Just got around to actually reading former Governor John Kitzhaber's statement on his decision not to run for governor this year, but press his call for health care reform in other ways.
The whole thing is worth your attention, but these two paragraphs called out for a repost:
... our politics today have become largely transactional – “lower my taxes and I will vote for you;” “give me prescription drug coverage and I will vote for you.” And it works the other way around as well – “vote for me and I will cut your taxes;” “vote for me and I will fund schools first.” The problem is that these transactions are all about “me” – and have nothing to do with “us.” They are all about what I can get, not what I can give. They neither foster a sense of the larger public interest; nor do they do advance the common good.
And the fact is that we cannot solve the crisis in our health care system – or in our school system or in our economy or our environment – through this kind of transactional politics because they erode any sense of common purpose and foster the belief that if we can just elect a new governor; a different legislature or a different congress – all our problems will be taken care of. And that is simply not true.
A really re-activated Kitzhaber could have an effect on Oregon policy and politics beyond health care; the points he makes reach there, but also much further.