Newtown, CT – December 21, 2012
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore", Howard Beale (Peter Finch), Network, 1976.
In his iconic role, Peter Finch expresses the deep frustration of the American public faced by a series of problems, and at a seeming loss for answers. And while he doesn't pretend to have the answers, Peter's character exhorts ordinary citizens to rise up in anger and to refuse to accept the status quo. Getting things to change, he implies, means that we must stop accepting them as they are. That message might seem incongruous given the celebration of Christmas next week, but it isn't. For those of us who are Christians, we will commemorate the birth of Jesus and remember his exhortation that we should love our neighbors and care for them as we care for ourselves. That exhortation, however, is not a passive one in which we simply sit around and try not to hurt anyone's feelings. No, it's an exhortation to take action, to actively seek out those in need and help them, to fight for our neighbors, to fight for the truth, to fight for light to prevail over darkness and life over death. And to fight, we must first get mad. As mad as hell.
What this means to you – We should be as mad as hell that the US has an excedent of tens of thousands of preventable health care deaths compared to the next country. We should be as mad as hell that ordinary families are being impoverished by unaffordable health insurance premiums caused by egregious increases in health care prices. We should be as mad as hell that politicians in Washington seem unwilling to implement the simplest solutions to solve our fiscal problems. And we should be as mad as hell that children are slaughtered in schools. And as the anger grows, so should the determination to reject the status quo, and to fight for what is right. We can do better on all these fronts. And it starts very simply by not encouraging anyone to do wrong by not giving them the means to commit, or the rewards from committing, those wrongful actions. We know that change can and will come when a committed citizenry puts the needs of all in front of the needs of the few. In fact, that's the only time when positive change spreads. Good comes from fighting evil, from turning on lights where there is darkness, from choosing a culture of life over a culture of death. So listen to these exhortations, get as mad as hell, reject the status quo, and take on the good fight to care for your neighbors as you care for yourself and your family, for there is no better Christmas celebration or present that you can offer your children and the country. Pax vobis.
Francois de Brantes
Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute, Inc.