The Debate That Is Not A Debate
Perfect time for a spirited debate about health care!
Except, the debate has been rigged. Public opinion against the public option is a paper tiger, yet it’s a paper tiger that we’ve been led to believe has real teeth and an angry roar. We believe this because we’re at least a little bit stupid, and because the media has approximately zero interest in doing its job.
The debate isn’t a debate.
It could be. You wanted to, you could make some points against the public option, against aspects of the health care reform. I might not agree with you, but it’s not a side devoid of very real talking points.
Not that you’re going to hear those talking points, mind.
Nah, what you’re going to hear is some mumbly hollered bullshit about Obama being Hitler. What you’re going to see are people with guns standing outside health care debates. What you’re going to sense is that people are really angry about this, that there grows a mob mentality, a rising surge of revolution against our government’s meddling.
It’s half-true. Here’s the trick:
The protesters? The gun nuts? The sign holders?
It’s a ruse. We’re being fooled.
These people have been riled up by special interest groups. Some of these people have been hired by special interest groups. They have received their talking points. They have their goddamn posters and signs made for them.
The smoke-and-mirrors tricks us into believing that these are average red-blooded Americans brimming with indignant fury, exhibiting their right to free speech. And we think, “Shit, if these people are so worked up, maybe I need to be worked up, too. Maybe the mob is right. Maybe I should join the mob.”
But the mob is a lie. It’s the Pied Piper leading us dummies astray with propaganda rather than a pennywhistle. The sad part is, the mob will soon become true, because enough of this country’s soft-headed tard-carts are hopping aboard the Shithead Express with tickets in hand.
So, in a scattershot, “paint-with-shotgun” way, let me tackle some of the problems as I see ‘em.
First, guys with guns? Back the fuck off. Listen, I’m relatively pro-gun. You’ll be hard pressed to convince me to go otherwise. I have stipulations, but that’s a chat for another day. The thing here is, don’t ruin it for the rest of us. If you prove that you can’t be trusted with your toys, those toys will be taken away, and out of “fairness,” they’re going to be taken away from me, too. So, quit that shit. Point the guns at an angry bear. Don’t bring them to political rallies or town-hall meetings, because that’s the next door neighbor to terroristic threats. Don’t agree? Just today, what’s the headline? Threats of violence from the Taliban keep the voting turnout low in Afghanistan.
Second, Hitler? Hitler. Hitler?! Really? Comparing Obama to Hitler is easily, handily, totally the most ludicrous goddamn notion this side of a faked moon landing. Actually, it’s worse. You’d be smarter thinking that you can eat dog shit for dinner and poop out pennies. I don’t even want to refute it, because then I feel like I’m somehow giving the argument credence. Just know this: if you’re out there, and you’re comparing Obama to Hitler, you’re a giant stupid person incapable of outsmarting a trilobite. What’s awesome is, you probably don’t know what a “trilobite” even is. “I’m no dang book learner! Using your fancy Nazi-talk! You’re a dang wizard! A homo Jew wizard!” Way to go, dipshit.
Third, listen, I like that America always has a little revolution in its belly. That’s nice. It’s also not really true. We’re not revolutionaries. We’re lazy thinkers. Don’t believe me? We were told over the last eight years that everything was above board. Torture, war, terrorist threats, wire-tapping — thumbs-up! A wave of the hand, pshaw! It’s all good, America. And we nod, humbly and numbly and dumbly. Government has never been bigger. We’re now being told that there’s gonna be old people and retarded children put to death, that government is going to murder your doctor in the night, that a Secret Council of Nazi Otters are going to preside over your health care (“Kill him for his oysters and clams! The human has our food! All hail Herr Doktor Obama!”), and we let our jaws drop and we’re totally floored that this is the truth. It’s not the truth. Just like the “Obama’s raising our taxes!” (he didn’t, and hasn’t; Reagan taxed us harder, and he’s rightfully a Republican saint) gained traction. Because we as a nation refuse to examine things that are told to us. We’re ignorant and happy to be that way. We’re not revolutionaries. We’re the sheep, not the shepherds.
Fourth, it’s all lies, lies, lies. No death panels. No limiting health care. No raising your taxes. No restrictions of vital tests. Be a think-for-yourselfer. Do a teeny tiny itty bitty bit of research. Take like, five minutes. Just five. Go. I’ll wait. You’ll see.
Fifth, “blah blah blah, I don’t want the government getting its hands in my pie.” Cool. If you’re okay with it, then, I’m going to just start erasing some things off the blackboard, hold on a minute: social security, Medicare, the military, schools, roads, clean water standards, clean air standards — shit, the list keeps going. As it turns out, the government does a lot for us. Oops. Guess it’s time to have Sunoco sponsor our roads! Coca-Cola can handle our water supply — they do a pretty good job of keeping China’s water clean. Wait, wuzza? They don’t?
Sixth, you’re not standing up for the American people — and most certainly not for yourself — in opposing health care reform and the public option. You’re standing up for the insurance companies. Christ, you’re not even standing up for capitalism. The system we have in place is not capitalism. Competition is null and void. The health care industry is not driven by the meritocracy. It’s a massive machine hidden by obfuscating clouds, and it works to limit competition, because competition would mean that it needs to get its shit together and actually control costs. A public option (key word, dillholes: option) creates automatic competition. It forces the entire health care industry to stand up straight, dust off its pants, try to look presentable and smile.
One final point:
My father didn’t have health insurance at the time he was diagnosed with cancer, and he didn’t have health insurance not because he was poor — he wasn’t — but because he had a preexisting condition (high blood pressure). His rates either would’ve been so high that he would become poor, or they would deny him coverage outright because of a condition experienced by a majority of Americans.
This is the truth. The real, honest truth.
If my father had insurance, he would still be alive.
Chew on that for a second.
We like to imagine that what we’re doing here is standing up for the working class, that we’re only keeping health care out of the lazy welfare moms and homeless lunatics and whatever, but that’s not at all what’s happening. (Though, I’ll ask you: why is it, exactly, that you don’t want homeless people to have access to health care? Are you just a dick? “Nah, let Pee Beard over there itch his sores in seclusion. I love to hate people!”) We’re keeping health care out of the hands of everybody. Guy gets laid off? Lady retires? Woman gets divorced or her husband dies? Sorry. No health care for you! Ha-ha, suckers! Let’s high-five those altruistic insurance companies. They’re nice as cookies.
The irony is, one day, one of these health-careless people is going to contract some kind of Uber-Flu, some Donkey Pox that could’ve been handled had he the money to pay for a shot or if we had a health care system that put him into quarantine until he did or did not get better. But that won’t happen. The person won’t have the money, and so he’ll wander into the streets and subways and schools, and he’ll hack and cough his Donkey Pox spittle all over the place, and next thing we know, it’s Stephen King’s The Stand and I have to wade through a dark Lincoln Tunnel filled with bloated Donkey Pox corpses.
So, to conclude.
Do you think that Hitler is Obama, or Obama is Hitler, or somehow Nazis are involved? You’re a stupid fuckin’ dick.
Do you believe that death panels are going to rule the future government health care option (and that death panels don’t already exist in the forms of insurance companies that deny you coverage)? You’re a stupid fuckin’ dick.
Do you want to vote for the insurance companies over the American people? You’re a stupid fuckin’ dick.
I’ll stop short of calling you a dick if you disagree with the public option, because you might actually have a good reason as a genuine think-for-yourselfer. I maybe won’t agree, but at least we can sit down and have an actual debate. With, y’know, facts and stuff. It’ll be bananas!