(Thanks to Arlington County Democratic Committee Chair Mike Lieberman for this. – promoted by lowkell)
Sixteen short months ago, Barack Obama stood in Grant Park and reminded us that elections are not the change we seek; they are only the chance for us to make that change. With this week’s historic vote on health care reform, our President made good on that promise.
Health care reform is about providing for those who cannot provide for themselves. It is about lowering costs to make health care more affordable for everyday Americans. It is about modernizing our health care infrastructure to ensure it can respond to ever-increasing demands.
It is normal these days to be cynical about politics. Indeed, you cannot help but scratch your head at the name-calling and personal attacks that all-too-often characterize our political discourse.
But as my wife and I sat watching the health care vote on C-SPAN this Sunday evening, I was reminded that through all the noise and all the bickering, real good can happen through politics. I firmly believe that this health care package will not only bring needed reform to the health care system; it will provide new momentum and renewed energy among Democrats to take on the many other areas in need of change in our country – environmental protections, financial reform, and a balanced budget, just to name a few.
Democrats in Arlington should feel proud that we had a role in electing President Barack Obama. The health care bill stands as a telling reminder about why we work so hard at election time. But it should also serve as a reminder that activism does not end at the ballot box. It is our duty as Democrats to work year round, to ensure that our voices are heard by our elected officials, and to ensure that our neighbors know how important it is to get involved.
I will always remember the passage of this year’s health care bill as a moment that renewed my faith in the political process. It was a moment that made me believe that the President was right when he said three simple words – Yes We Can.
Mike Lieberman is the Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee.