To the editor:
America’s rise to greatness has not been a cakewalk. A nation born in search of freedom of religion and then freedom from taxation without representation continued for many years as a slave nation. Eventually, with a huge loss of life and unspeakable hatred, the evils of slavery lost. The first of much strife to follow seemed to set the pace of political divisions, which continue to this day.
Almost every move forward has been marked by conservative obstruction, starting with anti-union violence in the 1930s to opposition to minimum wages; civil rights battles were tainted by riots, the feuds over busing, desegregation of schools, and in more recent times, opposition to interracial marriages, gay rights, die-hard conservatives still mumbling about women’s reproductive rights, programs like Social Security, Medicare -- all the subjects of controversy.
And now, the only modern industrial nation without health care available to all is once again going through seemingly insoluble differences; but sadly this controversy has an added proscription: the declaration on day one of the Obama administration that the opposition party promised not to cooperate with the Obama presidency. Which raises the question: Is the kerfuffle about a health program or an attempt to deny President Obama a legacy?
While America has the most advanced health care for all, its big problem is that our system leaves out too many Americans who don’t see a doctor for years. Can America claim exceptionalism if so many of our people can’t afford health care? We can afford a vast Pentagon, nation-building and foreign aid but the old adage that “charity starts at home” still has a true ring to it.