On the wall above my desk, over my right shoulder, is a framed homemade Obama lawn sign created last October by me and my young sons. Bold block capital letters outlined in black markers, filled in with red and blue crayons, it said everything we wanted to say: “OBAMA.” Right next to that is a framed poster saying “Yes We Did. November 4, 2008.” My mom and my sister have matching posters.
Down the hall in the kitchen, a Hillary Clinton button still shines on a bulletin board crowded with family pictures, Bar Mitzvah invitations, and newspaper clippings, revealing my initial hero in the last Presidential campaign. My mother and I vied to be Hillary Clinton delegates to the Democratic Convention. When that didn’t pan out (for any of us), my mom and I hopped an airplane to canvas door-to-door for Obama in suburban Las Vegas.
I think you get the picture. I’m a born liberal. A lefty. A political being. I’m also a lawyer, a person comfortable with words, persuasion and argument. At least I should be. But start in on the merits of any emotionally-charged policy debate–health care, anyone?–and I go all floppy in the head. I forget my facts. I fall apart.
It is so embarrassing. I need a Democratic Toastmasters. Because when the facts start flying, I’m like the post-season Dodgers with runners in scoring position: I choke. I don’t get it. I should be able to hold my own against Limbaugh-ites and Fox-heads. But when the debate starts, I get so riled! My cheeks flush, my blood heats, my veins burst. My politics live in my heart.
Lucky for me, I know some others who don’t get flustered this way. When it comes to the health care debate, here is one person who said what I would have liked to. Rabbi Steven Carr Reuben of Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, California, nailed it. We are our brothers’ keeper. Lives are at stake. We cannot stand idly by, or we are complicit. And, oh yeah, government does a pretty good job with this sort of large scale thing. Check out the whole sermon/speech at http://www.kehillatisrael.org/prayer_holydays.php?id=2129 And when I find some more good posts, I’ll add them.
Happy reading, and remain calm.
2 thoughts on “Finding the heart for the fight.”
What a beautiful sermon. My eyes filled with tears, especially about the grandmother and the wishbone at the end.
I am not for nationalized health care because I fear, yes, fear, that it will dilute the quality of health care in this country, increase the costs to those who can pay and who are already so stretched, and financially burden your children forever. No one is turned away from clinics or emergency rooms in this country, even non-citizens. We already pay for that which is called cost shifting. Everyone who can manage, must, however, pay for health insurance to avoid disaster like your rabbi’s friends.
Perhaps we should all simply be covered for everything complicated and do away with the administrative costs of determining who and what is covered which is enormous. Perhaps tort reform would place less of a burden on doctors who fear law suits. Perhaps we should all simply pay for regular doctor visits and only have insurance for disasters. Perhaps there should be teaching clinics for the poor where they would get better health care than they do now.
Bureaucracy is truly something to be feared because it can too often be arbitrary. We need to have a dialog for what is best for our country, not a program rammed down our throats over the objections of the majority of Americans.
Thank you for your reply. Let me get my blood pressure medicine and I’ll get back to you with my reply in a few days. 🙂