Ted Kennedy stood at the podium of the Democratic Convention last night, and it was wonderful to see him mobile, coherent, and passionate. Ted Kennedy is a vestige of a time when America was great, when America cared for itself and others, when America was driven by universal ideals and not profit, when we lived in a vibrant economy and not a savage market.
It has taken only one generation for America to crumble into the mess we face today: one generation of Reaganomics, one generation of conservative criminals gutting our government and usurping the treasury for themselves. Ted Kennedy has played a role in this disaster, but he has always tried to maintain some sense of social responsibility and social justice. And he continues to do so.
Last night he insisted that he would be in the Senate next January working with "President Obama" to bring health care to all Americans. I wish him luck.
The conservatives still control the economy (and the Supreme Court) and from a conservative perspective, health care is working just fine: you pay your money and you take your chances, caveat emptor is the philosophy that guides America's dreamers today, smoke 'em if you've got 'em, everyone's a winner, you can't win unless you're in the game. There is no room for a conversation about the ability of middle-class Americans to afford to be in the game, that would be unpatriotic. The only Americans that matter anymore, the only Americans that are counted, are those whose bank accounts (or credit lines) make them players in the game of savage capitalism.
Barack Obama is not a champion of economic reform that will move control of health care away from insurance companies and their lawyers and back to doctors. Obama is a pro-Wall Street politician who has no plans whatsoever to interfere with the path our economy travels. Sure, he will pay lip-service to the health needs of the poor and he might even create a new version of medical insurance paid out of the Treasury, but it will not be social-based health care, it will be some hybrid actuarial system where the profits are privatized and the losses are socialized. Look at our mortgage banking system and you get the idea of the kind of system that Obama's Wall Street backers would like to see for health care reform.
I hope Ted Kennedy goes to his grave with some form of health insurance available to all Americans; but I fear that no social-based health care system will be created in America in my lifetime, and certainly not in his.
Thank you Senator Kennedy for a brilliant speech last night, thank you for your years of service to the Americans who need you most, and good luck getting some form of health care system created before you die.
Dick Mac Recommends: