I Want My Country Back
We keep hearing from the far right that they want their country back. What country are they talking about? I fear they mean the brash, cruel America of the last 8 years, instead of the America built on the ideals of social justice for all. When they say they’re losing their “freedoms”, they’re referring to their guns. Yes, guns.
Since when did our true freedoms become our weapons? Well, since the Religious Right aligned with the corporations and sold survival of the fittest as the new ideal, that’s when. Odd how that Jesus has become a weapon of mass destruction, used to rally the people against the very things Jesus stood for, no?
The right’s multi-millionaire mouthpieces peddle this noxious curse on democracy to the misinformed, the desperate, the angry, the confused, and the uneducated, who mindlessly repeat the mantra that they want government out of their lives, never realizing that this country was founded on principles that make it essential for government to play a role in our lives.
“Government has several essential functions in a democratic society including: (a) national security, (b) providing a social safety net from the ravages of the business cycle–e.g minimum wage and working conditions, unemployment insurance, retirement security (e.g. social security), and yes–healthcare for all, (c) regulation of business and financial institutions to keep them honest, insure transparency, prevent monopolies, and control financial bubbles, (d) provide services that private enterprise doesn’t handle well like public roads, parks, libraries, access to good public education for all, and social insurance, (e) protect countervailing forces to the power of big business, such as the right to organize unions.”
— Miles Mogulescu, Huffington Post Blogger in a reply to a poster
This the country Ted Kennedy dreamed of, the country he worked for, the country he strove for – a country where every person mattered. He spoke for those who didn’t have a voice; his voice roared like a lion. The Liberal Lion of the Senate reminded us of what it meant to be “Liberal”, before the right co-opted the word and began using it as a slander and slur. Teddy Kennedy was the “soul of the senate”.
Does America have a soul? Can any country who lets millions of her people die due to lack of healthcare have a soul? The loss of the “soul of the senate” for the people is unspeakable and immeasurable, especially right now, as we fight the war for healthcare reform.
Regarding healthcare reform, Teddy said, “This is the cause of my life – new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American – north, south, east, west, young, old – will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not a privilege.”
Every American….Young, old…… It’s a right…….
That sounds like Medicare for all, otherwise known as single payer. Did you know that every dime that goes into Medicare goes into healthcare, not into profits? It’s not only humane, it’s fiscally conservative. It’ll also cover everyone, and be affordable. The value here is social justice, not the profit of Wall Street Insurance Companies. Oh, shiver me timbers, how dare I express a value other than profit and corporatacracy?
It’s about time we put this country back on track and realigned our values with those this country was built upon. Corporations will always try to take over a democracy; their sole purpose is to make money. Bully for them, but they need to get OUT of the arena of healthcare. We need to recognize our responsibility to the people of this country. We need to unapologetically and boldly place upon social justice the same reverence the right places on profits for corporations.
I can just hear the gasps of outrage; how dare I suggest that a corporation (i.e., GOD of the right) not make a profit? Am I a heathen? I must be an evil socialist. In point of fact, no, I’m not a socialist, but neither am I a fascist. I see no reason why we can’t have a balance of capitalism with social justice, moderated by our government. I defy the far right to point to the country where the corporations are in charge, and democracy thrives.
It seems the far right has different goals than they claim. They are not, in fact, concerned about our “Freedoms” or the Founding Fathers or flag pins or any of the other faux patriotic nonsense they use to hide their hatred for social equality. Their very policies have undermined democracy at every turn. We can’t have democracy without a reasonable measure of government oversight. It isn’t possible. The last 8 years sealed that deal, if anyone was in doubt.
The right doesn’t like it when we call this country a democracy. These folks jumped the democracy shark a long time ago. They haven’t proven that government doesn’t work, only that it doesn’t work under them. They’ve proven they can’t be trusted with the reigns of government.
We need to put the healthcare back into the hands of the doctors and out of the Wall Street and shareholders, whose fiduciary responsibility it is to make a profit, not care for people. As Bill Moyers pointed out last night on Bill Maher, the healthcare crisis and issue of reform confronts us primarily with a moral issue. We’re in this together. We need to place a premium on moral order.
Those are the values of MY country. And I want it back.
Medicare for all. Teddy would have wanted it that way.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.