Late last night, in a historic vote of 219-212, the House of Representatives passed a sweeping health care reform bill that will completely restructure the healthcare system in our country. Generations of presidents, congressmen and representatives have failed to pass reform until now. Tonight, the House of Representatives did it… and they did it without a single Republican vote. For months, Republicans have been threatening Democrats with having to “live with their decisions come November.” Tonight, 219 Democratic representatives stood up for what they believed was right without worrying about the toll it may take on their political careers should the Republicans once again gain the majority. Both parties made a decision tonight and they are each going to have to answer only to history.
Democracy is defined as “a government by the people”; A “rule of the majority through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.” Tonight was proof that our government still works, despite all efforts that have been made to halt it in it’s tracks.
In November 2008 our country voted. We voted for a new President and new representatives. The people came out in record numbers and put President Obama and enough Democrats into the House and Congress to get things done. The people spoke. You may not have voted this way… but you lost.
Since the day the election results came out, the Republicans have been the “Party of NO.” The scary truth is that Bipartisanship may actually be dead. The problem is, Republicans killed it. This country was founded on the idea of people with differing opinions coming together, talking things out, and getting things done to make this country better for its people. Republicans have become so caught up in the political game that they have forgotten why they’re even in office. There is no interest in getting anything done. In fact, the goal is to make sure that nothing positive gets done so that they can take back “power” as soon as possible. Specially coordinated efforts were made across the country to disrupt healthcare debates to the point that they had to be shut down. They have continually positioned themselves as the victims who aren’t given a chance to speak or aren’t invited into the discussions. They have fired up a their base with scare tactics to convince them that their basic freedoms are being stripped away from them. Over time, they are going to find it difficult to continue to play this game. As the issues change from healthcare to jobs, to the war, how are they going to manage to continue to convince their base that all of these plans are evil?
At this point, I just wish we could call a spade a spade. Why can’t Conservatives just come out and say what they really feel. It is not secret that the vast majority of them feel that the only thing the Government needs to do is lower taxes. Anything beyond this is Socialism. If this is how you feel then that’s fine. You have a right to your opinion and your vote counts as much as anyone elses. However, you need to realize that there are people that don’t agree with you. A lot of them. Millions of them. There are people that suffer every day. There are people that work their entire lives to climb up the socio-economic ladder and never get to the point that they can afford healthcare on their own… and there are a lot of them. Millions of them. You sit at home and watch as FOX News convinces you that we are so far removed from the morals our country was founded on. Think of the Statue of Liberty and the patriotism it excites in each of us… Do you know what is written on it’s base? “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
I hope that time and reflection can bring the Republicans back down to Earth. We can only be judged by future generations. History will tell the story and we will all have to live with the decisions we make today. When the smoke clears though, I believe the story will be that on March 21, 2010, the Democratic leadership stood up to the corrupted healthcare industry and the Republican party and passed legislation that laid the groundwork for a complete restructuring of the healthcare system. On March 21, 2010, Our country spoke, and chose its people over profit.