I was pretty anxious about it, not just because I wanted Obama to win, but because I was deathly afraid that Romney would. There was a lot at stake for me in this election. My life depended on it. The Affordable Care Act is saving my life.
I received national attention for an op-ed piece that I wrote in the Los Angeles Times back in December 2011, “Obamacare to the Rescue.” I sought to educate people by putting my story out there to show that the growing number of uninsured in this country are not lazy deadbeats, but middle class moms like me. The point I wanted to make with the piece was to warn people: “If this could happen to me, it could happen to anybody”.
Most people were very supportive and went out of their way to let me know. Others were not at all supportive. They, too, went out of their way to let me know. Some of them were so mean spirited and hateful it scared me.
Americans attacking a mom with cancer caught the world’s attention. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Swiss TV, Dutch public TV, and the BBC all interviewed me, wanting to know why Americans are so misinformed about the Affordable Care Act, why health care is so politicized, and why we trash their health care systems. They were also curious to know how we can be so cruel to one another.
I wish I had an answer for that. I’m embarrassed by the foul mouthed, ignorant, self gratifying, materialistic, hateful nonsense that has been directed towards me, our president, and liberals in general. Hate speech is an abuse of the first amendment. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. You shame our nation and make all Americans look bad when you do it.
When I sat in a hole with the grim reaper for about a month after my diagnosis a year ago, waiting to find out if I was going to live or die, the haters shoveled dirt in on top of my head, wishing me dead.
“We don’t want to pay for your cancer care!”
“Why should the rest of us have to pay for you being so irresponsible?”
“No socialized medicine!”
“You should get what you deserve”
“I hope you die”
I was shocked, but it didn’t get me down. All the hateful rhetoric served to do was deepen my resolve to keep fighting for affordable health care for everybody. And as evidenced by the voter turnout on November 6, the haters didn’t get the majority of Americans down either. Hate Lost. The people won. We are not a country of hateful, ignorant, arrogant people. We are a decent, compassionate and reasonable people.
For the duped soldiers who dutifully carried forth the message of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh before and after the election, listen up: You have been outfoxed by Fox. When you use their language with anyone outside of your right wing bubble, you give yourself away. Well informed people know Fox-speak when they hear it. They may argue with you, but not for long, because you can’t reason with someone who can’t put Limbaugh’s thoughts into their own words.
After the president was re-elected, Karl Rove and Fox denied it. Bill O’Reilly said that traditional America is gone (translation: white men are outnumbered) and that people want free stuff. Limbaugh blamed the win on the minorities, and Glenn Beck told people to load up on guns and ammo and buy farmland. All of this is absurd to a reasonable, thinking person. But to racists, simpletons and the paranoid, this is red meat. If people are going to be superstitious enough to believe that Hurricane Sandy was the wrath of God against homosexuals, they’ll believe ANYTHING. The Republicans have taken full advantage of this and now they are going to have to figure out how to undo this if they want to survive as a party.
The Vietnam War, civil rights and the women’s liberation movement forced the Democratic Party to adapt and change. The issues of the day, the changing demographics of the country, and the failings of the GOP in this past election should be the impetus for the Republicans to do the same.
We’ll see. That means they’ll have to change. And as we all know, Republicans hate change.