I wonder if someone made a count of how many times that phrase was used during the pointless twenty-one hour speech of Texas Senator Ted Cruz yesterday? Politicians use that phrase so often, it becomes more meaningless than it already is. Of course, in politics, regardless of the facts that stare you right in the face, claiming to represent the “will of the American people” is standard practice. I’m pretty well convinced, the senator’s speech notwithstanding, that the debate over health care reform and tying it to shutting down the government if a few members of Congress don’t get their way, has absolutely nothing to do with the will of the American people. It might be interesting to try and determine whether the will that is being represented actually belongs to the members of Congress who are promoting it, or to the business interests who have invested a lot of money in their campaigns in order to purchase their support and votes, but I believe it is one of the two.
Any politician who thinks that our current health care system, governed by the law of the land, and the way it is financed by insurance does not need to be completely and totally reformed does not have any understanding at all of my perspective. And if you take a good look at the polling data, it would not be the perspective of two thirds of the adult population, either. Don’t make the mistake of interpreting the polls on “Obamacare,” which is approved by half of the voters now, as being conclusive evidence that “the will of the American people” is to leave the current insurance and health care system in place. The last poll that actually asked that question found that the disagreement is not over the need to reform health care and insurance. More than two thirds of the “American people” think that it desperately needs to be reformed.
I do not believe for a minute that Senator Cruz is motivated by the interests of his constituents, and I do not believe he represents the views of “the American people.” His resume is a litany of reasons, through his past experience in politically appointed jobs, why he is completely out of touch with Americans like you and I, and his recent 21 hour speech to the empty seats in the Senate chamber is confirmation of that fact. Right now, he is paying off the debt he owes to big insurance and corporate health care for the major monetary contributions they used to buy his support during his Senate campaign. And he’s feathering his own nest for a shot at the GOP nomination for President in 2016, a job he has about as good a chance at landing as a snowball has on a hot stove (You thought I was going to say something else, huh?).
I consider myself a “typical American.” And like most typical Americans, I have some health care needs which are of great concern. A chronic arrhythmia from pneumonia I had when I was 26, and type 2 diabetes are among my chief concerns. If the Senator were really interested in what the American people think, he would ask someone like me why the current health care system, if you can call it a system, doesn’t work for people like me. If he cared, he would make an effort to understand the fear that we have over the possibility that a health issue could become the thing that bankrupts us, because the costs of care and the price of insurance is out of control and an increasing percentage of the money we pay is not going into our health care. He doesn’t understand, and neither do very many of his colleagues in Congress, because if they did, they would be listening to what we have to say, instead of telling us what we ought to think. If they cared, their attention would be focused on the health care needs of their constituency.
Clearly, that is not where their attention is focused.
I do not expect any politician to take any kind of step to really explore the depths of the perspective and opinion of their constituency. We do not have the ability to marshall the kind of funding that is necessary to lobby Congress to do what we want, or to contribute to the political campaigns to buy support. I think Senator Cruz will quickly learn that his position is not consistent with the will of the American people, and he’ll find that out at the ballot box if he chooses to run for President in 2016.