I'm safe on board. Pull up the life rope.
Having read through some 600 comments about universal health care, I now realize I took the wrong approach in my previous blog entry. I discussed the Obama health plan in political, literal, logical terms. Most of my readers replied in the same vein. The comments, as always, have been helpful, informative and for the most part civil. My mistake was writing from the pragmatic side. I should have followed my heart and gone with a more emotional approach. I believe universal health care is, quite simply, right.
It is a moral imperative. I cannot enjoy health coverage and turn to my neighbor and tell him he doesn't deserve it. A nation is a mutual undertaking. In a democracy, we set out together to do what we believe is good for the commonwealth. That means voluntarily subjecting ourselves to the rule of law, taxation, military service, the guaranteeing of rights to minorities, and so on. That is a cheap price to pay.
(Go read the whole thing. Really. And the video at the end.)
I believe that if you have the power to save an innocent person's life, and you choose not to do so, that is murder, and it is wicked. If you have resources beyond your immediate needs, and you hoard them for yourself rather than sharing them with others who have not enough for their survival, that also is wicked.
I believe that becoming rich is not wicked unto itself, but is wicked if the manner of profit causes harm to persons or the planet we share.
I believe that discriminating among people based on how much money they have is wrong, and destructive both to individuals and to society. Human beings are far more important than money, and indeed, all persons have worth whether they have any money or not. It is wicked to abuse, neglect, or kill people simply because they have little or no money.
I believe that a nation has an obligation to protect the lives and safety of its citizens, to provide them with the basics they need for survival, to furnish opportunities for productive activity and employment such that people are useful instead of burdensome, and generally to promote a sane and healthy society. For if a nation does not do these things, then it is not to the advantage of its citizens to support the nation's continued existence; and more civilized nations will justifiably look down upon it as barbaric.
I know that in many ways I am fortunate. In some other ways, not so much. But when I can share from abundance, I do so gladly. I am aware that there are many people in the world who do not have a place to sleep, or warm clothes to wear, or food to eat, or clean water to drink. This diminishes my happiness and satisfaction, even though none of those problems customarily plague me personally. I wish that the people of the Earth did a better job of distributing resources so that nobody died for lack of them. I can't solve all the problems of the world, but I can certainly work in that direction.
Right now we have an opportunity to make sure that nobody in America goes without health care, because America is -- or should be -- a great nation with the wealth and power to achieve that. It is the right and moral thing to do. So do it. Be thou blessed in the caring for others as for self.