Yes, I’m a Progressive and a Patriot

There’s a common assertion about of those of us who occupy some space in the political or religious Left, by our critics across the aisle or the pew: We don’t love America like they do.

The contention is that we have less respect for our Government, our troops, our national security than they have; that our religious convictions are less sincere and our spiritual journeys less valid. Everything of ours is determined by them to be counterfeit by comparison.

Because of this, our resistance to the current President,
our opposition to what we deem to be the malfeasance of his Administration,
our pushback against its apparent disregard for the civil rights of marginalized communities,
our disgust at what we see as a distortion of the message of Jesus in the Church—
are all dismissed by them as evidence of our alleged rebellion against God and country.

With stunning regularity we’re chastised: our volume is always too great, our protests always improper, our tactics always inappropriate, our timing always wrong.

____

Can we do better than this, friends on the Right?

Can we stop pretending that a political party or religious tradition has the market cornered on national pride and earnest faith?

For just a minute—could you entertain the possibility that we care as much as you do?

There are few things less American, than insisting that for someone to be declared patriotic—he or she must be complementary of our leadership. That’s neither accurate, nor fair, nor acceptable. It’s also not something many of you consented to during a single second of Barack Obama’s eight-year tenure; when you continually proffered unrelenting attacks and incessant naysaying in the name of national loyalty and religious liberty. What for you then was bold opposition to tyranny—is now treated in our possession as corporate treason.

I’m sorry, but you don’t get to write our story for us.

We American Progressives, Liberals, and Left-leaning Moderates, love many of the things you do, as much as you do:

We love the Constitution—enough to demand that it be available to everyone and honored by everyone, especially those in our highest levels of leadership. No one is exempt from accountability or beyond critique. Not even a Republican President.

We love the men and women who serve our country—enough to insist that our leaders not be reckless or cavalier with their lives by irresponsibly inciting conflict in the world; by believing war should be our last resort, not our initial threat delivered in an impulsive, taunting, midnight Tweet.

We love the liberty we enjoy here—enough to be compassionate toward those who come here in fear and desperation; who brave all manner of hardship and loss to escape the kind of horrors we’ll never know—the kind that people don’t always have the luxury of waiting out.

We love the safety of our citizens—enough to ensure that all are protected from harm; regardless of skin color, religious affiliation, gender identity, sexual orientation, income level; whether these lives are threatened by terrorism—or by handguns, poverty, pollution, or even those entrusted with protecting them.

We love family—enough to fight for all of them; for those transcending traditional definitions, for every marriage defined by mutual love and commitment, for every home where children find protection and affection and belonging.

We love the freedoms forged into our nation from birth—of expression, religious affiliation, and personal autonomy, and we love them enough to demand that everyone has equal access to them without interference and without exception. 

And we who claim faith love and treasure it, because we have reached our beliefs through the same careful, prayerful journey that yielded your own. We have studied as thoroughly, listened as intently, and walked as faithful as you have. Our spirituality means as much to us as yours does to you.

____

I’m over being told I don’t care about my country or that I don’t respect our Government or that I don’t love God, simply because I don’t fit comfortably within your platform or your pulpit. Having said that, protecting humanity will always supersede some ornamental national allegiance. I am primarily for people, and against bigotry, discrimination, and violence assailing them—wherever those things come from. I will oppose those injustices loudly, even if this places me in direct conflict with our President, our political leadership, or the American Church. This is what true Liberty looks like.

Friend, you can disagree with me all you want. In fact, I welcome it. You can dispute my positions and challenge my conclusions, and you can tell me you don’t like the expression of my love for this country—until Jesus comes back or FoxNews uses facts, whichever comes first.

But please don’t tell me that I don’t love this country, or that this love is somehow inferior to your own, because that simply isn’t true.

In fact, I love America—enough not to let you or anyone else decide what patriotism looks like for me.

 

My voice, as much and your own—is the sound of freedom ringing.

74 thoughts on “Yes, I’m a Progressive and a Patriot

  1. Thank you for that passionate and important message that really seems to get lost in the shuffle and day to day disagreement.

    The level of utter hypocrisy in this nation has risen to levels that are not healthy, that lead to entrenchment but do not allow for enlightenment. I fear that the damage will be long upon our land.

    • And this progressive Christian says “Amen.” I would add that if the American Christian church ever stands up and obeys the true commandments of Jesus, our world would then and only then truly be changed! I am proudly patriotic in proclaiming that the poor be fed and ALL people be cared for with medical insurance and care. I will stand in resistance to a president that exemplifies almost nothing the Christian Church professes to be from the heart of God. I will resist in all my days!

      • Steve, interesting post and I too have compassion for the poor as I was one. I am not a progressive, liberal, conservative or any other label. Just a thinker. I agree with you that a society worth its value must care for the down and out. Here is a question for you that I like to discuss. If I am able bodied and receive health care, and other necessary benefits what do I owe to the giver or state for those benefits? What would be my responsibilities?

        • Tom, I know you asked this of Steve, “If I am able bodied and receive health care, and other necessary benefits what do I owe to the giver or state for those benefits? What would be my responsibilities?” But I’f like a shot at answering.

          Seems to me you owe the giver and/or the state true citizenship in return. By that I mean, accepting what you need to thrive and then working hard to make sure everyone has enough to thrive.

          Given your experience of being poor, you must be aware that various benefits are only enough to survive one. One is not really able to get beyond basic survival to a place where one thrives.

          Although I am impoverished and expect to be so for the rest of my life, barring unforeseen circumstances, I work every day to try to make the USA a better country for all within her.

          One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

          https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

        • Tom – I am mature adult, mother of 4 successful adults and ex-administrator but currently a school bus driver in a red state.

          Good question. My assumption is that you imply “owing” as a prerequisite to being assisted, or should be. THIS is, in my thinking, the core of why many Americans build … resentment. This applies when, speaking of central Americans and Mexicans.

          First, the true Christian way is not to think this way at all and Christians are told this in church but in daily life, their values change. Thus, they are deemed hypocrites.

          Loyalty – promise to do better – how many could I count in ways to “owe” for assistance. I’d like to add that when government opens doors to immigrants, they open the question of assistance too! So this involves Americans and immigrants. Complex matter.

          Education, most will agree, is the number 1 way to get people to “do better down the road”. That said, we have the most lacking public educational school system and to boot, with no guarantee of work after a degree is reached and let’s not forget while in school, what type of assistance is needed to continue to live? I need to add, there is no incentive for adults to continue education later in life to make good choices nor is the education free, so that they that do not have slanted rigid views of global political sphere. Our government thrives on division.

          Loyalty…. loyalty to what? Assisted people, speaking of chronic assisted, in the masses, are uneducated. That is unfair and would be like slavery. See below for more on this.

          Also, if there are ‘any’current strings to assistance, it is …… don’t make more money or you will lose the benefit of assistance. This does not take into account the COL and what the path of the assistant is. To go further, those same assisted ……… pay millions in taxes in their lifetime.

          Immigrants: many kinds no? The face of immigration changed with our bombing and raping other countries of their resources, no? Who owes who right?

          Central America and Mexico: Loyalty and citizenship. What a mess. For south of the border – English should be our designated language and be demanded. Full stop. Nothing between. Anyone here after 2 years –
          no English – no stay and this only after a grueling application. If their government offers nothing to their people then sorry. The governments are at fault and keep the wheel churning on it. While Americans stay angry and build resentment. Honestly, there are many ways to crack this. Keep our money in the US too and monitor their sending money home. Hey isn’t this their home they were seeking? You have family back there – well – have them take the same steps you took or tell them to demand work from their government. Full stop.

          South Americans and Cubans have no problem with arriving and cracking open books and audio files to begin learning our language.

          Many Hispanics from central America and Mexico actually hate the English language and refuse to learn it because they can, once they get here. Actually, most are resentful of Americans.
          What an insult to us and yet they are usually the uneducated.

          The contrary message our government gave & give central Americans & Mexicans is that we will give you education and your young but you will always be a immigrant and alien. THAT was/is mistake. Our educational systems cannot assimilate their cultural backgrounds without demands – anymore. Do not give citizenship until pre-requisites are met is my thinking and monitor their lives until able to fulfill required demands for living their life here in the good old USA. Hello! In this day and age, their paid taxes do not exceed what is “given” in assistance. The bottom line is they do not want to absorb America …. they want to use us and our systems and our government allows it.

          Religious immigrants…….please. For this day and age, no one wants to migrate unless they need work or money and they hope America has the answer. Oh wait – the USA did mess up their countries so … we owe them????? Hmmm. They know they can fool America with any words or promise just like Mexicans and still maintain their hate.

          Most allowed in from India or far east are not refugees. Can we say it is a deal that our government officials make with the other countries? That has to stop. The educated that arrived … do contribute to our society and absorb our way of life. Bottom line is there is not enough work here in America for the whole world to come through and set up camp. Especially, when purist capitalism is exploding in our face.
          These immigrants from are the ones to demand loyalty but as I just mentioned …. just like the southern immigrants – they don’t even like us.

          I will end my thoughts with – I am a Hispanic woman whose father came from Mexico. Dad arrived with a book to learn English and maintained that we (4) absorb life here and learn all we can in school. Mother was 1st generation American and both my parents had perfect English – non accented – as 1st language as I grew up. Of course, Spanish spoken at home.

  2. You are referring the the PEE party:
    Plunder, the people and planet
    Exclude, those not like “us”
    Exploit, those not able to defend themselves
    Tell people where they can pee

  3. During George W.Bush’s presidency, one of the things that bothered me was the fact that so many conservatives were quick to label people on the left as unpatriotic because they did not agree with President Bush’s foreign policay decisions. This frustrated me because I did not feel that people on the left were protesting because they hated the United States.

    Whether or not I agreed with these folks is irrelevant. I believe these people loved our country just as I did…they just saw things differently.

    I don’t see this happening as much today, but there are still people who are engaging in this type of labeling.

    If conservatives are going to slam people on the left who rely on unfair and false accusations of bigotry against the right, we should also criticize people on the right who make false accusations of “unpatriotism.” Not sure if that’s a word but if it’s not, it should be!

  4. Thank you, thank you, thank you, John, for so eloquently stating the case. This has long been my position, and I’m constantly gobsmacked by the blatant hypocrisy and incredibly short memories of Republicans (as if none of their nastiness these last 8 years ever happened). Like Sandi, I fear that this divide and the damage it will cause may both be insurmountable. I weep for this once great land. It is no more, and may never be again.

  5. Until Jesus comes back or Fox News reports fact is a great line and I will start using it.

    Thanks. You speak for me here!

  6. Absolutely true. In addition to these citations, I would recommend “Achieving our Country” by Richard Rorty, which describes the evolution of the Left in this country from the Reformist Left of the first 2/3s of the 20th century that achieved vast, primarily economic gains for the working class in America – although only for the white working class – and the Cultural, Academic Left of the 60s and beyond, which added vast social gains for all peoples, but at the expense of a worldview that believed that the existing cultural structure was unsustainable and sought to replace it – thus forsaking much of what the Reformist Left accomplished.

    America at its founding was a nation of progressivists, of hopers, of people wanting to make life better for all by making life better for each. The Left came out of this striving, and always has been about hope; the Right came about as the successes of the hopers made it possible to stand pat. The Left believes that America must always move towards the achievement of its promise; the Right believes that it is already there – at least for those that count – and must not change.
    I choose to remain a hoper.

  7. No need to publish this, and yes, I’m nit-picking, but the correct word is ‘COMPLIMENTARY,’ and not ‘COMPLEMENTARY.’ Other than that minor grammatical error, this is a great op-ed piece that complements my viewpoints very well.

  8. It would be wise to remember patriotism is owned by no one.

    The Underground Railroad was a criminal enterprise … yet it was patriotic because it was a moral and terribly mortal stand against Our National Evil ~ Slavery.

    Quakers (and other religious denominations) have refused to ‘bear arms’ in defense of Our Nation, yet have volunteered to serve unarmed in other capacities and performed valorously.

    The Congressional Medal of Honor, our highest award, has been given to virtually every race and gender. Courage is restricted to no specific vessel.

    We are a Nation founded on protest. We are also a Nation founded on a willingness to compromise when possible so the Nation would not tear itself apart.

    Peace.

    • Thank you, James. Being a product of Quakers, one who by the way was hung because she wouldn’t recant, and those that were part of the underground railroad, and having someone who died in every war that this nation got itself in, all of those factions in me say AMEN.

    • “We are a Nation founded on protest. We are also a Nation founded on a willingness to compromise when possible so the Nation would not tear itself apart.”

      And this is what we have forsaken. Compromise implies that we as a people see the same things, but have different opinions about their resolution. Now we see not only different realities, but less-than-humans on the other side. Our channels of communication exist for the purpose of profit and power, not understanding for the common good. If we do not change resolutely, humbly, and promptly, our Nation is lost.

  9. My patriotism is exercised every single day.

    One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

  10. Written by my husband just about a year ago.

    Taking back the flag –
    By Skip Hood June 21, 2016

    A sad thing has happened to the American flag. It’s been stolen by the far right. When you encounter people who have the flag plastered all over their home, car, and apparel, do you suppose they are liberals? Moderates, even? Or simply gain no particular impression? Probably not. Most likely you’d guess they are on the Trump train this time around. Conspicuous display of America’s flag has become the right wing way of promoting the vitriolic, belligerent notion of patriotism he represents.

    Just yesterday I found myself giving in to that. I chose not to wear a flag themed T-shirt in public for fear of being mistaken for one of those. The shirt given out this year by a fishing tournament whose goals I totally support. Shame on me.

    Let’s reclaim the flag as a symbol of what really makes America great. Not hatred and fear of immigrants. Not unfettered access to the most efficient ways of killing people. Not an attitude that it’s us against the rest of the world. Not the belief that it’s better to be rich than have a livable planet.

    What makes America great is our most noble ideals. The flag should stand for those things that make us the world’s good guys. The Declaration of Independence : “all men are created equal”. The words on the Statue of Liberty: “give me your tired, your poor”. The Marshal Plan: After sacrificing so much to save the world from unspeakably cruel tyrants, we helped pay for other nations’ recovery.

    So I’m not going to let our flag be the property of those whose feelings and values would shame our nation if allowed to prevail. It is time that people of good will fly the flag proudly to represent the best of America.
    #takingbacktheflag

    • Thank you Patty, for sharing that. I feel the exact same way. We have flown the flag at our house for years and it is hard to think anyone would interpret that as support for a party or candidate or president, but I know better and it breaks my heart.

      “Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.”

      “Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.”

      “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

      “The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.”

      “We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the red states.”

      “There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.”

      “We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

      Barack Obama July 27, 2004

      “Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America.” Barack Obama November 4, 2008

    • Thank you, Patty, please thank your husband also. That is beautiful and so true. I fly my flag all the time, and I have to admit I have had the same thoughts. But after I put my political signs out, there is no doubt. Since then my mailbox gets plowed down about once a year. But I will still fly my flag. Peace,

    • Patty, that was a wonderful essay your husband wrote. Sadly, these days I want to fly my flag upside down as a signal of extreme distress! Someone in my area did that immediately after the election, and unfortunately it was torn down twice by Trumpist thugs. Regardless, I applaud your husband’s essay, and agree 110 %!

  11. Dear John Pavlovitz and Reader:

    If we must use the ‘patriot’ lingo, let us [please] distinguish patriotism from nationalism.

    Authoritarian nationalists dwell endlessly on power, victory, defeat and revenge, while caring little about what transpires in the real world. By contrast, patriots want society to live up to its best ideals, which as Timothy Snyder sees, ‘means asking us to be our best selves.’

    Blessings!

  12. If you listen to a lot of conservatives, they’ll tell you that the difference between them and us is that conservatives love America and liberals hate America. … They don’t get it. We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That’s why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well.
    – Al Franken “Lies: And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them “(2003)

    • Edwin Mix, I love that quote from Sen. Franken. He nails it.

      While people are busy focusing on the Trump debacle, there are important issues being overlooked and as a patriotic citizen of the US, I want the Constitutional process to operate as intended. But instead, the GOP is trying to sneak in legislation that will hurt the USA:

      1.American public education is under an unprecedented assault.

      2.More new evidence suggests that economic inequality is deepening and is killing the American middle class. The repercussions on those of us who live below the poverty level are horrible.

      3.The American labor movement is on death row

      4.All across America Republican statehouses are trying to criminalize protest despite the First Amendment

      5.While the Trump administration is busy trying to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency and kill every regulation on the books, more and more evidence of the effects of climate change is coming in fast and the news is not good. This one not only adversely affects the USA, it will cause the ultimate calamity for the planet.

      • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

        6. Some 100 special forces operations on the Africa at any point in time, re-colonizing the continent for material and strategic advantage.

        Blessings!

        • gdd wrote “6. Some 100 special forces operations on the Africa at any point in time, re-colonizing the continent for material and strategic advantage.”

          Well, yes, however that predates the present administration by several years, doesn’t it? Reprehensible, IMO, but it is old news and not something the GOP is trying to sneak past us.

    • Edwin, thank you for that quote from Sen. Franken. I continue to be amazed and impressed at how he’s grown into the job. People like him give me hope.

  13. Thank you for being my voice. I don’t feel invisible anymore. You give me hope, at least I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Peace and Love,

  14. When I was a ‘Santa Monica Liberal’ , which is just like ‘Chicago Liberal ‘ I secretly scoffed at Americans that were Patriotic and flew the Flag. [ I thought European socialism was far preferable to ‘tired out-of-date’ American Democracy. ] I use to literally cringe at Presidential Convention broadcasts. What’s wrong with those people!?

    Later in life, I lived in Asia for 6 years… this was the start of my turn around of how I viewed USA & Middle- America. Boy, was I disillusioned. Now I get it. I treasure my memories of how patriotic my Grand parents (Ojibwa tribe) were, and my parents. Visiting Washington DC gives me goosebumps, & I love 4th July (which is also my birthday) Parades & fireworks. People that plaster themselves in the Flag are cool. The more the better. ‘America, Love it or Leave it’.

    • Did you really read this? I am shaking my head because if you did, you still don’t get what he was saying. Perhaps you should have read this, then went into silent contemplation and prayed about your comment before commenting.

      • Kathleen B, of course she didn’t read it. She never does read it the whole way through and if she ever does, she never reads for comprehension as were all taught in the fifth grade.

    • Leslie….rather ironic , coming from a person whose ancestral lands were stolen, and whose people were then relegated to second class citizenship on Indian reservations.
      You should NEVER love anything except with ‘eyes wide open’, so that you can see what needs protecting, and what needs revision..

    • Leslie, what you are describing: “Visiting Washington DC gives me goosebumps, & I love 4th July (which is also my birthday) Parades & fireworks. People that plaster themselves in the Flag are cool. The more the better. ‘America, Love it or Leave it’.” is *nationalism* not patriotism. Nationalism is “my country right or wrong.” Patriotism is “it’s my country, and I love it so much I’m going to work to make it a better place for everyone.” John and I (and others here) are patriots, not nationalists. There’s a difference. You can be a patriot and love your country without being a nationalist.

      One of the things I find so intriguing about the US is that codified into its founding documents is quite a lot of compassion, even though at the time, the founding fathers didn’t have a lot of compassion for certain people, like Native Americans, and blacks. The right of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” requires compassion. If someone is disabled, giving them the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness requires a compassionate look at what they need, and providing it. Providing the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for people who, by heritage, have been stripped of that, requires a compassionate look at history, and how to rectify it. It’s that compassionate ideal that makes me a patriot, and the arc of history seems to move in the direction of this country being more and more of its ideal.

      But nationalism isn’t compassionate at all. It’s blind to the differences we have as people, and it tends to encourage white supremacy and patriarchy, neither of which is compassionate.

      • I’m not a Nationalist by any stretch of the imagination. [I’m married to a foreigner, and our children have dual citizenship & have lived in 3 countries.]

        “America, love it or leave it’ was a tongue in cheek comment by me, a clever catch phrase that was popular decades ago. A capsule in time.

        To me, it just means that rather than complain about it and point fingers …. or try to make our country like other countries,, we are to work for ‘constructive’ change, & work to ‘accomplish’ something better.

        I guess the question is what is ‘better’?

        I think the Constitution plays an important part, in terms of what our citizens value, and what works for the better good of USA & its citizens/ residents.

    • Lindsey Bebensee, welcome. Thanks for joining us. I have actually seen that article and have posted a link to it in my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff.

      I just read this article today. I hope you like it:

      Christians Across the Political Spectrum Oppose Cuts to the Poor in Trump’s Budget
      By Jim Wallis 6-20-2017

      Tomorrow, for the first time since the start of the Trump administration, leaders from Christian families across the theological and political spectrum will speak with one voice — to oppose budget cuts that would harm vulnerable people and devastate families living in poverty.

      We will be making this joint statement under the banner of the Circle of Protection, a broad coalition of leaders from all the families of U.S. Christianity that was founded in 2011 in service of the biblical mandate to protect poor and vulnerable people. While individual members of the Circle have raised their voices in opposition to harmful budget cuts and legislation that the Trump administration and Congress have proposed — notably many of us came together for a powerful prayerful event outside the Capitol Building in late March for just such a purpose —this will be the first time that the entire Circle is making such a joint statement.

      The rest of the piece may be read here:
      https://sojo.net/articles/christians-across-political-spectrum-oppose-cuts-poor-trump-s-budget

  15. Great post John.

    I think part of the issue is that political affiliation has become tribal.

    And, at some level, this is kind of weird. You could dismiss me as a ‘liberal’, but there’s a whole lot more to life than politics.

    Further, though I may disagree with conservative views on some issues,* I don’t doubt others’ patriotism.

    * I actually agree with the health care ideas initially put forth by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

    • friendly guy. thanks for commenting. I like Heritage Foundation’s simple premise for Health Care too:
      –patient centered
      –market-based
      — power remains w/ the individual ($pending control & decision making) re their own Health Care

      But, I don’t think that the zeitgeist will ever let go of the idea of ‘free healthcare’ for all.

      • Since we have been wrestling with this issue publicly and in politics for decades and the original Heritage Plan came out in 1989, I am not quite sure why you think the “zeitgeist” is or has ever been for ‘free healthcare’ for all. That little dig is just dishonest.

        1993: “Republican Sen. John Chafee of Rhode Island was the point man. The bill he introduced, Health Equity and Access Reform Today, (yes, that spells HEART) had a list of 20 co-sponsors that was a who’s who of Republican leadership. There was Minority Leader Bob Dole, R- Kan., Sens. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and many others. There also were two Democratic co-sponsors.

        Among other features, the Chafee bill included:

        An individual mandate;

        Creation of purchasing pools;

        Standardized benefits;

        Vouchers for the poor to buy insurance;

        A ban on denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

        “You would find a great deal of similarity to provisions in the Affordable Care Act,” Sheila Burke, Dole’s chief of staff in 1993, told PunditFact via email. “The guys were way ahead of the times!! Different crowd, different time, suffice it to say.”

        http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2013/nov/15/ellen-qualls/aca-gop-health-care-plan-1993/

        • Continued:

          From the 1989 Heritage Plan: “…three serious underlying problems with the current health care system. ”

          1) …services are essentially “free,” (no skin in the game)

          2)…assistance provided by government does not channel the greatest help to those who need it most. (subsidies for some)

          3)…the U.S. are very reluctant to require households to protect themselves against health care needs. (no mandate)

          “I believe that eventually the U.S. will have a “national health system,” in the sense of a system that assures-each citizen of access to affordable health care.”

          “…the Heritage plan aims at achieving four related objectives:

          All citizens should be guaranteed universal access to affordable health care.

          The inflationary pressures in the health industry should be brought under control.

          Direct and indirect government assistance should be concentrated on those who need it most.

          A reformed system should encourage greater innovation in the delivery of health care.”

          While not identical, and certainly not meant to be, the original Heritage Plan had a whole lot in common with both the Chafee proposal AND the ACA (Obamacare). Those are simply facts.

          http://www.heritage.org/social-security/report/assuring-affordable-health-care-all-americans

          • Sandi, please refresh my memory… Was the Heritage plan the one the Clintons presented?

            I am confused but that is possibly because I am in a particularly high degree of pain today. Lower back spasms so bad I fear I am going to fall.

            • The Clinton Plan had elements of the Heritage Plan, but it was also very different.

              From Wikipedia: “the proposed bill would provide a “health care security card” to every citizen that would irrevocably entitle him or her to medical treatment and preventative services, including for pre-existing conditions.”

              “To achieve this, the Clinton health plan required each US citizen and permanent resident alien to become enrolled in a qualified health plan on his or her own or through programs mandated to be offered by businesses with more than 5,000 full-time employees. Subsidies were to be provided to those too poor to afford coverage, including complete subsidies for those below a set income level. Users would choose plans offered by regional health alliances to be established by each state. These alliances would purchase insurance coverage for the state’s residents and could set fees for doctors who charge per procedure. The act provided funding to be sent to the states for the administration of the plan, beginning at $14 billion in 1993 and reaching $38 billion in 2003.”

              “The plan also specified which benefits must be offered; a National Health Board to oversee the quality of health care services; enhanced physician training; the creation of model information systems; federal funding in the case of the insolvency of state programs; rural health programs; long-term care programs; coverage for abortions, with a “conscience clause” to exempt practitioners with religious objections; malpractice and antitrust reform; fraud prevention measures; and a prescription drug benefit for Medicare, among other features.”

          • I think all you need to know is that when asked, most people applauded the ACA , though it was wonderful, and a lot of the same people said they hated Obamacare.

            • Kathleen B, your words reminded me of a story I read when people in KY were signing up for the ACA. One gentleman said he was so glad it wasn;t that Obamacare.

              One of the ironies of the ACA is that everything the GOP dislikes about it are compromises that they forced upon it. Because they refused to cosnider single-payer, which is what the drafters of the ACA wanted, the GOP insisted on the insurance companies getting their hands on it.

              It’s the insurance companies and the GOP thst responsible for any failures with the ACA. They need to improve the ACA not gut it.

              • Gloriamarie, to be completely honest, I really believe that the ultimate GOP goal, as well as that of Trump himself, is to completely and utterly erase any possible legacy of Obama’s. To make him a non-president in the eyes of history. It’s just the height of absurdity and pettiness.

                • I agree totally. I told my grandson last night, that someday, someone will come forward to tell that there is a list of everything Obama did and that they are erasing them one by one. They can’t do it but it shows the folly that is this group. I truly believe it.

                • Susan, you will get no argument from me. One thing the Obama administration really did was open our eyes to the systemic racism of the GOP. They are so distressed that a black man was elected that yes, they want to erase him from history.

                  Well, they have already failed.

                  But to take the country and the planet down the path of no return because they can’t repent of racism is unforgivable. Turning one’s back to truth, distorting the Christian message to make it ok to turn one’s back to truth is apostasy and false teaching. God will deal with them.

  16. It is good to disagree , and live and let live.
    Taking a stand for what is Right, Just, in accordance with the word of God.
    This we as christians are commanded to do.
    Love your neighbor , dont go down with the neighbor.
    Lay down your life for the true cause
    A Relationship of Forgiveness, Love, Truth, speaking the truth in love. and speaking up when you see falsehoods, lies, deception, untrue statements.
    We , YOU, IF you Truly are a believer in Jesus Christ are accountable to God for Every action, thought, and what you do.
    I cannot do what you do
    I must do as God s Holy Word says to do.
    I must obey God over mankind.
    Dont Believe 90% of the lies, hidden agenda of the major news networks
    News can be distorted, perverted, put in a way which you do not understand the truth
    Compare all Media, News, Mans writing against the Truth of The Bible , which by the way will stand forever
    only what is done for Christ will last
    Only way is thru Christ to get to Heaven, Have real Peace. and lasting HOPE

  17. Folks, this is such an excellent article, I wanted to share it and hopefully some of you will see some value in it too. It resonated with me.

    “That moment was perhaps my first reckoning with the hard truth that, throughout my life, I would politically identify with the same people who often insult the place I am from.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/oct/13/liberal-media-bias-working-class-americans

    While we see the end result, I think we also need to see that the red/blue divide is a lost closer than many think and every red state, red district, has liberals, and people who whatever demographic they fit in, also do not fit in some other. Like myself, a liberal redneck. It is a real thing and it is an important distinction. You can be religious, country, less educated and less gainfully employed and still have great human decency, intelligence and morality. You can!

    I agree with the writer, Matthew MacWilliams , “If I asked you what most defines Donald Trump supporters, what would you say? They’re white? They’re poor? They’re uneducated?

    You’d be wrong.

    In fact, I’ve found a single statistically significant variable predicts whether a voter supports Trump—and it’s not race, income or education levels: It’s authoritarianism.” Folks, this is what we need to realize and fight, not each other.

    • Another great part of the article: “host Brooke Gladstone asked Isenberg, earlier this year, to address long-held perceptions of poor whites as bigots, the author described a conundrum:“They do subscribe to certain views that are undoubtedly racist, and you can’t mask it and pretend that it’s not there. It is very much a part of their thinking.”

      ‘Entertain a parallel broad statement about any other disenfranchised group, and you might begin to see how rudimentary class discussion is for this relatively young country that long believed itself to be free of castes. Isenberg has sniffed out the hypocrisy in play, though.”

      “The other problem is when people want to blame poor whites for being the only racist in the room,” she told Gladstone. “… as if they’re more racist than everyone else.”

      ‘That problem is rooted in the notion that higher class means higher integrity. As journalist Lorraine Berry wrote last month, “The story remains that only the ignorant would be racist. Racism disappears with education we’re told.” As the first from my family to hold degrees, I assure you that none of us had to go to college to learn basic human decency.” (Emphasis is mine)

  18. Another really good read: “My finding is the result of a national poll I conducted in the last five days of December under the auspices of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, sampling 1,800 registered voters across the country and the political spectrum. Running a standard statistical analysis, I found that education, income, gender, age, ideology and religiosity had no significant bearing on a Republican voter’s preferred candidate. Only two of the variables I looked at were statistically significant: authoritarianism, followed by fear of terrorism, though the former was far more significant than the latter.”

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/01/donald-trump-2016-authoritarian-213533

    • WOWZA, Sandi

      Authoritarianism is the first word on my list of the evils that the GOP have embraced.

      People who value authoritarianism above all else are people ruled by a spirit of fear.

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