I love coffee!
And clearly I’ve had a wee bit too much of it.
As I mentioned in my previous post, speaking truth to power is important and finding the balance between a successful engagement and a media circus can be challenging. Another challenge is that those in power…those folks who can pass progressive policy or shit the bed…well, some of them are cowards who fear the masses.
For example, leaders in the Missouri General Assembly worked their asses off to derail Medicaid expansion this session. They talked a big game to the press and gleefully engaged in public displays of callous disregard for months.
When thousands of Missourians showed up to lobby the issue, the GOP caucus fled the scene.
They left the Capitol and met offsite, presumably to discuss how annoying it is when Missourians show up to ask them what the hell they are doing.
Now, I’ve lobbied for years on a lot of different issues. And I’ve always been impressed with legislators who took meetings, listened to my concerns, and then explained why they disagreed and planned to vote the wrong way.
The way I see it, if you can’t look the people in the eye and listen to them then you don’t belong in public office.
Oh, I also understand the fear.
I get it, for real.
When you don’t have a good argument for doing something, the last thing you want to do is be confronted by thousands of people asking why the hell your ass is blocking Medicaid expansion.
Still, it was a shocking display of tuck tail and run.
Anyhoo, the people will not be ignored.
Cue Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones and his magical fantastical listening, but not to you, tour of 2013. Missourians have been following Speaker Jones all over the state in an attempt to get him to listen to them about Medicaid Expansion. By the time the tour reached Eureka, Speaker Jones was so moved that he closed an open meeting.
But speaking truth to power can also get generate progress.
Speaker Jones recently announced that he will appoint a special commission to study Medicaid expansion.
That brings me back to the balance between a successful engagement and a media circus.
One person’s action is so often another person’s circus.
Just ask Speaker Jones.
All I know is that as long as those in power continue to tuck tail and run, they can expect the people to follow and speak their truth.
A fluff of the Afro to Missouri Medicaid expansion activists – let’s do this!