President Clinton took down the entire rationale of the Republican Party with one sentence. Clinton said, ‘A great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon.’
CLINTON: We cannot relax in our efforts to implement health care reform in a way that ends discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions — one of which is inadequate income to pay for rising health care — (applause) — a health care reform that will lower costs and lengthen lives; nor can we stop investing in science and technology to train our young people of all races for the jobs of tomorrow; and to act on what we learn about our bodies, our businesses and our climate. We must push open those stubborn gates.
We cannot be discouraged by a Supreme Court decision that said we don’t need this critical provision of the Voting Rights Act because, look at the states, it made it harder for African Americans and Hispanics and students and the elderly and the infirm and poor working folks to vote. What do you know; they showed up, stood in line for hours and voted anyway. So, obviously we don’t need any kind of law. (Applause.)
But a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than to buy an assault weapon. (Cheers, applause.) We must open those stubborn gates.
If our country is going to be a great democracy, it must let all Americans participate in that democracy. President Clinton gave a sneak peek of his explanation of Obamacare that he will be giving next week. Clinton hit it perfectly. Healthcare should be something that we fight for. Heathcare should be a right.
Anniversaries are not only about remembering the past, but looking forward to the future. If one examines the two political parties by the criteria of what they offer for the future what is revealed is a choice between whether America will go forwards or backwards.
President Clinton was correct. It should not be easier to buy an assault weapon than it is to vote. Democracy isn’t just about the Second Amendment, and the message today is that Americans who believe in progress can’t quit. They can’t give up. They can’t be discouraged by gridlock.
President Clinton reminds us all that the greatest struggle of all is the never ending struggle for freedom. Freedom isn’t just owning a gun. It is the ability to go see a doctor, and most importantly the right to express yourself with your vote.