In a previous thread, a troll was FIRST!! with the advice to “Just quit, we lost this fight in November”
I reject that.
We aren’t going to win often but we get to choose how to lose. We can roll over without trying to defend our values and our morals or we can fight as hard as we can to either get a policy win or inflict significant political costs on Republicans to increase the probability of future policy wins by either putting the fear of losing their seats into them which constrains future opportunity space or flipping those seats in 2018.
More subtly, we tell stories to ourselves. I want those stories that I tell to myself about me to be true. Defending and improving the ACA is one of those stories that I tell myself. The ACA benefits 2009 me far more than it benefits the 2017 me. It is a gut check. Am I full of shit or do I actually believe in what I think I believe in.
Let me digress for a moment.
Several years ago, I was with my two kids at the mall on a February night. My two year old son was sliding down the play area slide and my five year old daughter was jumping off a foam rubber trolley. I was watching them have fun and burn off some winter time energy. I figured in another ten or fifteen minutes, we would go home and get them ready for bed. It was a slow night of boring normality of fatherhood.
And then “pop, pop, pop…”
My first thought was “gun” second was “where’s my son” as my daughter was tugging on my arm to show me something. He was half way down the slide, I took a step forward and grabbed him. My third thought was “trample zone”. I pushed my daughter to the side out of a trample zone and threw both kids down and then covered them with my body. My fourth thought was “If no more, we stay here, if more shots we run as it could be a spree shooter”
“Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop” We ran. I ran a world class sprint with two kids stuffed under my arms until we could hide in the storage room at the Claire’s for an hour and a half.
The story I had told myself before that night is that I was a good dad. I would always protect my kids. I had a gut check moment and my story matched my reality. The kids got ice cream, my daughter probably had a stress reaction, and once they were in bed, I had several fingers of very good Scotch and posted an otter video to go to a happy place.
This is a moment of realization. Are we who we believe we are or are our professed values full of shit?
I would like to believe that I am who I believe myself to be and therefore I seek ways to protect the 2009 version of me and many like him.