Niagara Falls Waking up after a long and productive training dialogue with Judy Duncan, ACORN Canada’s head organizer, for their talented lead organizers, I was reading The Globe and Mail. The comment page included a column by David Shribman, the executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette trying to explain the messy health care fireworks to a head scratching Canadian audience. I identified with the effort, having tried various answers to scores of questions on my ACORN Canada fundraising tour for my book, Citizen Wealth.
Shribman did a good job actually. I hope he is as clear spoken in Pittsburgh as he is in Toronto. He nailed the issue on the head as not really being about health care at all, and it is easy to forget that right-left and middle all to agree that the system is not a system and is badly broken. He zeroed in on the fact that the firecrackers and the fight are all about power. Power and pent up anger at war, bailouts, and Bush.
The conservatives are unhappy that they are losing power and are desperately fighting back.
He quotes a Professor Sandel of Harvard in this way: “This is the standard debate about the role of government in ensuring fundamental rights and equal opportunities for all citizens, but it is also a frustration with government that goes beyond the debate about markets and gets to a sense of powerlessness. People sense that the forces that govern their lives are beyond their control, and I think this sentiment – a persistent theme in American politics – is not ‘right’ or ‘left.” It was reinforced in recent times by the financial crisis and the bailout and the sense of outrage about the help given to the wealthiest institutions and the wealthiest Americans.”
Real wisdom and insight as Canada looks at the USA from a higher plane and a good safe distance.
I’m taking a deep breath as I come back to America after a week with my Canadian friends.