For the past eight years, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provided an apparently acceptable target for the expression of racist hatred. Now that we can no longer depend on President Barack Obama to veto our senseless “repeals,” what can we do to begin to repair the damage done to our society?
Mr. Obama did not coin the name Obamacare. He did not speak often or ever of his “legacy.” Patient and focused, he succeeded where others could not in 100 years of trying. We could have by now tweaked and strengthened the ACA, which is the way laws get made in a democracy, but we have allowed the racist hatred of a few people to weaken it and poison the atmosphere in which any such law has to work.
Many of us see Mr. Obama as one who sought peace. Against all odds, he opened doors of acceptance and cooperation that we may still be able to walk through. If his successor can bring his own vision of greatness to build on what has been done, and marshal the energies of those who feel left out and disrespected – well, why don’t we at least try?