The health care bill passed the United States House of Representatives this evening, 219-212. No matter your political persuasion, beliefs on America's ability to pay for the new health care mandates, expectations of how much better life will be for our fellow citizens, or your thoughts on how sausage is made, this image illustrates the United States' perpetual growth. Today, America did change, whether the change is positive remains to be seen.
As an American, the transparent political process is often difficult to access and is often shrouded in secrecy with closed-door sessions. Sometimes secrecy is necessary. However, as an American, I enjoy being part of the process although I am not a politician, aide, or lobbyist. Without my vote, your vote, politicians would not have a seat at the table. Without our consent, politicians could not cast votes on our behalf. Normally I feel removed from the legislative process.
Today's events were particularly interesting for me. I followed the debate via CSPAN, cable news channels, my mobile phone while at a college baseball game, and through a "live" blog covering tonight's vote. Today I felt like I was a passive participant, able to see the action, but without any way to affect change I sought. I voted for my Representative in the last election, wrote letters to Congressmen/Congresswomen across the country, and made telephone calls expressing my views on the issue of this health care bill. Despite taking an active role in the process, today is the first time I have felt like the political process was at least partly accessible. If nothing else, this is progress.
The access I experienced today was not provided by the elected officials. Journalists provided access to the story that some of us outside of Washington D.C. yearned for. I want to thank all of the journalists that rapidly disseminated information on today's events.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
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