May 5, 2017

Yesterday, 217 Americans, with full health care, voted to take away health care from an estimated 24 million of their sisters and brothers. That vote, a seven-year obsession by the majority of Republican lawmakers to undo Obamacare by staking the lives of their fellow citizens to their political agendas, descends to new lows of human decency. Although the bill faces a weary, wary Senate, the shame of what has been done needs to be noted and remembered. This was not just about replacing Obamacare with Trumpcare. Yesterday, the grand mythos of abundance that has characterised the American spirit of generosity was replaced by the tragic mythos of deprivation that may define our national psyche for years to come. Under Trumpcare, this is what it looks like:

Pre-existing conditions (and the list is long) are no longer protected. States are granted a waiver to opt out of that most necessary and fundamental coverage. In those states, people with pre-existing conditions will be put into a high-risk pool. Sound like deja vu? It is. As will be the fall-out when folks can’t pay for their unwieldy medical bills. One of the main reasons for homelessness is that people get sick and lose everything trying to stay alive. And then they get kicked out onto the street.

Medicaid providing much needed subsidies for medical coverage to the poor will be cut by 900 billion dollars.

Essential medical services such as mental health, maternity care, ambulance and emergency care are optional.

Large employers no longer have to provide their employees with affordable health care.

Planned Parenthood is defunded at the same time many other women health services are scuttled virtually making being a woman a ‘pre-existing condition.”

Meanwhile, Trumpcare which is just dandy for the healthy and wealthy will put $600 billion dollars or roughly $200,000 per individual back into the pockets of the very rich. Those who have get. Meanwhile, the elderly, the sick, the poor get screwed. And all this without waiting for the Congressional Buget Office (CBO) to analyse the numbers including the body count.

In the background of all this inanity, I am hearing too many folks, including myself, saying that the are “sick and tired” of Trump politics. We don’t read the papers. We don’t listen to the news. We don’t know want to know the gory details of the daily havoc. But, friends, this is no time to be sick and tired. First of all, we may not have health care. More important, we play a pivotal role in the continuum of evolving consciousness towards good. Tyranny does not just happen. It waits us out. Wipe us out. Tire us out and then rolls into town when everyone is asleep … when we close our eyes not only to the evil that people do but also to the good that people do.

I am really ticked off but I’m not tired anymore. The House of Representatives just woke me up. Listen, we are doing good. Bill O’Reilly is gone. The Muslim ban is being held up in the courts. The Sierra Club reports that they have successfully challenged 100% of their lawsuits against abuse of the environment. People are turning out in the thousands all over the country to stand up for human rights and science and government accountability, and let we forget, basic human decency.

There is so much good to be done. First on my list is to create a non-partisan peace zone to dialog on citizenship. All we need is a simple question to begin a conversation: What is it that each of us – regardless of party affiliation, race, religion, gender, education and class – wants for America? And then we listen without judgement or cross talk to the underlying hopes and fears of one another to hear echoes of our own hopes and fears – a tiny thread of connection to begin weaving a new matrix of partnership towards the common good. Can churches and synagogues and mosques and circles and schools get that conversation going?

And what about you? I invite you to share your thoughts for creating common good in these times on this page – in the comment box below. Let’s encourage one another to stay awake.

In the meantime, remember that activism begins with eyes wide open. Begin tomorrow and everyday with the resolve to find the good and to be the good in your travels throughout the day. Kindle your best dreams of a fair and just society through simple acts of kindness and courage. Where there is smoke, there is the fire of great love. And great love always changes everything.

Please feel free to post below and get the conversation going! Thank you.