When we think something’s important enough, there’s no such thing as too hard, not in America.
If we thought public education was important enough, we would make every school a palace, every teacher the highest-paid superstar in his or her community, and it all would be absolutely free to every child who wanted to learn. If we thought it was important enough.
If we thought universal health care was important enough, we would make every doctor a federal employee, cut the insurance companies out of business and build hospitals that could serve every person for every illness imaginable, for absolutely no cost to them. If we thought it was important enough.
If we thought rebuilding New Orleans was important enough, we would make the Gulf Coast a second New Deal and mobilize the nation behind the idea that we take care of one another in America, that we show the world of which we’re so afraid right now what they truly have to fear from us. Our endless determination to rebuild and rebuild and rebuild until nothing can knock us down ever again. If we thought it was important enough.
We wouldn’t talk, as we do now, about New Orleans deserving what it got because its people are poor. We wouldn’t talk, as we do now, about health care being a waste of money because people make themselves sick with poor behavior and choices. We wouldn’t talk, as we do now, about public education not needing money “thrown at” the problem because some kids just don’t want to learn.
We’d move. We’d mobilize. We’d find the money, even if it cost, as the war in Iraq does, thousands of dollars a minute.
We’d do what needed to be done to solve the problem, if we thought it was important enough.