Health care has completely exhausted me. It has been a rough year following this thing and I am glad to see the back of it.
My main problem is that I don’t understand what causes the hatred. I am always in search of an explanation, but never find anything remotely satisfying. How could you become so passionate about denying poor people health care? I often read conservative blogs looking for reasons. Part of me remains convinced that there have to be rational reasons. It simply cannot be all about ignorance selfishness and hatred. We are all people after all, and most people I meet are nice enough, conservatives and liberals alike. It just doesn’t make sense.
I understand that it is not in our nature to let people sponge off us. I don’t want my tax money going to some lazy slob. But I also don’t want to deny those in genuine need, just so the odd lazy slob won’t get a free lunch. So I don’t buy this as an argument. People should help each other out if they are in need. I think we all agree on this? It is unfortunate government bureaucracy has to be in-between the helper and the helpee, but relying on the generosity of individuals is too arbitrary and undependable.
Racism seems like a good explanation for a lot of what is going on, but it doesn’t explain why Republicans were so intent on delegitimizing Clinton when he tried to enact social reform. So that doesn’t work for me either.
Fiscal responsibility only seems to matter to Republicans when there is a chance the money in question will go toward helping poor people. If it is corporate welfare, tax breaks for the rich or military spending, different republicans, depending on their individual concerns, don’t seem to mind how much is spent. So I don’t buy this as a reason.
Then there are the Ayn Rand libertarian Republicans. I understand this mindset very well I think. I found her philosophy captivating and can see how anyone who has fully understood her work would have a very genuine fear of socialism. I think the fear is justified. But Objectivism is still an ideology and slavish adherence to its tenets is as dangerous as blind faith in any ideology. Does not freedom require freedom from dogma? Can’t an educated people take what works from this ideology and put it to use, whilst ignoring its more unfortunate consequences. Leaving the poor out in the cold to starve would be the one that immediately springs to mind. So no, I don’t really get this.
There is the religious right with all of its pet peeves, the intolerance toward homosexuality, which is utterly preposterous and changing fast. Its pro-life activists who call for the death of doctors. It’s all just too depressing to contemplate.
Anti-intellectualism seems to play a large part in the Republican mindset, either from the less educated rank and file, who feel, perhaps rightly, that they are being condescended to by “liberal elites” (whatever they are), and the cynical leaders who exploit this defensiveness and turn it into hatred with their vitriolic nonsensical rants. See Limbaugh, et al. There is not much rational fodder to chew on in this ugly mess.
This is a whole lot of something and a whole lot of nothing and none if it can explain to me why so many people are so outraged that a rational, pragmatic, right-of-center politician like Obama passed a bill which, admittedly, doesn’t do a whole lot to help with the deficit, but allows citizens in the richest country in the world to have access to basic health care. I should be happy it passed, but all I can think about is all this hatred and how frustrated I am that no matter how much I think about it I cannot for the life of me understand it. It is ugly, it is depressing and I fear it will lead to something even worse.
The only solution I can think of – don’t look at the media. And I am not going to for a while.