Saturday, October 03, 2009

It's not actually ABOUT Healthcare

I was having a few beers with a buddy the other night, and he made
a statement that kind of surprised me: "I just don't understand all
the acrimony and passion over this Healthcare debate!" he said; "Why
is just about everyone I talk to all up in arms about it?"

I think his perspective -- he's a medical professional, by the way --
is that Healthcare should excite about as much passion as filling out
a job application or changing you oil; he views it as a technical,
procedural matter, I think, and not so much a political time-bomb...

Well of course all I had to do was bring up the subject of Costs, and
soon he was just as passionate as everyone else; he's a very smart guy,
so I think what he really meant was that he hasn't had much time to
think about the topic...

But that got me thinking, and I realized something this week that I
probably knew but never considered directly:

This "Healthcare debate" isn't primarily ABOUT Healthcare.

It's REALLY about these issues, in my opinion and from everything I've
heard or seen or read on the matter in the past 4 weeks:

1. For better or for worse, Obama is THE MAN for an entire generation
of Young voters and for much of the previous generation of Liberals who
have been licking their wounds ever since Reagan kicked Carter's arse in
the 1980 elections; Reagan was their nemesis, elder Bush was a weaker
but similar "threat", Clinton wasn't as radical as they had hoped and
so they didn't get no satisfaction on his watch, and the younger Bush
gave them plenty of fodder for their political cannons... So NOW they
have THEIR guy (sort of an "anti-Reagan"), and they'll be DAMNED if they
aren't going to milk this thing for all it's worth... Obama can do no
wrong, in their eyes, and whether Obamacare makes SENSE or not, whether
it will CRUSH competition or not, whether it represent GROSS government
intrusion into -- infringement on, usurpation of -- personal Freedoms,
or whether it will lead to FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON, they don't care,
because Obama can do no wrong. Hence my "Obama-zombie" moniker for them.

2. There has rarely been such a clear, obvious, omnipresent Expose of
the fundamental difference between Liberal and Conservative
ideology than what we've seen played out in this country since January 20.
At its very core, the Liberal mind believes GOVERNMENT can and should take
care of virtually ANY need (and many wants) of the Citizen that it can possibly
touch, and of course "control" must be gained to do so, and dissenters must
be first ostracized and then penalized. The Conservative mind says that LESS
government is better, Citizens must do as much FOR THEMSELVES as possible,
FREEDOM (even FROM government!) is worth DYING for, and that the government
answers to the CITIZEN, not the other way around. Healthcare is perhaps the
single biggest front on which these two ideologies go head-to-head, right out
in the streets, citizen-to-citizen... Liberals think Conservatives are cold
and have no compassion, Conservatives think Liberals lack common sense and
have their heads in the sand... But THAT is why the debate rages on.

Perhaps nobody said it better than political satirist P.J. O'Rourke:
Giving money and power to Government is like giving whiskey and car keys
to teenage boys.

Amen brother.

No comments: