Who we are, individually & collectively, is ultimately determined by one thing: how we relate to fear. –from Embracing Fear (HarperOne)
One thing I have wondered is how much thought members of Congress give to how they will go down in history vs thinking about what is in their immediate interest. When I put myself in their place, I am pretty sure that my ego, even if not my conscience, would be big enough for me to think in terms of how future generations would view me.
Next: I cannot imagine that anyone would think that they will be celebrated in history for being part of legislation that takes health insurance away from millions of Americans. I do understand that there is significant payoff for anyone in Congress who stands up for the wealthy, and so again, to the degree that the focus is on the immediate benefit for themselves, that would be the choice to make.
Now: If the members of our House of Representatives and of our Senate would like, I can tell them how to guarantee that they go down in history as heroes, and in fact, as the most unique Congress in all our nation’s history. Hell, they are not going to be interested, so I will tell you, dear reader.
Our guys and gals in Washington could find the courage to come together and admit that providing quality healthcare for all citizens is the right thing to do. It is the kind, compassionate and wise thing to do. For those representatives who emphasize their Christianity, it is the “Christian” thing to do. (I dare any of them to explain to me how Jesus would be against universal healthcare and for tax cuts for the wealthy.) They could then put their heads – and hearts – together and I am sure they could figure out how to make universal healthcare work. And you know what? With few, if any, exceptions, every one of them would be re-elected in 2018 and 2020.
This would definitely take guts but if enough of the strongest leaders in Congress would get behind it, it could happen. I am not naïve. I understand how remote the chances are for such a collective demonstration of courage and compassion, but do not believe anyone who would tell you that it could not happen. Something Christopher Reeves said fits perfectly here: “So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they become inevitable.”
SPECIAL OFFER FOR MEMBERS OF UNITED STATES CONGRESS: I wrote a book about living with courage (Embracing Fear) and another about living with self-respect (Earning Your Own Respect). If any of you would like a free copy of one or both of these books, contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. This offer is good only for current members of U.S. Congress. AND for the first 25 people who contact me, a BONUS: a free 90-minute psychotherapy session focused specifically on living with courage and self-respect. Oh what the hell --- free therapy session for any member of Congress who reads a free book and would like to talk.
Please feel free to forward a copy of this to your representatives in Congress.