That was Darrell Issa's question to reporters. How dare who? Me? How dare I? How DARE I? HOW DARE I? Where do I start?
This is about Issa and his band of "darlings" wanting to defund the ACA. A piece of legislation that now protects my daughter from ever being denied health insurance. This legislation that will allow millions of Americans to purchase health insurance and is already ensuring that being female is not treated by insurance companies as a "disease." Legislation that extends protection to students. Provides more care for everyone. And limits the amount that insurance companies can spend on themselves rather than our care.
How dare I? How dare I what? What is the horrible transgression Issa and others are fighting against? I'll tell you what they are fighting. They want to stop Obamacare. Why? What does the ACA do? It provides heath care for Americans. It is legislation that we passed, and the Supreme Court ruled on. And it provides for the care of our nation.
Caring for the poor. Protecting the sick. Providing services to the needy. This is what we dare.
We, the godless Liberals conservatives rant about, the ones who insist there be no prayer or guns in our schools. The ones who want to provide education not tax welfare entitlements for billionaires. We seem to be fighting for a Christian ideal they accuse us of despising.
• Feed the poor. Liberals support this.
• Provide for those in need. Ditto, liberals are all for it.
• Heal the sick. We're trying. Honestly, we are the ones trying to do this.
It is so ironic. So when I hear the fake outrage from people holding themselves out as superior Patriots, while railing against our president and our country, all I can think is: you liar, how dare you? You fake, you phony. You liar. And in twitterspeak, you #fakepatriots, it is time we insist on #welfarenotwarfare.
Does anyone else remember a different time? I do, I go back to the '70s, when I was growing up in North New Jersey. People were more relaxed. We had more free time. Our parents worked, but we also had security. My family was solidly middle-class. Third generation American's and so proud of it. My grandfather and his brothers worked hard to be community leaders. From mayor to school board president, they instilled in me the responsibility we owe our nation.
I don't remember how or when I became aware of health care and pensions. It may have been as a teenager. At 12 I was a spending my time going to NYC with my mom and my Aunt. My two-year-old cousin was diagnosed with leukemia, and every month I went with them to NYC for her treatments. Once a month I would spend a day or two with kids who were sick and dying. I am sure I overheard many conversations about her treatment, the cost, and how "lucky" they were to have "good insurance".
A few years later my grandfather died after open-heart surgery, just before he got sick he was planning his retirement, telling me how he had his pension and he was going to take us on an adventure, me, him and my grandmother. He was going to buy an RV and take us to see these United States.
It may have been during this time I first heard of health insurance and pensions. How it helped pay for the treatments that kept my cousin alive for a little while. Or the pension my grandfather looked forward to, but which helped my grandmother pay the bills after his death.
One of my first "real" jobs in accounting, when I was 19, included accounting for pensions and health care. I learned how to compute the amount required BY LAW that we fund for our pension and health care obligation. I was responsible for accounting for retirees, and ensuring they received their proper check each month.
Many of the people who received checks had worked for one of the companies this multi-national conglomerate owned for 20, or even 30, years. They had given the better part of their lives to help make millions for someone else, all for the promise of a comfortable retirement, one that provided the protection of a pension and health care.
And I remember in the '80s, when the dismantling of pensions began and Reagan hailed the "democratization of money." American workers were convinced that they were greedy (sound familiar?), expecting billion-dollar-corporations to fund their retirement and provide for their families healthcare. How dare they? Of course they were expected to work long hours for low pay and in some cases unhealthy conditions. But they were lucky to have a job at all. Just look at all the immigrants clamoring to get here for a slice of the American Dream.
And so American workers were convinced to give up their pensions for the 401k. It would be the great leveler. A wealth creator. Security generator. It would save corporations billions, and all that money would "trickle down" to workers.
How'd that work out?
Are we better off? More secure? Do we have more money in the bank? Are people retiring with dignity and security? Are we healthier? Able to retire and provide for our families?
And Issa wants to know how dare I?
I'll tell him how I dare. I dare because I am a Patriot. I dare because I remember the American Dream. I dare because I know we can create a world that cares for the sick and provides for the needy without converting our nation to Socialism and breaking the back of capitalism.
It is time to ask the GOP, how dare you? How dare you take my money and give it to the rich? How dare you insist we pay for wars and oil and gas extraction but not education and health care? How dare you lie to us and use the tactics of blackmail and intimidation to try to force your dogma on us?
How dare you try to take money from the poor, needy, children and our vets to give it to your wealthy backers and corporate sponsors?
How dare you threaten to shut down our government so you can try to force us to give in to your demands and accept your dogma?
How dare you try to trample on women's rights to reproductive freedom?
How dare you stand there, smug and secure in your elected capacity and forget that you work for me?
How dare you assume for one minute that you have the power to overcome the will of the American voters and the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States of America?
Do me a favor, call Issa, call Cruz, call Rand Paul and Michele Bachmann, remind them who they work for. Ask them the questions I wrote. Send them this essay.
Ask them, how dare you?Call Democrats as well, let them know, we are daring. And we expect them to dare too.
- Here is how to contact members of the House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
- Contact your Senator: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state&Sort=ASC
- And The White House, contact them too. http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Go ahead, make a difference. I dare you.
Follow Lisa Longo on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lisa_longo