Saturday, December 26, 2009

Compassion is Strength

Compassion is strength. Striving for fairness and equality will lead to success. I believe that the answer to Georgia and the nation’s problems will be found by working together. The challenges we face at home are ultimately global challenges. Like it or not, we must be united to overcome them. Though the current Senate health care reform efforts can not please everyone, I find no weakness in attempting to be our brothers’ keepers. Unfortunately, Senator Johnny Isakson, with his recent partisan vote against health care reform, shows once again that his idea of leadership is merely to cause division and obstruct anything proposed by the current administration. He continues to vote lock-step with his cohort Senator Chambliss. He continues to place the needs of his corporate donors and the failed policies of the right wing extremists above the needs of everyday Georgians.

As a multi-millionaire, Senator Isakson may not know the pain of going bankrupt due to medical bills or getting dumped from an insurance plan due to illness. The hard-line stance taken by Isakson against health care reform only serves to underscore his far-right attitude, his segmented view of public service, and the weakness of his political principles. Those principles are weak because they are exclusionary and work mainly to the benefit those who pass his “purity test.” They are weak because they often take advantage of the very citizens they claim to protect. Witness the seniors who depend greatly on Medicare (government-run health insurance) that were goaded by Isakson’s right-winger base to fight against government-run health care. They are weak because time and time again they have lead us to failed economic policies here in Georgia and in this nation.

Senator Isakson’s principles gave us severe tax cuts and bailouts for corporations and they promptly sent our jobs overseas. Failure. His principles called for smaller government yet we watched the largest expansion of government on his watch. Failure. His principles called for strong national defense but we are now fighting two wars that are costing us up to $50 billion a month and we aren’t clear as to whether either war will make us safer. These are the unwelcomed by-products of working to divide and benefit the privileged few over bringing people together to meet real problems with real solutions.

When I was a teen, my church gave me the great opportunity to serve as a summer missionary in the poorest regions of Jamaica. I traveled with an interdenominational team and together we taught Sunday School, helped repair churches, and sang great songs of the Christian faith. We were of different religions and races, but on that trip we were united and it worked. Had we succumbed to petty fights and lost sight of our larger goal, I doubt we would have been able to return home successful. Senator Isakson has declared he will fight against health care reform “every single day.” It is a new day for working Georgians, the frustrated middle class, and the unemployed. United, we declare to Senator Isakson that we are ready to fight against his politics of weakness and failure - every single day. Compassion is strength. Striving for fairness and equality will lead to success.

RJ Hadley - U.S. Senate Candidate 2010

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