgo that option because passage would be “a long, hard climb.”
A Long Hard Climb??? Who in hell told them that their job would be easy? Who in hell told them their job should be easy? Who told them that lie? And if they believed it, who is holding their brains and can they get them returned so that they can do the job for which they have been elected? While they are waiting for their brains to be returned, they might try shopping around for a spine that fits, because this Party that holds my hopes is vastly in need of a back-bone. Oh yes, and there are two smaller items that also must have been left somewhere and these are also a requirement… they have many names, but I believe one of the medical terms for them is “gonads.” My Party needs its own Wizard of OZ, they need a brain and a heart, and also, they need a spine and a working set of gonads.
I have not abandoned this Party. I most definitely have not abandoned the President’s Health Care Bill with the Public Option. Unless this Bill passes as Mr. Obama proposes it, I may have to abandon any of my Representatives who have not accepted it. It is that important to me. I have, in the course of my career, seen too many persons suffer because of the machinations of insurance company bureaucrats and price-gauging pharmaceutical houses. It has gone on for far too long and hurt far too many people.
In the course of the so-called debate, people like Limbaugh, Beck and Palin have put forth and perpetuated misinformation that they themselves know to be untrue. The myths of “death panels,” , loss of physician choice, health care being denied to Republicans, Medicare being lost, abortions being funded, and health care being delivered to millions of illegal aliens .. All of these are lies that have been repeated over and over until some people believe them as truths.
One of the biggest lie of all, is that this man, President Barak Obama, does not deserve to be President, and, that being the case, he does not deserve the respect accorded to that office. His proposals, no matter how good they are, must be fought tooth and nail so that his Presidency will be looked upon by history as an abject failure. A black man in the White House….. Oh my God! This African American man who is more educated than most of us, who is a sophisticated and knowledgeable user of the English language, who has a beautiful wife and wonderful children, this man who has devoted his adult life to public service… to some, this man is not deserving.
Where does that come from, except from deep-seated racial prejudice? As most of us who make up any kind of minority realize, prejudice is alive and well in these United States, only now, for some it has become the elephant in the room that no one acknowledges. These haters need to know that they are wrong, and that the voters have spoken.
My party can change this possible verdict of failure. My party can get behind their President. My party can drop the excuse that the passage of an intact and complete Health Care Bill is a “long hard climb.” They need to do this because across the length and breadth of the United States, people are hurting and people are dying because of lack of proper health care and the lack of insurance coverage. My party’s representatives needs to reclaim their brains and their compassion in order to recognize what is happening and the effect of this so-called debate on their constituents who are suffering. They need to put their constituents first and put aside any influence or cash that is coming from the Insurance Companies, the pharmaceutical houses, the Hospitals and the American Medical Association. These Representatives need to reclaim their spines. They need to stand up and be counted. They need to push back on the lies and not legitimize them.
And they need to grow a pair! This is not an option. They need to have the courage to stand up for what is morally right. They need to educate their constituency about this bill and not pass on the lies being spread by the Conservative and the Christian Right. They need to question the agenda of those who are fighting this bill so vigorously.
An uphill climb is it? Then get to work and start that climb. No one and I mean no one who voted for you did so to give you a pass on the hard work of legislation. So Senators, so Representatives, get out there, do some of the hard week and earn your salary (and your exceptionally good health care benefits I might add.) Fight the liars, pass the President’s Bill with the public option, and give your constituents who are poor and/or out of work some relief from their worries.
I don’t take this stance because I have been a supporter of the President; I take this stance because it is the only moral and Right stance one can take. Like that little engine from my childhood, this Congress, if it puts its mind to it, CAN climb this mountain.