|Voice for the underprivileged|
|Written by Daily Vidette Editorial Board|
|Monday, 02 July 2012 17:24|
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” as constitutional. This decision has been met with strong reactions from the left and the right.
The left celebrates the victory, since this means health care for all those who may not otherwise be able to afford it. The right condemns the act as being socialist and unfair to insurance corporations.
What both sides seem to forget about, ultimately, is millions of people, Obamacare is not a political move. It is not a means to gain favor with one political party, or lose favor with the other.
For millions of people, it is the means to the only decent health care they may be able to afford.
When it comes down to it, politicians are meant to be the voice of all those who voted for them. They are supposed to speak for everyone who needs their voices heard.
But most politicians, both liberal and conservative, come from positions of privilege. They have been brought up in wealthy families and have attended private schools and have never known hunger or want.
There is nothing wrong with that. The problem presents itself in the fact that many of the people they are supposed to represent are people who are in desperate need of change, and for many, there is no voice to speak for them, at least not one that will.
This goes beyond Obamacare. This extends to every woman, person of color, undocumented immigrant, impoverished person, and homosexual person whose rights are seen in a group and not individually.
If it was possible to look at every person individually, to understand everyone’s needs on an individual level, maybe politicians would understand that the choices they make do not just gain or lose their appeal among the people who vote for them, but also affect the lives of millions in this country who depend on them to make the decisions that will make or break them.
For some people, Obamacare looks like socialism. For some people, welfare looks like a way for lazy people to take advantage of all those in our country who pay taxes. For some people, a woman’s need for birth control or an abortion, or a gay man’s desire to marry someone he loves, infringes on their religious rights. For some people, an undocumented immigrant is just a person stealing the jobs of legitimate Americans.
But for the people who need those things, there is something else entirely at work. There is an inherent need for survival. The people who are served by these kinds of programs, or make these kinds of decisions, need to in order to live.
Some politicians are very lucky. They get to go to Harvard or Yale, grow up in gated communities, and are raised by businessmen or former politicians. There’s nothing wrong with that. Most of us will never get to live that lifestyle, and their families have earned it through years, sometimes generations, of hard work.
That privilege is the very reason that Obamacare, and all the bills out there that will serve the underprivileged or unspoken-for, is so important. Those bills show that the people of privilege in this country, the ones in power, are listening to the people who trust and depend on them, and are acting accordingly.