Since returning from Yearly Kos, I've exchanged occasional emails with a well known blogger I met in Las Vegas.
He's asked me repeatedly "what are your political goals?" With each email his questioning takes on heightened intensity. The last email began, "I repeat, tell me your specific political goals?"
I've asked this person for some advice on generating internet interest in a health care reform idea germinating in my mind.
I think before he agrees to coach me for an hour or two, he insists that I am able to articulate my own pragmatic political agenda. Makes sense. He's forcing me do some hard focused thinking that that frankly I haven't done.
Until pushed by this master blogger, I hadn't thought much about specific political goals. I honestly believed outrage and writing diaries on Daily Kos was sufficient. It's not. He's correct.
My first goal, dear friends, is to elect David Gill to Congress from the 15th CD in Illinois. David is an emergency room doctor. We need many doctors in Congress. Professionals who witness the suffering brought on by the failure of the richest country on the planet to provide all its citizens with health care--a basic human right.
Please visit his campaign Web site here:
Please imagine an America where a person like David is in Congress fighting for you and me.
We can make it happen.
I was going to write a glowing testimonial to this great American hero but he describes what moves him far better than I can.
This is from an email he sent me. It makes me want to weep. Dear God, we need this good American to succeed. Please catapult him across the finish line on November 7th.
"I've spoken out against Medicare Part D since the night that it
passed through the House..... This is one of the most grossly
irresponsible pieces of legislation imaginable..... Now, half a year
into the program, as fully expected, we're seeing senior citizens in
the Emergency Room who have fallen into the "Donut Hole"..... If shame
still existed in Washington, every legislator who supported this gift
to Big Pharma would be ashamed of themselves.... Those Senators and
Congresspeople really ought to see the fruits of their labor, they
ought to come in to my E.R., and watch seniors struggling to breathe
through fluid-soaked lungs, now that the medications for their
Congestive Heart Failure have become nearly impossible to buy.........
perhaps they'd learn to feel shame again, if they had the guts to show
up in the real world of my E.R."
And this is another piece of the email. . .
Out on the campaign trail, I've encountered certain individuals
who are opposed to the use of, and even the very existence of, HPV
vaccine, designed to protect against cervical cancer.... This is
largely the same crowd opposed to embryonic stem cell research........
They'd rather that their daughters die an agonizing death from cervical
cancer, than acknowledge the possibility that their daughters might
become sexually active in something other than a single monogamous
relationship in their lifetime..... No surprise: these same folks want
us to continue to put the surplus fertility clinic embryos into the
freezer for a few years, and then toss them in the wastebasket-- talk
about a "Culture of Death"!
More from David in his own words. . .
"As an Emergency Room doctor, I see firsthand how people fall through the cracks of our health care system every day, through no fault of their own. The tragedies that I witness serve to deepen my conviction that health care is a right, not a privilege. I became a member of Physicians for a National Health Care Program many years ago, confident that we soon would adopt universal health care as the only moral national policy.
And on that terrible night in the emergency room that changed his life. . .
"But as profiteering in health care increases, we have only been moving further away from, rather than closer, to the goal of universal health care.
And something happened one night in the ER that told me enough is enough. One night, around 3 a.m., we admitted a 73-year-old lady who was choking and turning blue. I stabilized her, and then I went to the waiting room to talk to her daughter and get the patient's history. I was shocked by what her daughter told me: "Mom called me at 10 PM and said she was having an allergic reaction to something. She kept calling me, because it was getting worse and worse, and I kept telling her to go to the E.R., but she didn't want to because she doesn't have any supplemental insurance, and she was afraid of all the bills she'd wind up with. Finally, when I could hardly understand what she was saying, I called 911."
Only in America . . .
"So my patient had gradually choked for five hours in her own home instead of immediately seeking the care she needed, because she was afraid of the certain medical costs she would incur. And if she lived in Japan or Brazil or Great Britain or Canada or Germany or Sweden--if she lived in any developed country other than America--she would have sought care before it became a life-threatening ordeal. She survived that night, but I had seen too many patients like her who were forced to make a choice between health care and their own financial security. I decided then and there that I couldn't wait for Congress to pass universal health care-- I had to get to Congress myself."
As some of you know, I tend to gravitate more toward issues than politics or candidates. But it really is one big stew. We need seats at the table before our issues get the attention they desperately deserve. That said, I cannot think of a more important person to elect than David Gill. And electing him is my personal polical goal.
This is a salt-of-the-earth, common sense doctor. On every issue, David articulates a progressive, humane and pragmatic vision for the future of America.
I'd like to end by telling you how I first learned about David Gill. It was through our own John Laesch. This is John's campaign Web site:
I met John in Las Vegas. I was immediately impressed with him. We spoke at length and it was clear he devours Daily Kos. He was very familiar with my health policy diaries. He asked if I'd like to talk to David Gill who he told me was an emergency room physician running for Congress.
John set everything up. This says a lot about John Laesch. He was not pumping me for himself but for a fellow Democrat.
If you don't know, John Laesch is also a veteran. Driven by his desire to serve his country, John enlisted in the United States Navy in 1995. He doesn't wear this fact on his sleeve. He never told me he was a veteran. He's modest. This also says alot about John Laesch.
We Americans are struggling through the greatest challenge of our generation.
It goes without saying that we need committed leaders like David Gill and John Laesch in Congress.
Imagine sunrise on November 8th, 2007. A new day dawning in America.