Just because you might lose a vote or debate is no reason to remain silent. Lead.

I have heard a great deal about those who want to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) but I have not seen any of them draft and submit the legislation to fix and expand it. Just because the republicans have the majority does not mean that you cannot and should not be drafting and submitting legislation, having it scored, and showing it to the people that you represent. Leadership is not what we do when we know we can’t lose, it is the integrity by which we stand for, speak for, and defend what matters even when a loss appears certain. Just because you might lose a vote or debate is no reason to remain silent, not when innocent lives are at stake.

How can one consider themselves a liberal and not seek to expand healthcare for all individuals, and how can one consider themselves a conservative, if health is not the most fundamental right that they defend? Providing for roads, borders and a military is important, but if you are sick, dying, and possibly bankrupt their importance is slightly diminished. The quality of a person’s healthcare should not be dependent upon the generosity of the state that live in, the luck to not have a pre-existing condition, or the wealth of the family they are born into. If we cannot agree that having quality healthcare is fundamental to freedom and the pursuit of happiness, then what are the principles that unite us, and what are they worth? Our system of law and governance too often creates winners of the few and losers of the many, and right now to lose can also equal death.

Stop letting strategy override your integrity. Stop waiting for the “other guy” to make mistakes and lead. Come together, create your best policies, lock the door and don’t come out until you arrive at agreements, or you may very well be replaced by those who are willing to.

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