Donna Smith, American SiCKO, is executive director of the Health Care for All Colorado Foundation
Michael Moore is hosting his film festival in Michigan this week, and I sure hope they are showing “Gaslight” from 1944. The American electorate would be wise to watch it again and to put into context the messages of our elected officials as they work us to do their bidding on the debt deal and beyond. There are acting awards to be given in the latest turn of events – the President and the Speaker of the House might vie for best actor’s honors while the Senate Majority Leader and Tea Party darling Eric Cantor would surely compete for best supporting actors among a plethora of worthy players.
I watched ABC last night – but it could have been CBS or NBC or CNN or FOX or MSNBC, please choose your news flavor. George Stephanopoulos looked appropriately worried -- staged and prepared and ready to hear from President Obama and Speaker Boehner. They are all about the same basic message give or take a Bill Maher coloring remark or two or three.
We’re supposed to weigh in – we in the trenches of America. We working jobs where employers devalue us and customers berate us for doing the bidding of our employers. We’re supposed to call in and demand cuts to our own Social Security and Medicare. A balanced approach, we are told, is the right decision.
Ahhhhhh. It’s summer. We’re all supposed to be able to relax and stay cool. But most of us can never really relax. The billing services and collection agencies don’t. So we cannot.
The reality is that we are played the fools. We are the fools upon which they (those we elect and those we keep so richly appointed on our own dollars) rely for their taxpayers funded suppers. We are simultaneously their protectors and their protagonists. They need us but they think we are the fools to be played. They need high drama like the debt crisis to scare us and to engage us – and to keep the corporate media pre-empting our summer series in favor of the scare tactics.
Let’s have a little reality therapy here folks. More people are suffering for jobs and for income than ever in our lifetimes. More people are wondering where they will secure healthcare. More people are homeless or on the verge than ever. More people are wanting.
Yet, we are courted to clamor for cuts to Social Security and Medicare. We are courted to cut entitlements. We are courted to keep taxes low for those who have already been well protected and those who are already well-heeled. I almost couldn’t stand to watch any of the reports or the leaders – freshly made up and oh so-carefully prepped. None of them say what I need to have said.
Oh, to the gods of political compromise, Oh, to the gods of a better America. But is anyone watching our neighborhoods crumble or our families’ stress and strain? Our utility companies and landlords and doctors’ billing services don’t care much about such things. They want their money now. Today. There is no compromise on the rent being paid on the first of the month or the co-pay being paid at the front desk or the utilities being paid when due. We’ll be shut off; we’ll be denied care; we’ll be put out in the streets.
Just as those who need a progressively financed, single standard of high quality healthcare have been offered a multi-tiered, for-profit Pandora’s box of health insurance horrors, you have now offered us debt deals that are only consistent in their damage to real people – average, working class people.
The reasons we do not trust you – Washington, D.C. elite and powerful -- are that you do not talk in terms of our realities. So do not ask us to validate your agenda. We are too busy simply keeping up with securing our own daily bread.
January 28th, 2014
In the State of the Union address tonight, President Obama is going to call for a national minimum wage of $10.10. Then in their response ...
January 21st, 2014
My New Year's Day op-ed in the New York Times seems to have kickstarted a discussion about how to make Obamacare better. I hope you ...
December 18th, 2013
This morning it was announced by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board that my first film, 'Roger & Me', has been ...
December 14th, 2013
[View the story "Michael Moore Tweets on Eve of Newtown Anniversay" on Storify]
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
July 30th, 2013
Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and disobeying orders. That's the bad news. ...
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...