The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Archive for August 14th, 2009

Health Reform Opponents Adhere to Wizard’s Rules

Posted by ALmod on August 14, 2009

Brace yourselves for a long ride.

Wizard’s First Rule:

“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”

Wizard’s Third Rule:

“Passion rules reason.”

Wizard’s Fifth Rule:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

I’m a big fan of Terry Goodkind and his Sword of Truth series.  And yes, I’ve been watching the Sam Raimi television adaptation.   But it hit me this week just how much some of his work really applies to various things in politics– particularly the opposition to health care reform, the first rule in particular.  It’s the first rule for a reason.

It still amazes me how many people have really latched onto the falsehoods being spread by opponents.  It’s so easy to get the truth, but people refuse to believe the truth.  Why?  Well maybe the lie is more interesting.  It’s much more dramatic to think that someone is going to create “death panels”, ration health care, take your money to give care to people who don’t deserve it (That would be everyone but YOU, of course.), pay for abortions with tax dollars, and turn us into the new USSR.  That’s a rather exciting notion, and it’s one that would be GREAT for a fiction novel.  Reading any of the actual proposals (because there isn’t really a single bill to be for or against just yet) is just… well… boring.  Finding out the truth– that in reality not much is going to change for the average patient, except maybe not having to worry so much about whether or not your next surgery will cost you your home– is boring.

But these lies are just that– fiction.  And yes, they’re lies.  I’m not going to soften it. These lies are currently being spread by some of my fellow bloggers– some that I provide links to over on the right side of this page.  Some of them read this blog, and you know who you are.  If you’ve insinuated any of the ones on this Fact Check article, you’re lying.  You’re helping to spread ignorance.  You’re hurting America.  Period.  If you don’t know any better, inform yourself.  Otherwise, I’m left to reason that you’re purposely misleading the public for whatever nefarious purposes.  More on that in a little bit.

Even the people who are currently railing against reform have admitted in the past that America’s current situation is less than stellar.  So much for horror stories about government systems.  We have our own in a perfectly privatized system.  We have rationing, too, if you want something else to worry about.  Nobody is claiming that a government option or single payer system would be perfect– just better.  And there’s more than ample evidence to back that up.  On average, people who live in countries with government health care pay less, live healthier, and live longer.  That’s one fact you don’t hear opponents touch.  Rather, they tend to single out one-in-a-million horror stories while the medical malpractice lawsuits in the U.S. pile up.

The truth is that the lower classes aren’t hurt by lack of reform.  The middle/working class is what suffers.  The poor qualify for government programs, but the middle class simply makes too much money to qualify for most.  (The rich can afford whatever they like, so it doesn’t affect them, either.)  The way the system is currently set up, one could observe that it actually ENCOURAGES people to do worse so that they can qualify for government assistance, as the chances of hitting the lottery are very low.  It encourages a greater gap between the haves and have-nots.

So if the current system is set up to work against the hard workers of America, who make up a majority, why on earth would someone want to perpetuate support for it?  The answer is simple.  There is a mindset, a cult if you will, among certain people in power that they deserve that power and are entitled to certain benefits of that power.  And the only way for them to keep that power is for them to encourage the majority of people not in the same position as they are that it is somehow in their better interests to support them.

Wizard’s Third Rule:

“Passion rules reason.”

I know.  I know.  I sound like some government conspiracy theorist who needs to get out her tin foil hat.  But I’m not talking about the government as a whole.  I’m talking about select individuals who really do believe this.  And while there may be more than a few who don’t technically believe it, those who do have a nasty habit of gaining support, and so others may perpetuate ideas favorable to them.  Think of them as “goupies.”  And groupies can be in positions of power or member of the media and will basically parrot whatever their heroes on pedistals tell them.  And when groupies speak, “minions” listen.  (Okay, so I’m making these words up, but I don’t know if there’s really a set word for it.)  It’s not exactly a new phenomenon, and it’s a common formula in corporations and churches.  The elite order the few, and the few run the masses.  It’s more complicated than that, of course, but that’s it in a nutshell.

How do you spot it?  Well, let’s look at the Wizard’s Fifth Rule:

“Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”

So back to the privileged elite.  The deserve power.  They deserve special treatment.  They deserve entitlements.  That’s what they believe, and it’s what they want you to believe.  If you don’t believe that, then go read a right-wing blog for a week or so.  Why else would countless waves of supporters from the middle class argue against their own best interests because of a program that, they believe, will “punish the wealthy” or “punish the corporations”?  Trust me.  The wealthy and corporations have ample representation in D.C. It’s okay for you, the middle class, to stand up for YOUR rights.  Be a little bit selfish.  You’re not exactly defending the meek or the helpless, though it would be nice if you did help someone who truly met that definition.

So with all these people fighting for the rights and interests of the wealthy and overlooking the needs of the middle class, the workers, is it any wonder that those who have their minions railing against government entitlements are some of the biggest beneficiaries?  Why don’t any of those attendees of town halls held by Republican congressmen railing against government health care ask those congressmen where they get their health care?  Being on government health care must really suck for them, which is of course why they’re railing against it.  I mean, it’s not like any of them are rich enough to purchase a private plan instead.  And I know none of them would ever justify having someone else pay for their health care– like the taxpayers.  Taxpayers should not be burdened with paying for the health care of others– unless it’s someone who can already afford to purchase their own.  Yeah, that makes sense.

What is true, and what these congressmen don’t want to admit, is that the fact that they prefer the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to a private insurer is proof that the government is perfectly capable of running a quality health care option.  They just believe that they deserve it and you don’t.  I mean, just because you work for a living doesn’t mean you deserve anything.  I wouldn’t imply that.  But if you belong to an elite group that can spend billions every two years to win a glorified popularity contest– now that’s something.

The situation is reminiscent of the European caste system.  The lower classes were kept in their place by, among other things, denying them proper access to education.  Few could even read.  Nowadays, the only person keeping any American from information is themselves.  But those in power are always ready to pounce on willful ignorance– which is what brings me back to Wizard’s First Rule.

“People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”

Know your place, middle class.  You don’t deserve a health care system as good as the French or the Japanese or the British.  At least, that’s what we’re being told to think.

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