A handful of Republican senators—Susan Collins (Maine), Mike Lee (Utah), Jerry Moran (Kansas) and Rand Paul (Kentucky)—stood up for the American people. They have derailed health reform legislation proposed by the GOP leadership that can only be characterized as possibly the worst legislation in more than a century. Their courage, vision and persistence are to be saluted.
This entire episode reflects a very serious malaise in the conduct of our national affairs. Why did the Republican congressional leadership persist in attempting to pass this awful legislation when more than 80% of the American people strongly opposed it? Why did President Donald Trump support it? Our nation's founders designed the Congress to reflect the voice of the American people. They designed the presidency to provide national leadership. Why are neither of these things occurring? Has the United States gone off the rails?
Attempting to take life-sustaining resources from those who are poor, disabled or elderly to confer them on the wealthy is not a noble deed. It is despicable. It would subvert the most fundamental American moral values of assisting the less fortunate, and it would promote class conflict.
As the founders emphasized in the Declaration of Independence, all people have inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The United State was created precisely to guarantee and protect these rights. Yet, the Republican congressional leadership and the president have been trying to remove the most fundamental of the three, the right to life, from those who are poor, disabled and elderly.
Like our founders of yore, we must object when our inalienable rights are being trampled by those in leadership positions who abuse their power. Our first opportunity came during the past six months, when we objected to the American Health Care Act in the House and now the Better Care Reconciliation Act in the Senate.
Our second opportunity will come shortly when Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposes legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Our third opportunity will come in 2018, when we can remove these abusive leaders from the Senate and House. Our fourth opportunity will come in 2020, when we can replace an incompetent and abusive president.
We thank those four courageous senators who have shown us the possibilities of a better future just a few short weeks after the 241st anniversary of our independence declaration. Now, we need to go forth to continue to seek that better future for all Americans.