A lengthy article, but worth the read. If you don't have time to read the whole article right now, at least read the final paragraph - "But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise."
What Happened to Obama?
By DREW WESTEN - NYTimes.com
Drew Westen is a professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation.”
IT was a blustery day in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009, as it often seems to be on the day of a presidential inauguration. As I stood with my 8-year-old daughter, watching the president deliver his inaugural address, I had a feeling of unease. It wasn’t just that the man who could be so eloquent had seemingly chosen not to be on this auspicious occasion, although that turned out to be a troubling harbinger of things to come. It was that there was a story the American people were waiting to hear — and needed to hear — but he didn’t tell it. And in the ensuing months he continued not to tell it, no matter how outrageous the slings and arrows his opponents threw at him.
The stories our leaders tell us matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred. Our brains evolved to “expect” stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write.
On 45th Anniversary, Medicare Under Siege
By Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Doris Matsui
Forty-five years ago today, Medicare began operation and senior citizens started to use their brand new Medicare cards to obtain medical care. As President Lyndon B. Johnson stated, older Americans began to receive guaranteed access to care "not as an act of charity, but as the insured right of a senior citizen. July 1, 1966 marks a new day of freedom for our people."
Many of us cannot imagine what it was like before Medicare, but back then, the need was clear. Before July 1, 1966, 51 percent of senior citizens were uninsured - unable to find coverage from private insurers who didn't want to cover them. Without health insurance, getting sick or injured could mean going bankrupt, going without needed care or even dying needlessly.
President Johnson knew the value of Medicare, but he also knew we would need to work to protect it. "This program is not just a blessing for older Americans," he said. "It is a test for all Americans - a test of our willingness to work together. In the past, we have always passed that test. I have no doubt about the future."