There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response I wrote:
To whom it may concern:
I am sending this email to turn myself in. I have read the significant portions of HR 3200 and disagree with major parts of it, especially the Public Payer option. I believe that Ronald Reagan spoke correctly when he said "Government is not the solution to the Problem, government is the problem." I believe President Obama has spoken erroneously about many provisions of the bill and the intent of the legislation as presently written. I believe the Constitution gives me and others the right to speak our mind publicly about political issues whether those opinions go along with the President or not. I believe, furthermore, that we have the right to go to rallies, to ask questions of the individuals who represent us in Washington, and the right to expect that their answers will be truthful. I believe the President made statements that he would, in effect, be such a representative to all Americans when he was elected. Unfortunately, I now believe he feels the need to misrepresent the legislation before Congress in order to get it passed without the full support of the majority of Americans just because he has the power to do so. He has the right to influence policy. That is the way politics works, I understand that. However, please do not demean my right to disagree with policy and do not try to intimidate myself and other Americans from voicing our concerns publicly.
I too believe, like John Adams, that "Facts are Stubborn things..." Unfortunately the blogger who posted these words did not quote the entire statement, which reads:
Therefore, if there is a list of people who have spoken against health care reform, who believe that the President and Congress are mistaken in their assumptions about the need to indenture our nation to foreign governments in exchange for "health security," then please place my name at the top of the list. If there is a list of those who need to be arrested, to be silenced in order for health care or any other legislation to be passed in this country, then come and take me first. For while I have not been very active in politics until now, the changes I see now have angered me.To heed the words of Dylan Thomas, I will not "go gentle into that good night," but "Rage, rage against the dying of the light" of freedoms being ripped away by politics.
- Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams, 'Argument in Defense of the Soldiers in the Boston Massacre Trials,' December 1770
US diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)
- The context of the quote is that no matter how passionately one feels about an issue, no matter how much of a wrong we think we are correcting in our sense of justice, the other side must have the right to be heard before judgment is rendered. John Adams offered up his defense to the accused who had no representation. This is a basic right of all Americans, and the White House, in policing public political expression, besmears John Adams and the rights of Americans to be heard by quoting his words in the same article as it threaten to squelch the right of political speech. As John Adams allowed himself to be ridiculed by the people of Boston, I too am willing to stand proudly in defense of those who have been attacked by your office.