Editor’s Note: I wrote this back about 3 months or so, ago. I was going to add a paragraph or two about my Dad, which I might do as an extended piece, but I thought I would get it posted now, as it has spent far too much time on my “To Do” list.
As the debate about health care continues, with President Trump and many of his supporters leading the way to repeal the ACA despite the lack of a real plan of action to replace or repair what is left, I find myself considering what it is we hope to accomplish with our country, our government. What do we consider important at the national level, as a nation? To what use do we put that blunt instrument that is our federal government? That our government has grown large and unwieldy, straining under its own massive weight is no surprise to us. We know it is fat, and growing larger. We know that is too large, too heavy to support. The Fed has grown in size and weight, but accomplishes less and less despite its increase in size and resources. Both corporations and private citizens have attached themselves to that bloated mass, feeding off its excess like a tick to a mangy dog. And those very fat, very happy ticks, they don’t want anything to change with their host. No, even if the overall health and state of the union should falter, do not change anything lest their meal ticket become endangered.
This piece isn’t an analysis of the government, however. It isn’t here to discuss the wasted resources and corporate whore mongering that goes on in our nation’s capital. This essay is here to ask a basic question of ourselves. What is it do we want our government to do for us? What freedom and pursuit of happiness are we defending with our military? What justice do we purport to provide to those of our nation that are too broke to pursue our self-evident truths? In a nation as rich as ours, in a land as large as ours, truly our government should be responsible for very few things at the Federal level. It is rarely the best tool for the job. Help keep the common law consistent. Help keep our perspective on infrastructure. Facilitate communication among the States and their people as a whole, these things a Federal Government can do. I would suggest to you that central to all of these things is the People. Whatsoever our government does, it should be in the most benefit to her people, to the support of the pursuit of Life, Liberty and Happiness. But what good is life, if we cannot enjoy it? What good is liberty, if we cannot live it. How can we have happiness if we are not healthy enough to pursue it? People are the life’s blood of this country, the means be which everything is accomplished. If our People are not healthy, how can our nation succeed? We can educate ourselves, feed ourselves, defend ourselves- but only if we are healthy enough to do so. In the past, collectively we have agreed that things like education, warfare, defense and trade are things we should spend our wealth on. They are things that we considered integral to our nation, enough so to put into the Federal Government’s hands. Why then, do we not consider our health such an asset, one worthy of our collective effort? What else is worth fighting for if we don’t have our health?