truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
So Cicero had this rhetorical trick of which he was very fond, called praeteritio, which goes like this: "Today, I'm not going to talk about how Cataline fornicates with underage sheep. If I were, I would tell you that he he takes pictures and posts them on the internet as sh33pfck3r999. But since I'm not talking about his unnatural relations with sheep, I'm going to tell you about the filthy filthy things he does with pigs, instead." (My apologies to both pigs and sheep for being included in this hypothetical example.)

Therefore, I'm not going to talk about how the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) benefits me or how much I need the health care I have now or how that horrible list of "pre-existing conditions" set by the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare) paints a target on me at least eleven times (no, you did not read that number wrong). No, I'm not going to talk about any of that. Instead, I'm going to talk about my friend Caitlin.

Caitlin in the daughter of Lynne and Michael Thomas. She has Aicardi Syndrome, which is a rare genetic disorder that affects the development of the brain. As one would expect from such a thing, it causes a horrific array of problems. Obamacare made it possible for Caitlin to get the medical treatment and support she needs.

Trumpcare wants to make her, and children like her, disappear.

Trump makes Godwin's Law so easy it feels trivial even to mention it, but I must point out that the Third Reich also wanted to make children with disabilities disappear, and it was pretty good at it, too.

On the other side, Gandhi, who was no fool, remarked, "A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members." And Hubert H. Humphrey said in his final speech, "the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped." By that test, the administration of the 45th President of the United States and the 115th United States Congress are failing miserably, and the United States is in grave jeopardy of ceasing to be at all, by any definition, a great nation.

Abraham Lincoln, who's been on my mind a lot recently (and who would be ashamed and horrified at what the Republican Party has come to), defined the government of the United States of America as "government of the people, by the people, for the people," and if that's at all true, if ours is a government for the people as much as a government of the people, then our government owes it to its citizens to make sure that they have adequate health care, that they don't go bankrupt to get the health care they need, and that no one dies because they cannot afford--or are afraid they cannot afford--to see a doctor. (There are a number of other things I think our government owes its citizens, but that's a tangent for another time.) This is not an abstract issue for me. I have dearly beloved friends who could not get the health care they needed because they couldn't get insurance--because writers are, hey, self-employed and therefore, pre-ACA, out in the cold. And it is not an abstract issue for me because I know Caitlin and I know how much she needs medical care that her parents, who work their asses off, could not afford without the ACA.

I've been having anxiety attacks on and off since the evening of November 8, 2016, as I watch Trump and his administration and the 115th Congress rampage through our nation's government like gleeful trolls, destroying everything they can get their hands on simply because they can. This, the third attempt to repeal the ACA, is for me proof that we are being governed by people who are themselves only governed by spite, hatred, fear, and greed.

I have joined the ACLU; I have written--and will continue to write--to my elected representatives, even though two are Democrats and the other is Senator Ron Johnson who does not give a fuck what I think.

And I'm making this post because I have to try to make my voice heard, even if no one is listening. The ACA is something of tremendous value, something our nation should be proud of, not something to tear down because of petty party politics. It makes the lives of millions of Americans easier and less fearful and how the Republican congressmen and -women who are voting for its repeal can even look each other in the face, or even look at themselves in the mirror, is something I will never understand.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if society rewards sociopathic behavior, people will behave like sociopaths. If you need an example to prove it, look at the 115th Congress and the textbook demonstrations of sociopathy they've been giving this week. (Jason Chaffetz, I am looking at you. But not only at you.) The people voting to repeal the ACA do not care about their constituents; they do not care about good government; they don't even care about the ideals they claim their party upholds. They care only about themselves and their bottom line. And if Obamacare is "collapsing," you assholes, it's because you have done nothing for the past seven years but sabotage and stonewall and do everything in your power to keep it from working.

Please, gentle reader, resist. Whatever you can do, even if it doesn't feel like enough, even if you don't think your opinion can possibly matter. Because if we each put a pebble down, maybe we can build a wall Trump won't like. And maybe we can keep the current administration and current Congress from eviscerating everything that lets America verge on greatness.
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