Once upon a time, when I was very young, we observed what was then known as Armistice Day — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — the minute, day, and month that saw the end of one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history: World War I.
Gradually it lost its original meaning as memories of that deplorable struggle slowly faded away. One by one, survivors of that war like my dad passed on, to be replaced by those of us who fought in a second great war, and Armistice Day morphed into what it is now, Veteran's Day, celebrating the memories of all those Americans who died while wearing the uniforms of their country in all our past wars.
We honored them with parades and monuments or simple gravestones.
This accursed year instead of honoring our war dead as Nov. 11 approached, a majority of the members of the United States House of Representatives — 220 of them — spat on their graves by voting to pass a putrid piece of legislation heralded as a measure to improve the nation's healthcare but which in effect marked the beginning of the end of the United States they fought and died to protect.
On Saturday night, a majority of the members of the House voted to enact into law a measure that takes one-sixth of our economy, the nation's healthcare system, out of the hands of individual Americans and medical professionals and puts it into the hands of a government now presided over by a power-crazed president and hordes of unelected bureaucrats.
This is more than inexcusable. It is a crass betrayal of the voters who sent these people to Congress, the majority of whom opposed passage of this so-called healthcare reform. Fully 220 members of Congress simply ignored their wishes and voted to fasten this yoke around the necks of their constituents.
Most knew that this vote would inflict serious damage on what has been the finest system of healthcare in the world. No matter what goodies they were promised for betraying the people who sent them to Congress, they will soon learn that turning their backs on them wasn't worth it.
Benedict Arnold would have been proud of them. Their constituents won't be.
The bill is not yet law. It has to get through the Senate and there is reason to believe it won't survive the process of reconciliation with the House-passed measure.
Should that prove to be the case, we will have witnessed the greatest example of mass political hari kari in the history of Congress as dozens of members of Congress are sent packing by angry voters next year.
I can't wait.
Phil Brennan writes for Newsmax.com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://www.pvbr.com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s. He is a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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