I’ve been thinking way too much about starting and finishing over the last few days–how simple it is to start a task and how hard it often is to finish. I’ve begun more things than I could easily call to mind, but I could count on a couple of hands the large endeavors which I’ve hammered on to proper completion.
I understand that I am hardly alone in this regard–though being found in the company of others who do less than they ought hardly gives me cause for joy. That aside, I’m reminded that many of the things which you and I are given to do are not begun by us, merely carried forward for some while before being handed over to the next generation. In particular, we have this republic. As citizens, we are the heirs of those old dead white guys who wrote things like:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
There is little question that if the bill(s) currently considered by our Senate and House of Representatives with regard to health care are passed into law that we will no longer be holding those truths to be self-evident or securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.
Instead, we will have traded a large portion of our current liberty for the promise of future security–a promise which those who make will be unable to keep without further throttling our liberties until the differences between our country and those European nations from which my ancestors came will amount to little more than geography.
You may say that I’m overstating matters; speaking in hyperbole to make a point. I wish I were. I really do. But I’m not.
It is incumbent on us, therefore, to ensure that no matter what other things we’ve left undone we do not fail to let our senators and representatives (yes and President Obama as well) know exactly what will be their lot should they ignore the sacrifices made by millions to keep this country the land of the free and the home of the brave.