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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hope and Hope and Hope

All I want is healthcare and equal rights for everyone.

Today one of my coworkers pointed out that there's something very interesting about the result of last night's special senate election. Something almost inspiring. Brown deserves credit for running a much more successful campaign and for being the head of a small movement that made big waves. I have to give Massachusetts credit for voting for change. I was big on Change in 2008. I urged people to forget party lines and vote with their heads and their hope.
So I can't begrudge others the same mind set. I expressed this thought aloud at work.

"I can," piped up another nurse bitterly, eliciting scattered laughter. Everyone here seems to think healthcare reform died last night. It's a very somber day here. But I'm not giving up.

All I want is healthcare and equal rights for everyone.

I'm not giving up hope for those things, no matter what. I will continue to be a voice for those who don't have one. Brown, as he pointed out last night, is "everyone's" senator. Although that's already becoming a joke in my own household --

"Maybe you could rent a truck from home depot to go get the mattress."
"Maybe I'll just call Scott Brown."

he represents all of us, whether you picked him or not. Maybe this just means we're going to have to stop assuming our representatives know what we want and start telling them.
Brown could end up being a swing vote, after all. This may be an outcome far more in line with the way our government was intended to work.

I am being perhaps a bit naive, imagining that the GOP might not use Brown to block attempts at healthcare reform. Or more to the point that he might break from his party and they won't be able to. But I have hope, hope the size of mountains, that says maybe this won't be the end of progress on the reform front.

Government is imperfect. For someone like me politics are specifically tricky. As a "liberal" Catholic, or "religious" Democrat there are few things that actually please me. My faith isn't in government, it's in God. If I sound like I'm excusing myself from the entire democratic process, I don't mean to. I read, I vote and I yearn for progress. But I do so knowing that it's a never ending process. There will not be a day when everything falls into place and we can just stop hungering for a more perfect world. Not here anyway, and not because of anything we come up with ourselves.

All I want is healthcare and equal rights for everyone. I see no reason to declare those desires more impossible today than they were two days ago. Maybe less possible,
(because, yes, I understand what a filibuster-proof majority could have accomplished), but still not impossible. It may be splitting hairs, but what else am I going to use this tiny axe for?*

Because I could talk about this at great length but would rather move on to talking about Haiti, homelessness, my friend Pim, and videos of my favorite songs, I would like to offer my last thought on the subject for today.

We can only address the problems in our world one step at a time. The Massachusetts special senate elections results may appear to be a set back to some people, and a victory to others right now. But the future will hold many more opportunities for all of us to continue to stand up for what we believe in, one day at a time. Because that's what makes this country worth living in.

* get it? Because I'm so tiny, my axe must be tiny too. Oh, forget it.

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