By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the video of the audience at the CNN Tea Party / Republican debate cheering for the death of a hypothetical, uninsured sick man. For those of you who haven’t, here it is (unedited, of course):
Of course, not everyone found their reaction as ghoulish as I did:
Uncouth? Give me a break. Cheering for death is not uncouth. It is evil and morally wrong. It is also anti-human and anti-life. Dan… I don’t care how much those people in the audience donated to charity, if they are able to cheer for death, they are monsters. Period.
I’m fairly certain that I’m not in the minority when I say that watching that clip makes me sick to my stomach. And, for me, it’s not just the bloodthirsty audience. Ron Paul’s response was absolutely terrifying. What he said was heartless, selfish, irrational, and unrealistic. The United States of America is the ONLY developed nation that does not have universal healthcare. Not only does it make sense morally to implement universal healthcare, it also makes sense fiscally to implement it as well. Just look at the difference in per capita spending on healthcare between America and any other developed nation (who all happen to have universal healthcare).
This is why I stopped being a libertarian. This is why I stopped believing in Austrian, laissez-faire economic policies. They are unrealistic and immoral. No, Ron Paul, churches and charities can not and should not have to take care of people’s health. That should be the job of the government as it can do it more efficiently and humanely than the current system, the not-very-clear system Republicans are pushing for, or your backwards system. The thing is, Austrian economics sound great on paper or in all of those free market best sellers, but they don’t actually align with reality. All people make bad decisions. Your models are based on assumptions about society that are completely and utterly untrue. If all the people in the world acted like those Objectivist business-people in Ayn Rand’s Galt’s Gulch, then you’d have a damn good point. The thing is, very few people actually act that way. And most of them are sociopaths! I think Ezra Klein sums up my feelings pretty well in his post, Why Libertarianism Fails in Health Care:
“We are a decent society, and we do not want to look in people’s pockets for an insurance card when they fall to the floor with chest pains. If we’re not going to look in their pockets, however, we need some answer for who pays when they wake up — or, God forbid, after they stop breathing — in the hospital. And though it sounds nice to say that charities will pick up the slack, any hospital system in America will tell you that even with Medicare and Medicaid assuming much of the burden for the most intractable and expensive cases, charities are not capable of or interested in fully compensating the medical system for the services needed by the un- or underinsured.”
America… let’s take a step out of the dark ages and into the age of enlightenment. We need universal healthcare. Obamacare is not enough. It’s a start, but it’s nowhere near as life changing as anything in Europe. Progressives, we are the true defenders of life. We can do this. We were close until the Tea Party showed up. They rose to prominence because there was a power void in the political arena due to our complacency. Obama won and we got lazy. We’re the ones defending human rights. We’re defending those who need help. They are defending millionaires. Our passion should crush that of the Tea Party. We can bring about true equality. True human decency. We can fight the selfish ways of the right. If we don’t, the lower rungs of our great society will continue to be ignored and crushed even further down. Let’s not let that happen.