Thursday, May 04, 2017

Their "America"

So by the slimmest of majorities the US House of Representatives passed a bill - its details neither vetted nor even fully read by most of those voting for it - which will take us back to the unfair system we had before the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Untold millions will be vulnerable again to accidents of fate. And the bill's writers had the effrontery to call it the American Health Care Act.

Perhaps they're right in this. "America" could mean the project of achieving a "more perfect union" - to most I believe it still does. Perhaps many of us have had illusions about the momentum of our movement toward that ideal, and of the distance yet to be traveled in getting there. But the guys on top aren't going there. They're turning back. Their "America" can't afford and doesn't need such democratic decency. It's more like what it meant in the less perfectly united past: piously profess that all are free and respected but seize and entrench whatever advantages you have - and the devil take the hindmost. Shame.

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