The combined forces of stalled, tired old thinking and big business’ interest in raking in big bucks for the status quo at times represents as much a threat to the continued American dream as the forces of communism once did. We’re no longer a loose affiliation of rogue states, nor are we a nation of cookie cutter 1950s nuclear families. We live in the 21st century. We are a nation of 300+ million. It’s time to start acting like it.
I don’t have any idea what President Obama is going to say Wednesday night, but I seriously hope he chooses the modern equivalent of going to the moon. The current Democratic majority was not aided, supported and voted for by millions of us to play small ball. Next to ending the war in Iraq, comprehensive health reform has been one of the major issues of progressive politics for longer than my almost 32 years of life.
You shouldn’t squander these moments, they are too few and far inbetween. Health care reform is more important than the re-election of any single Democratic candidate, and in fact its enactment is far more important politically to the vitality of the party. If we play small ball, if we play by the rules of the disinterested majority, many of us will seriously ask “what’s the point”?
As the President himself has said, we’ve played kick the can on this issue for way too long. The people who seek to impede progress by saying we’re “rushing” into this? I wonder how they can keep a straight face!
When Kennedy said we were going to the moon, we barely knew how to get into earth orbit. When President Roosevelt declared war on Japan after Pearl Harbor, we barely had any army to speak of, let alone the capability to fight a two front war for our survival. When President Lincoln sought to preserve the Union over the actions of rogue separatists, he never blinked an eye.
People often say America has God on its side, or providence, or some other force looking out for us when we engage in these grand national expeditions. I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to know. Everybody thinks they have God on their side, but there’s a reason we’re America and others aren’t.
I certainly don’t think its dumb luck.
Mr. President, please let us get to the work. We choose to go forward, not back.