Game Changers 2020 Essay Series: Go Big, Be Bold, and Do Good

Go Big, Be Bold, and Do Good

Eric Swalwell, Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

We can only be game changers when we accept the responsibility to go big, be bold, and do good, because we’ve already let the clock run down on too many pressing issues.

We’re still arguing about whether every American deserves a health care guarantee, as practically every other industrialized nation on earth has already recognized that human health and lives aren’t commodities.

We’re still arguing about whether climate change is real, as our icecaps melt, our weather patterns become less stable, and projections of planetary doom darken.

We’re still arguing about whether a constitutionally protected right to bear arms is inconvenienced by common-sense regulations like background checks and assault-weapon bans, as our families live in fear of being mowed down in our schools, churches, synagogues, theaters and malls.

Too many lives hang in the balance, too heavy a toll for incrementalism. Our founding fathers designed a government that encourages compromise, but never intended partisan bickering to become a national suicide pact.

We must pursue a Medicare For All health care guarantee. If you’re sick, you must be seen; if you’re seen, you won’t go broke.

So we must go big.

No American family should ever fret over whether  an injury or illness will bankrupt them,  or ever be forced to choose whether to eat dinner or buy medicine.

This isn’t radical – it’s a basic human standard.

Harness our Unparalleled  Innovative Spirit 

And we must bring our best minds and technology to bear on curing diseases, significantly increasing funding for the National Institute if Health, and giving them long-term budget certainty. If we can put a probe on Mars, or put online orders on your orders on your doorstep within hours, surely we can harness our unparalleled innovative spirit to prolong and better our lives while creating thousands of jobs in the life sciences.

We must invest more in greening our grid, push toward completely renewable energy, and resume our place as a world leader against climate change, lest our children’s cities be flooded and their field s ravaged. Our planet’s warming shouldn’t be the start of an argument, it should be the start of a work  day: We can put a lot of Americans to work immediately at good-paying jobs in renewable energy and energy conservation.

We must put the right to come home alive above all other rights, and that includes removing military-style, semi-automatic assault weapons from our communities once and for all with a ban and a mandatory nationwide buyback. These weapons of war simply have no place on our streets.

In each of these areas, the investment required now pales beside the lives saved over time. This is the ethical core of good government: an obligation to bring about good, reduce harm, and foster justice with long-term planning to keep our nation thriving for decades to come.

Our guiding principle must be that going big and being bold now means doing good for future  generations, guaranteeing our children the freedom to dream of and achieve better lives. We must act decisively now as custodians of our nation’s future.

August 2, 2019