Ignore Ignorance

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Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

No Pain, No Shame

Posted by Brandon McKoy on March 30, 2010

I agree, No Pubic Option!

When it comes to health care reform more than enough has been said about the legislation and it’s effect on the country. There are those who welcome many of the changes with open arms. I for one will directly benefit from the new law preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. I am certainly not alone in this considering that insurance companies seemed intent on eventually listing “mammal” as a pre-existing condition. Since this is just one of many benefits that are soon to take effect, you’d think there would be a whole lot of happy people out there.

Considering just how many people will gain from these benefits, the size and degree of right-wing backlash is not surprising, but peculiar nonetheless. They too will benefit from health care reform, it’s not as if President Obama signed the bill and proclaimed it to be effective only for liberals and progressives. I would like to say that it is mostly the extreme portion of the right-wing that is so upset about this, but that simply isn’t the case. The GOP and the Tea Party Patriots are lockstep in their disapproval over health care legislation. Many Tea Partiers have, in expression of their growing anger, become quite violent in their rhetoric and actions. Individuals have vandalized the offices of Democratic representatives, posted the address of a representative (which in actuality was the rep’s brother….someone cut his gas line), wished cancer upon Bart Stupak, and threatened to assassinate the children of those who voted for reform. While all of this was happening, Republican representatives both downplayed and stoked the fiery anger of their constituents. On the day the health bill passed the Senate for the first time Republican representatives stepped out onto a balcony to show their support for the crowd of protesters. The previous day several of these same protesters participated in behavior that has not been seen since days that this country would like to forget. “Nigger” was yelled at Civil Rights icon John Lewis. “Faggot” was yelled at Barney Frank. Emanuel Cleaver was spit on (a claim which was initially questioned by many on the right). Stay classy Tea Partiers.

Enough people have already pointed out the obvious; such behavior is despicable and immature, the silence on behalf of GOP Representatives is deafening, and the last time such hatred and anger occurred Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City FBI building, killing 168 people. It is clear that we are now in dangerous territory. Like I said though, I can’t square just why there is so much anger. Certainly a portion of it comes from the fact that President Obama is a black man (to deny this is simply disingenuous and intellectually dishonest), but it doesn’t explain the majority of it. People who oppose this bill do so because they feel it is unconstitutional and encroaches on their personal liberties. The idea of the government forcing them to purchase insurance is infuriating.

I don’t mean to be prejudiced, but hearing conservative whites (I can count the number of conservative minorities I’ve seen protesting on one finger, so yes, whites) express anger over having to purchase health insurance is mind boggling to me. All my life, from casual conversations to college courses, I’ve heard conservatives complain about the poor and minorities leaching on the system. They strongly disapprove of the government giving the less fortunate “handouts,” believing it only makes people more complacent when it comes to “getting a real job,” “growing up,” etc. Well, what do these protesters think will happen when they get sick and don’t have insurance? For those who have insurance and are angry because they believe they will be forced to change their coverage, there’s nothing I can say to that; such thinking lies purely in a deep-seeded distrust of anything the government says or does. For those who do not have insurance and are angry about being forced to purchase it, there is a really serious case of cognitive dissonance at work.

Everyone gets sick. It’s a fact. If you happen to make it throughout life without contracting any serious illness, becoming involved in an unfortunate accident, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you can consider yourself a member of an extremely exclusive club. Congratulations, wear that members only jacket with pride. However, if you’re a member of the much, much, much larger club of people who will get sick at some point in their lifetime, what do you expect will happen when the time comes for you to receive medical care? Are you just going to show up to the hospital without insurance and expect to be treated? If so, you will either become a financial burden on the state or get hammered by an avalanche of costs. In the latter scenario your life is thrown into chaos and all but ruined. You could lose your home, be forced to work multiple jobs, and lose the right to pursue the happiness that the Declaration of Independence proclaims you to have. In the former scenario, you become a leach, the very thing that you have hated all these years. So why are people protesting against something that will help them and their country?

When Frank Rich writes that much of this right-wing rage is not about health care, he’s 100% correct. There are those who have legitimate issues with this President and his administration. The health reform bill certainly has its flaws and is no where near a perfect bill. However, health care legislation is not the beginning of Orwellian rule. It simply isn’t. To say so and believe such is ignorant. Even more disturbing is when members of the right have become increasingly violent and their leaders do not feel it necessary to take control and tamp down out of control emotions. Leaders want to be taken seriously and legitimately, to not be associated with the extreme wing of their party, and simultaneously urge the extremists to continue what they’re doing. They get mad when liberals accuse them of guilt by association – an idea they should be completely familiar with considering that right wingers believed Barack Obama was “paling around with terrorists” simply because he had met Bill Ayers.

I am disappointed and disturbed by the dissonant anger, but I can’t say I’m surprised. Not when John McCain makes a concession speech pledging to work with this President on the tough issues of the day, then sixteen months later states that there will be no more cooperation for the rest of the year (when there was no cooperation to begin with). Not when 24% of Republicans believe that President Obama is the anti-Christ and the anti-Christ is supposed to be the last person one suspects (in this case, Sarah Palin, anyone?). I especially can’t be surprised by this dissonance when there are Tea Partiers who are unemployed and have no problem receiving unemployment benefits from the government as they protest taxes. Facts mean nothing, opinion means everything.

I mentioned these issues with a conservative friend of mine the other day and he simply told me I was wrong. He didn’t have a reason why, he cited no statistics or reasons, he simply said I was wrong. There used to be a time when facts meant something, now people dismiss anything they don’t agree with. I don’t know which is more of a threat, this country’s financial crisis or it’s ignoramus outbreak, but both need to be fixed. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late former Senator from New York, once said, “You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.” I fear that time has passed, for reality is no longer influenced by perception, it is fully displaced by it.
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Listening to: Santana – Evil Ways
via FoxyTunes

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