Newtown, CT – June 19, 2015
Six months ago we commemorated the slaughter of innocents in Newtown, and now, Charleston – As Jon Stewart said last night, if the innocents in the Charleston church had been massacred by a foreign terrorist, the retribution and actions to ensure that it never happen again would have been swift and lasting. And yet, when an American boy, just as hate-filled and deluded as the foreign terrorists commits an equally horrific act, everyone stands by, shrugs shoulders, weeps for a while, prays for a while, and acknowledges there's nothing that can be done. This fatalism in front of the status quo will continue to contribute to the deaths of innocents much like, for decades, the fatalism in front of the status quo of health care decimated hundreds of thousands. Fortunately, the actions of the Congress and the federal government have forever changed the health care status quo, and we are on path to stopping the harm of so many. It will take time, massive investments and lots of turmoil, but the end result will be a much better, safer, more affordable system. And we know that will be the outcome because we are seeing its effects now. The Congress and the federal government can equally take action to stop the massacre of innocents at the hands of hate-filled youths.
What this means to you – I hope and pray that it does mean something to you, because it's only through individual and collective action that we can successfully overcome the forces of the status quo. Transparency and payment reform have come to health care because millions of individuals have collectively realized that they are carrying an unfair burden for the benefit of a few powerful organizations. Change can come about because millions of individuals finally realize that they want their kids to be safe in schools, in churches, in playgrounds and on campuses. They realize that fighting domestic enemies is actually more important than fighting foreign ones. They realize that justice is not dealt out by executing one animal in retribution for the life of dozens of innocents. There are systemic and endemic problems that must be dealt with. Cultures of violence, death, immediate gratification, unaccountability, Instagram/Twitter/YouTube fame, are not inevitable or irrevocable. Anything and everything can change and will once enough of you, of us, are fed up with grim commemorations of the slaughter of innocents.