“We the People of the United States of America, in order to form a more perfect union…. ” The preamble to the Constitution of the United States does not claim perfection – but rather seeks a government format that can progress toward a more perfect union. The political label ‘progressive’ has been dissed for many political generations – but in reality our Founding Fathers, knowing they were not perfect, intended each succeeding generation work for progress. The Health Care Bill of 2010 is just another giant leap in the correct historical direction.
The strength of the United States does not rest in economic or military power. The United States has been a model of justice in an open society for well over two hundred years. Democracies across the globe have taken the American model and integrated much of the concept into their own form of government.
We live in an open society – a society that is not afraid of the truth. Over the years there have been government cover-ups, but in every case the truth ultimately comes out. And we are better for it. An open society means that we are willing to take risks in favor of individual liberties. And more, individual liberties have always held a prominent position ahead of the power of any government.
Slowly, with great pain and frustration, our system of government has granted the rights of humanity. As stated in our Declaration of Independence: “…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness... ” There are key words which have endured to ultimately win every political argument – the concept of ‘… certain unalienable Rights…” It seems now that our government has acknowledged access to health care as a right rather than a privilege of wealth.
Look back over time – look at our history. Civil Rights was not limited to race – but has been affirmed by our government for gender, physical or mental disability, creed, religion – and one day will include sexual preference. None of this was easy. None of these changes were accomplished without opposition. But in the end, every time, the end result was in favor of more individual liberty, greater opportunity for life, and a healthy quest for happiness.
With all of that said – I do not understand everything I have heard about what is in the health care bill – so how can I say that this is progress? My contention is that by passing this bill the Democrats have insured that health care will remain on the table for discussion. Health care reform has been fought over before, many times over many years. The last time was in 1993. In every case the combatants are so bruised and beaten that they don’t want to visit the issue again. With the passage of the current legislation we are forced to continue the debate – to refine and improve – to seek a more perfect bill.
With all of the progress seen by this country we have to ask: How many times have the Republicans been on the right side of History. Two of my favorite Presidents are Lincoln and T. R. Roosevelt – both Republicans – and both held in contempt by their Party.
I am proud to be an American.