None of the 57 percent of people who, according to the survey organization Rasmussen Reports, favor repeal of the national health care law are people I know. They probably don't live in my neighborhood, where most people are struggling to make ends meet. They probably don't have medical expenses they cannot afford to pay. And it distresses me to know citizens in my home state have become so callous and indifferent to individuals who cannot afford health insurance that they want to nullify the only health care legislation currently on the table.
I hear people that know better say all the time that we all have equal opportunity in this country to achieve prosperity. That is not true today, nor has it ever been true. What is true is that the rich continue to get richer and the poor continue to get poorer. We have a two-party political system in which politicians depend on the wealthy to get elected to public office.
If the politicians had to depend on the people in my neighborhood, they'd never make it.
But actually, I'm glad the kind of individuals who would seek to deprive people without insurance from having adequate health care do not live near me. The kind of hostility one has to have toward other human beings to not want them to stay in good health is something I would prefer to keep at a distance.
I'm glad many people have reliable insurance to depend on in case of illness, and I wish that was true for everyone. Unfortunately, there are many who can't afford to see a physician even when they are seriously ill. In a country where some families own five cars, it seems to me that as a nation we have a problem with our sense of values.
But, actually, I understand the drill. It's all about politics. If one party is for something, then the other party must be against it. What's good for the American people has nothing to do with it. The disturbing thing is that the average American doesn't find anything wrong with that. Citizens behave as if there's nothing to be done about a government that disregards the will of the people. If people had not protested, women would still be unable to vote and segregation would be the law of the land.
Something can be done about the disgraceful state of national politics. That's why the founders instituted a democratic republic where the ultimate power rests in the hands of the people. Something can be done with local and state politics as well. While I personally disagree with the ideology of the so-called "tea party," at least they are willing to stand up for what they believe. They have sense enough to know that rolling over and playing dead accomplishes nothing.
Politically, America is in a sorry state. Remember when we had great orators in both parties who were able to appeal to all Americans? It wasn't just about getting votes at the polls. They were genuinely interested in trying to serve the people. The politicians we have today are of the "me" generation. If America fails, they have enough money to move to another country. With the middle class virtually destroyed, America will be a Third World country with only poor people and the super-rich who stay behind in order to exploit them.
Many Missourians have lost their jobs to outsourcing, for instance. In losing their jobs, many of them have also lost their health care insurance.
Why aren't people protesting the sending of jobs out of the country while a lot of Americans are out of work? If you happen to be a person who needs a job, why don't you stand up and demand that they stop outsourcing jobs? If you are a person who needs health care insurance, why don't you stand up and demand that Missouri not repeal health care legislation?
We should all be grateful that during the Revolutionary War the colonists were willing to stand up for their rights, or I guess we would still be paying taxes to England without representation. How much longer will the politicians of the two-party system be allowed to snub their noses at the people who put them in office?
Perhaps we just all need to sit down for a while and think about it. Let's refresh our minds by thinking about that document we read in school that began, "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary."
You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.