So as of this morning Obama’s healthcare reform has finally passed. And I have to admit I am confused. I consider myself to be a pretty smart cookie, but the opposition to healthcare reform has me at a loss. There is no logic in the fearmongering. I know this criticism is nothing new – the Colbert Report and the Daily Show are buttering some pretty thick slices of toast (y’know making lot’s o dough) with the farce and hilarity of incongruous logic reigning the tea partiers and their ilk in standing against healthcare reform. And while I think it amusing to watch these televised bits of laughter, I am often left wondering what is it that those folks who are being made fun of really are fighting against? Most people don’t get all riled up and active in politics unless they feel they have a personal stake in the whole process. Most people are not political junkies like myself. They have better things to do than to tousle in the fray of legislative muck. And yet people whose lives have been dramatically effected by the economic downturn are spending their precious time and efforts on fighting healthcare reform.

Healthcare reform, that doesn’t obviously provide immediate support to individuals and families, but in spite of lacking obviate markers does in fact help people – not corporations – people. So I am confused about why people are so afraid. Because in truth, it could only be pure unadulterated fear driving the numbers of people to oppose a policy that does help them. Simple budgeting and mathematics at the individual level doesn’t bear out the fright and anger directed at the issue of healthcare reform. Just as Colbert and Stewart are quipping at the masses, Beck and Palin are catering to base, primal emotions of people who listen to them. I’ve mentioned before that a change is in the air. Well, the change is actually upon us and not in the air anymore. What we do as individuals does matter. The personal is political in that the decisions we make as individuals have a real opportunity to impact the larger political process. Screaming at your senator or representative might feel like a good idea in the moment, but does that really make the positive changes in your life that you’d like to realize?
Right now is the time for a payout, for actually doing the hard work to effect real and lasting change. While I realize that I sound like the president, his words are just as true for you and me as it is also true of those politicians who had to endure the hostile process of ‘debating’ reforming healthcare. When it comes right down to it, each of us NEEDS to make changes in every facet of our lives. It is not just how we budget for healthcare, but how we live our everyday. We have to change the foods we eat, the choices we make about shopping as well as the level of involvement we have in our community and our neighborhoods. It is hard to take responsibility for these areas of our lives. In my own lifetime, I have been discouraged from being an active participant in the flow of government into my personal experience. The policies and procedures of public policy have become so separated from the very people who must live with the reality of those policies. So I just can’t figure our why making a distinctive change in the way things have been would so hard to understand.
Lives have already been negatively impacted by those policies of prior administrations (and here I am not just referring to the Rumsfield regime). Even as the masses went out to vote in record numbers for a change, it seems that really what people wanted was a change for others. The most vocal rages seem to be coming from people who are unwilling to take personal responsibility for making changes in their own lives. These are people whose livelihood has been decimated by the status quo: wall street bankers stealing the money and running; insurance companies denying real coverage after they’ve received payments for service; corporations paying shareholders before workers; education administrations putting their own salaries before the welfare of children. But in order to make any real changes in those arenas we need to take control of our individual lives. Which makes change a slow process. Just like Healthcare Reform won’t provide it’s full impact for a decade, real change in the status quo will also take time. And that change needs a real commitment from individuals dedicated to being in it for hte long haul.
This is not about slogans or the whims of campaigning in elections. This needs to be about the proletariat. We shouldn’t be following our leaders, but rather guiding our leadership to make our lives and everyday better. The political process has not been about the people for a long time and it is about time that this democracy takes back that authority.

a bitchin feminista mama at the intersection of political quagmire and real life.

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