A Long Hard Climb

the little engine that couldBy: The David

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.

8 Comments on “A Long Hard Climb”

  1. I stated my opinions on the so-called “health care reform” innitiative before, so I won’t touch that issue again.

    But I will say this – if you are expecting the political class to grow a backbone or gonads, you will surely be disappointed. You see, the congresspeople that supposedly represent us (as if!)aren’t looking for any real change to be made in government: they are trying to keep things as much the same as they are now as possible – they have a gravy train of special interest money and potential dirt to throw at rivals coming in at regular intervals and any serious changes in government policy may derail it.

    It’s not in the best interests of the political class to bring about any real change (whether this change is viewed as positive or negative from the perspective of the average joe), but rather to keep talking about change and discrediting rivals in the public eye with blame for the latest failure of government – this way they can *appear* to be reformers but they don’t actually have to reform anything (they just need to blame some one else for the lack of the reform they keep promising…)

  2. We are the political class … we are all responsible, and for too long, we have voted for what we think we want, and not what we know should be. American’s don’t take voting with any sense of responsibility, we vote the sound bite, the “best” negative, for the one who looks the best .. we vote like we were buying jeans, in fact, we put more thought into buying jeans now that I think about it. I would suggest strict term limits, 2 congressional terms and 2 senate terms … and you then either run for a higher office or you get in line at the soup kitchen with the rest of us .. a more representative assembly of people, not CAREER politicians ….. why are there lobbyists anyway, why does running for office mean spending enough money to fund health care for everyone ??? why are politicians and their staffers allowed in DC after their terms are finished ??, the influence should be replaced with “service”. Lets face it, it isn’t working as it is. I want to vote for the man, his experience, beyond political experience, and not the issue. But I think from now on, one term and you are out will be my standard for a new democratic way … I would also suggest that the likes of Beck and O’Reilly be tagged with a warning …. “REMEMBER THIS IS OPINION, OFTEN NOT BASED ON FACTS, AND IS PROVIDED FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT OF THOSE WHO CAN NO LONGER FIND ENOUGH REASONS TO HATE THEIR NEIGHBORS ON THEIR OWN”.

  3. Rich I agree we do put more thought into the reson we favor the Wopper over the $6.00 burger than we do voting. Politics shouldn’t be “American Idol”-although it would probably run more smoothly under Simon’s Cruel Tutalage.
    Can we expect bigger Gonads? Of course not that would call for genetic engineering and all Americans know science is Satan’s tool. No, but we can ask people to be accountable when they fuck up. Accountablity is still in the range of do-able I think and we should be more active in calling for it.

  4. I belong to a philosophy of thought that believes you should never ask someone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself. America asked Obama to make tough decisions, but they won’t do it themselves. America wants to get out from under its load of indebtedness, but it won’t do it themselves. America wants better health care but they don’t want to oppose the Insurance and pharmaceutical companies. If they want our politicians to grow gronads, why don’t they grow some themselves?

    The issue is, the costs of medical treatment and pharmaceutical drugs are too high. It is an industry whose services are in as much demand as food and shelter. At what point do we put checks on uncontrolled exploitation of basic necessities? Chris, i agree with you that too many of our basic rights have been encumbered with the statutes of equity court. What we have seen, though, by the uncensored use of Capitalistic enterprise, is the giant shifting away of individual ownership and stable income into a basically wiped out middle class, a small upper middle class, an overwhelmingly wealthy elitist core and a very large low income class working population. I struggle with the irresponsibility of a government that could allow this to happen and what can be done to put the priority of healthy communities back into place.

  5. If Government continually fails us… no matter the reason, has it out lived its usefulness? Is “The Great Experiment” really a failure?

  6. David that is an interesting question to put. I think if we were looking at this purely scientifically we could say yes, it’s a failure. At some point you have to be done manipulating an experiment and concede that while there may be inherit possibility, your team could not make it come up with the desired outcome.
    Write a paper on your mistakes, what you think they meant and begin to map out a new plan is what is next for the scientist.
    I think it may be what is necessary here as well.

  7. This is a question i’ve asked myself often. Corruption has become so prevalent in everything from industry to our charity organizations, we are mired in a very real and reasonable paranoia. Our legislative body has been feeding at the teats of the cash cow for so long, they are incapable of weaning themselves away from special interest lobbyists. Our courts stagnate, flip flopping from year to year in its decisions as well-paid attorneys line up for their day in the boxing ring. It’s more to their advantage if the case drags on, bumping from one court into another, because they stand more to gain in settlement fees of their own. The drain on the tax-payer or client, provokes no interest.

    The drain on the public provokes no interest. The mechanics of our government have transformed into a profit making industry, with the workers the victims. These workers aren’t just the people chained to McDonald’s or Walmart’s. They include white collar workers, professional class and small business owners. They include every incentive that gets knocked off by a larger, more powerful corporation. How do we rein in the destructive forces of greed? What body of people will conscientiously strive for this end, and how will we know we can trust them? It certainly does seem we need to start over, but what kind of foundation should we build? How do we affect change without articulating solutions we can all agree upon? In all conflict, a line is drawn. It becomes one of “us” and “them”. The battle ground for “them” is clearly drawn, but for “us” not at all. Who are we in the final analysis, and who will represent us? If change is needed, we must organize our forces into agreement.

  8. Hi everyone. The charity that hastens to proclaim its good deeds, ceases to be charity, and is only pride and ostentation.
    I am from Chile and too poorly know English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Tasks think speculation thanks shown on getting three actors, a three application game aluminum, a gun, and basic cities, blackjack.”

    With love 8-), Gene.

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