Saturday, June 27, 2015

History, right before our very eyes

I said in a Facebook post this morning that this week has been amazing, but not very graceful. Except that part on Friday afternoon when the President of the United States of America sang Amazing Grace at Clementa Pinckney's funeral. (What a wonderful celebration of a life well-lived and too-soon-ended that was.)

We've lived through an awful lot of history. For me, the list includes (not in chronological order):

  • Man on the moon. 
  • Berlin wall coming down. 
  • Civil Rights Act passed (and I think today we know that passing a law doesn't necessarily change minds or hearts). 
  • The assassination of President Kennedy (who was this country's first Catholic President). 
  • Bob Dylan's first album release (you knew I had to get an historical Dylan reference in there, AM I RIGHT?). 
  • The election – twice – of an African-American president. 
  • The closest thing to health care reform I'm likely to see in my lifetime (I think Medicare for All will someday be available, hopefully for my grandchildren). 
  • Marriage equality for all.

The not-so-graceful comments on Facebook are discouraging, because they show me that we need to do more educating, more good-exampling, more opening of hearts and minds. ALL of us. I'm not going to sit here behind my screen and point fingers at you. If I think you (not you, of course, but you know who I'm talking about) need to be more tolerant, then I've just unequivocally proven that I could use a little more tolerance in my 'tude, as well.

(If the haters were better educated, they'd KNOW that marriage equality doesn't mean their pastor is bound by law to marry a same-sex couple. But then they'd have nothing to fight about. And oh, my, they do love to fight. And there I go pointing fingers again! This tolerance thing is SO HARD.)

This week has been breathtaking in its intensity. I had a personal stake in the Supreme Court's decision about the Affordable Care Act. Most SCOTUS decisions don't really touch me personally, but that one definitely did. Some politicians are still promising to repeal the ACA, but offer no alternative.

Which leaves me wondering … why? Why do they not want ALL Americans to benefit from good medical care? Why do they think those who qualify for subsidies are lazy-ass freeloaders who ought to take better care of themselves? (Yes, I replied to a comment like that.) And file for bankruptcy if they get cancer, which really doesn't only affect rich people who can afford health insurance.

The only answer I've seen to my "why" question is that those subsidies are giving our tax dollars to  people who don't deserve it.

That's kind of how I feel about my tax dollars being given to Halliburton, or any other government contractor who profits from sending young men and women to fight an unwinnable war. And then when those young men and women come home (IF they come home), they're faced with homelessness, joblessness and a Congress that doesn't want to take care of their medical needs.

We don't get to pick and choose where our tax dollars go. We assume our elected officials will be good stewards of our money. You know what they say about assuming, though.

IN MY OPINION, Democrats do a better job at governing than Republicans do. The current Republican-led Congress pretty much proves it. The President spent a lot of years reaching across that aisle and coming up empty-handed. Now that he's a lame-duck President, and fearless by his own admission, well … shit's getting done.

Good for him. Good for America.

No comments: