This weekend Republican Representative Anh Cao, a Vietnamese American from Louisiana, voted “yes” for the recently passed health care reform bill; I am proud of Cao and others that realize just because I have health insurance, or they have health insurance… that does not mean that we should not help the many that do not have health insurance. Mr. Cao stated that he represents a poor district in which many of his constituents do not have health insurance. What is impressive is that Cao’s district is largely lower-income blacks — a population that does not vote for a party that traditionally has been anti-poor. However, Cao’s passion for doing what is best and what is right escapes both ideology and political affiliation.
Blue dog Democrats and conservative Republicans do not favor this bill. Why should they? This group represents a population of upper middle-class whites that can afford health insurance. I want the wealthy and middle class to set aside the notion of rugged individualism for a second and evaluate the day-to-day fears of driving in a car without health insurance. If one hit another car in a collision, how would that person afford the thousands it will cost them in rehab? Former American president and Constitutional framer James Madison warned against majority factions dictating the way of life for all; in this situation, the majority is made up of those who can afford health care and who are against this bill. In Madison’s Federalist Paper number 10, contends that the Constitution should guard against what he calls majority rule, hence stating that direct democracy is dangerous, thus ruling in favor of representative democracy; still, the fallacy is that a majority still lives in a representative democracy; I suspect we will hear commercials that liberals are evil, un-Christian, immoral, and communist.
But the reality is this: Liberals are not negative adjectives. In essence, we advocate for the working class, the poor, and minorities against big business. Moreover, we are supporters of civil rights for blacks, women, and ethnic minorities against the repression of government and business. Thus we see ourselves as defenders against what Madison might call a ” direct faction.”