Political Terrorism ~ A Troubling Analogy

No, I don’t think republican politicians are terrorists. I do believe, however, that they don’t realize their actions to resist progressive changes are tantamount to the same thing. 

July 8, 2012 — I usually don’t hesitate to share things on my Facebook page that resonate with me. But I thought better of it this morning. A post that compared current republican politicians to terrorists struck me as being over-the-top. I’m more used to seeing and hearing extreme rhetoric from the right. So I was bothered by this kind of thing coming from the left. Still, the rationale for the comparison was… well, troublingly sound. Mind you, I’m not making this argument myself, just throwing it out there for discussion. What follows is what my Facebook friend said.

“One of the more interesting questions is: What is the difference between crimes of omission and crimes of commission? Are there any? And if so, are they differences in degree or difference in kind? Is there any real difference between allowing people to die when you have the means of preventing their deaths at hand and killing them by your own hand?  If I know that you are going to die if you don’t get a certain medication and I have the money to buy that medication for you – and I don’t? Don’t I bear some responsibility for your death?

The GOP argument seems to be that it’s okay for us as individuals to save one another. That would be charity. But it’s not okay for society to do this as a matter of public policy. That, you see, would be socialism! Terrorists, republicans would say, are evil villains who kill innocent people in order to make a political point.  Republicans, however, call themselves compassionate conserv- atives who simply allow innocent people to die in order to make their political point. They don’t seem to notice that innocent people are dead, one way or the other.

We are the only developed nation that doesn’t practice socialism in its health care system. And if helping the sick and the dying with tax dollars is socialism, I say, let’s have socialism.”

Again, I’m not myself making the argument that current crop of republican politicians are terrorists. But wasn’t a health care concept involving an individual mandate to buy health insurance not first advanced by the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation?  Weren’t health care bills containing the individual mandate introduced and promoted in the Congress by republicans back in the 90’s as alternatives to the Clintons’ proposal for universal coverage?  http://healthcarereform.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004182

Why now are republicans so much against a health care plan for the nation that their own nominee-apparent for president, Mitt Romney, implemented in Massachusetts when he was governor there? Could it be that the sitting president, Barack Obama was in the White House when the republicans’ plan was finally passed (over their objections) and signed into law. Now, because it has a democrat president’s name associated with it, it’s suddenly socialism. Hmmmm?

Seems to me that republicans decided they didn’t like the idea of any kind of health care bill soon after President Obama was elected. Republican Senator Jim DeMint said, “If we’re able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him” http://crooksandliars.com/john-amato/scs-jim-demint-would-rather-bring-pain, and democrats are accusing republicans lately of seeking political gains over the good of the country. As evidence to support this, they point to McConnell’s quote from October 2010 in which he said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

No, I don’t think republican politicians are terrorists. I do believe, however, that they don’t realize their actions to resist progressive changes are tantamount to the same thing.

Recall that Congressional republicans held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage  last summer, threatening to impose fiscal catastrophe on all of us to achieve a specific (and unnecessary) policy goal. It was, to my mind, the worst thing an American major party has done, at least in terms of domestic politics, since the Civil War. Now they are gearing up to do the very same thing again http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/16/us/politics/gop-pledges-new-standoff-on-debt-limit.html. Now, if this isn’t terrorism, it’s terrorism-like. They might as well have held a gun to the president’s head last year.

With regard to “actual” life-and-death matters, republicans argue that America has the best health care system in the world. Never mind that 45,000 Americans die every year, according to a Harvard Medical School study, for lack of insurance coverage http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/17/us-usa-healthcare-deaths-idUSTRE58G6W520090917,  Never mind that the World Health Organization (WHO) ranks our system only 37th in the world behind, not only the whole list of European “socialist” countries, like France, the Netherlands and Nordic countries, but countries like Colombia, Chile and Saudi Arabia too. Our system does rank first in something though, it’s first in cost http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Health_Organization_ranking_of_health_systems.

Sure, for Americans and foreigners with money to spend, our system is great. For folks with premium insurance policies, it’s also pretty doggone good. Hey, on Medicare with an AARP supplement policy, I got a new knee last year and received excellent care from my surgeon, the hospital and the entire team of doctors and nurses. I got excellent physical therapy following the surgery too. I can now keep up with my great granddaughter on the playground (almost). The only cost to me was, and continues, to be the monthly premiums for my supplement. But I can afford it. For Americans who happen to be out of a job or working for minimum wage and without insurance, take a number and wait in emergency rooms while the cost for care grows at a rate of sixteen percent per year http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_the_United_States. You get no annual checkups and no preventive care unless you are a child on CHIPS or retired and on Medicare. This is the state of affairs that Obamacare is designed to correct.

When asked on Fox News recently what plans republicans in Congress have to cover the 30,000,000 uninsured people that Obamacare (which used to be their plan recall) will cover, Mitch McConnell gave the answer in this video.

Decide for yourself if republicans are acting in the best interests of average Americans, or whether they are just obstructing progress so that we can go back to good-ole-bad-ole days of deregulation and continue subsidies for big corporations and low taxes for the wealthy. Do they really want what’s best for America or are they convinced that their ends justify their means?

I think you know what I think, but I’m not calling anyone a terrorist. I am saying that any system that profits from deciding who gets care and who doesn’t is inherently evil.

Please don’t hesitate to post a comment in response to this, whether you agree with me or not.

Published in: on July 8, 2012 at 1:58 pm  Comments (3)  

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  1. Some people are so blinded by their own personal beliefs that they fail to even KNOW that what they are doing borders on terrorism. This is especially true  when you throw rigid, orthodoxy in religion of any kind into the mix, for they than have a ” supreme” being to back them up. One might have a ” moral” obligation to ” save one” if they are in imminent danger of Death or serious hurt of  some kind. beyond that, most religions teach us to “Mind our own business”. YES, they are willing to allow innocent people to die, if it makes them, in their opinion look as if they are following the dictates of their ” supreme being ” . that alone is justification. the United States is made up of US as in United States and THEM, is anybody who does not think like US, look like US and worship like US… Which means White,under Educated, and Probably totally Biblically oriented Christian. Many have roots in this country dating back to it’s beginnings And because THEY personally have not climbed the ladder of success to a level that they think they  deserve hate anyone of color be it black, Asian, Indian, jew ,Muslim, Mexican which for them covers  all Hispanics etc etc who HAS achieved the success that they feel they deserve due to their families longevity in this country as well. And the fact that they are WHITE believe in the Supreme being and who is this ” uppity”  person who has ” jumped to the head of the line” and taken what I, meaning US deserve. Healthcare is just one issue. Most people in general haven’t a clue what is in the bill.. They just listen for the “Dog whistle” and bark on command. Many of them are already benefitting from the affordable healthcare act, as well as Medicaid, subsidized housing and utility bills etc etc. BUT that is because WE deserve it and they don’t.  I have not named any particular religion, or party or group. I leave that for the reader to decide which one or ones it is.

  2. I’m a Republican and I spell both Republican and Democrats with caps.
    Nevertheess, I agree that the current health care system is a sham! As a Christian nation we must take care of the infirm regardless of their level of assets, current health situations, care or neglect or personal habits (weight, smoking, drug and alcohol abuse). Having spent my career in insurance and finance, I see that the health care system will not work under an insured plan. Those who are responsible will secure insurance and maintain it as a priority. Others will see that insurance is just a piece of paper, can’t taste it or smell it and will decline to pay that cost of their existence (after all, there are payments on the boat and motor home and that last vacation). Yet, when health disaster strikes, all must be cared for.

    Health protection will have to be socialized. I would advocate basic care, such as I experienced in the Navy 55 years ago. Those who wish for extra care and added comfort can have it if they can pay for it.

    Obamacare, with the mandates won’t work. Texas mandates that anyone operating a motor vehicle will carry liability insurance. Yet, 25% of drivers don’t! Much is said about the number of uninsured. Insurance is a pooling device by which persons who wish protection will pay into the pool (premiums) and be protected against unforseen events (an annual check up is NOT an unforeseen event). So, let’s pull insurance out of the health care equation and let health care be a government protection. Aswith any government plan, be prepared for more fraud and abuses. Be that as it may.

  3. You are correct, Ron, the names of political parties should be capitalized, as should the pronouns: Democrat, Republican, etc. However, I’ve elected to depart from the convention of capitalizing political party pronouns (shame on me). It’s a personal thing, an attitude thing. I don’t think any party deserves that much respect these days. Neither do I think elected representatives and judges should be addressed as The Honorable so-and-so just because they have won an election. Nevertheless, I will still be capitalizing the formal party names, i.e., the Republican Party, etc.

    I agree with you also that health care should be socialized, at least to the extent that we should have a single payer system such as they have in Canada. I’m not ready to go so far as to say that all health care providers should be government employees. But I don’t think the personal mandate aspect of the current law is really all that much of a problem. On this we disagree. People don’t buy auto insurance here in Texas because they really can’t afford it and there really is no meaningful enforcement of the law. Under the ACA, however, even here in Texas, people who cannot afford to buy health insurance will receive subsidies for it based on their respective levels of income. True, a large number, mostly undocumented individuals and those who have no legitimate income like our son, Tim, will continue to be uninsured. will that be half of the current estimate of 30,000,000 who are currently without insurance, a third or a fourth. Who can really say for sure. This makes me wonder how the law in Massachusetts is working.

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