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Where Many Horrors Abound

the health care protests

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 12, 2009.

The national debate on health care and specifically the legislation to make it better, long overdue, has predictably provoked the two main elements of the Republican Party: the goobers, who don’t understand any of it and just want to vent against an African American president, and the upper reaches of a wannabe aristocracy based upon inherited or married wealth, who may only coincidently understand the issues and are only interested in saying what is necessary to have their flacks and mouthpieces re-elected to power.

Willing ignorance is contagious, and it caught the gimlet eye of the media, always looking for the easy way out. Television loves disrupted debates with supposedly spontaneously angry voters, because it’s something tangible with video and sound bytes and it allows them to technically ‘cover’ the issue without knowing anything about it. They just wander from one person to another to get their opinions and sign off. As a result, genuine liars and idiots are used to provide balance to the informed spokesman who can rather easily demolish the stupidities offered, sheathed in fear and fabrication, delivered in the cracking voice of the heartbroken.

I don’t think there’s much doubt that these supposed outbursts are really contrived, unburdened by fact, and mere tantrums against an African American President and an administration that can be portrayed as far more deviant from the norm than it is to the plantlife, giggling at photoshopped images of Obama as a witch doctor. That’s the common thread between those trying to prove Obama is not an American citizen and ineligible for the Presidency and those claiming he’s a Nazi and those claiming he’s a Leninist. The right wing media often, not always, knows those accusations are mutually exclusive, but doesn’t care since in tandem they bring out the idiot mob, which is the goal. They want to imply a revolution against a supposed usurpation of deserved white supremacy and a return to the supposed values that made America great, which they mostly fail to exhibit themselves. Which is to say, ignorance and stupidity are the common thread linking together the conservative positions at present, made possible by canting hypocrisy.

President Obama was in New Hampshire earlier this week, a state known for being composed entirely of idiosyncratic voters who tend to vote conservative, mostly out of habit and respect for tradition. Things went well. But this Saturday, he comes to Colorado. He’ll be holding a health care town hall in Grand Junction, a bright red dot in an increasingly purple-leaning-to-blue state.

Having called him Hitler and Mao and Stalin, and having the last Republican vice presidential candidate suggest his proposed program would want to kill her mentally handicapped infant, you can’t be blamed for wondering what the next level of protest will be. People my age know, and right off, I have a bad feeling about Obama in Grand Junction during this national period of trickle down outrage, based on nothing but suspicion. There are too many gun nuts about, and for better or worse, Obama is the primary face on virtually all the legislation the Democrats have more or less put together. I hope everyone is alert beyond the norm for a few days.

The health care debate is unsurprisingly complicated, but it wouldn’t hurt the protesters to learn that Medicare is a government originated and government run program. Thus, screaming and waving a sign saying “Keep government bureaucrats away from my Medicare” is pretty stupid, and that’s putting the best face on it. So is suggesting that Stephen Hawking would have been consigned to same debris pile as the Palin child, as did the Investor’s Business Daily. This publication said Obama’s proposal borrows too much from the UK, where supposedly medical costs are controlled by budget rationing and horrors abound. I quote from that august publication: “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the UK, where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."

This remarkable statement prompted a response from Stephen Hawking, who was born in England and lived there his entire life subject to these supposed medical horrors. Regarding his particular health care, Hawking has said "I wouldn't be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived." Would that have been true in the United States in that same time period had Hawking lived here? Given that medical costs are controlled by budget rationing in Insurance companies, and many, many horrors abound?