Yesterday’s stunning upset in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts of Democrat Martha Coakle by Republican Scott Brown ends the Democrats 60-seat filibuster-proof “supermajority” in the Senate, and may mean the end of the Health Care Bill and any chance of significant Healthcare reform. Suddenly everyone is looking to lay blame at someone else’s feet. Understandably people are upset, but the problem isn’t campaign mismanagement. It runs far deeper. Ironically the seat lost was occupied for 47 years by the Late Ted Kennedy, healthcare’s most visible supporter.
One year ago today it seemed like the world had changed. I was there. I was in Washington when Obama was inaugurated. I slept in the street and stood in the cold with tens of thousands to welcome in change. We had spoken and our voices were heard, this was our day. One year later Obama’s approval rating is down 20%, and those same voices demanding change have seemingly gone on with their lives. We treated Obama’s election as the end and not the beginning of a long struggle. Somehow we missed the point that Obama is a representative for the people, he is our voice. Who can forget this Obama quote “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” We embraced that mantra and moved like a tidal wave over a nation fed up with the Bush regime and centuries of oppression. We washed away old ways providing fertile ground for change. We had arrived.
One year later it appears that the fertile ground for change we sowed is being reaped by another group. A new movement is saying to our President that the Democrats are getting a little ahead of themselves. NJ, Virginia, said it loud and clear, and now Massachusetts is saying it again. This is how our political system works. The loudest voices will be heard. It’s not about racism, or sexism, or anything else. Its about vocalizing your concerns and getting out to vote. That is the only voice that matters. It is unfortunate that this lesson may have to come at the expense of Healthcare reform, but if we learn from our inaction now, maybe it won’t mean learning this lesson when the November 2010 elections or the 2012 Presidential elections come around. If you disagree about what is happening now make your voice heard. There are no excuses. One year ago today, we showed the world that we can bring on change in the face of overwhelming odds. We proved the system worked. One year later, It is the same system.
I posted a video of my trip to Washington for the inauguration one year ago. It’s an intimate reminder of where we were one year ago. Check it out. And listen to the wise words at the end stated by Andrea. Listen and ask yourself what are you doing?