Sunday, August 30, 2009

#150 The Raleigh Rally on Health-Care Reform and the "Grosse Luge"

Need to file a report on yesterday's event in my adopted hometown-downtown, and to comment on the persistence of the Big Lie. Again (see DM #133), on opposite sides of the street, and on the issue, stood a little more than 1000 in favor of reform, against a little fewer than 3o0 not. While we can't put scientific stock in these numbers, it so happens that they represent the national figures. Makes me proud, I guess. Despite the overheated controversy of the last several months, the polls hold. About 70% of the American electorate is still in favor of a substantive revision of our health-care system.

The local newscast spotlighted a retired couple on the pro-reform side, and a middle-aged mother on the other. They interlocked nicely, for my purposes. The elderly couple had their government Medicare in full, and were well-off enough to pay the high price of private supplements to fill in the problematic gaps. In other words: health-care secure. For them, no need for reform. However: "I'm worried about my grandchildren," said the wife. "They won't be able to afford proper insurance in 10 0r 15 years, the way things are going."

Maybe the reporter planned it this way, but the other woman, on the other side of the street, had a perfectly opposite view, within the very same context:

We don't need the government doing any more with health care. Medicare is fine ... We are the cheapest country on insurance, the cheapest country. People should be able to afford it. When we had no money as a family, we put that first. We had insurance.

Empirically impossible, not to mention the logical contradiction. What's more: Can she possibly be unaware that the U.S. has the most expensive system in the world? That we spend 50% more, and get 50% less health care than any other civilized nation on earth? Makes you wonder what planet she's really from, or--if indeed terrestrial--wonder that she might really be "a dining-room table." That's how Rep. Barney Frank characterized a protester in his Town Hall meeting recently, her questions being so outlandish as to be unworthy of debate. To be fair, his protester went a bit beyond ours. "Why do you continue to support these Nazi programs of President Obama?" she repeated over and over. This moots the possibility of rational discussion for most anybody, so Can you blame a fortiori the Jewish and very gay Mr. Frank (very special people for Hitler and pals) for going rather over the edge?

And speaking of Hitler--as if you couldn't see this coming--he's the originator of the Big Lie (G. Grosse Luge) strategy in most infamous terms, in modern times. (Plato's "noble lie" in the Republic spawned a lot of these, unfortunately.) It's a lie so outrageous that one couldn't believe it to be a lie. Hitler says in Mein Kampf (1925) that the public would think that nobody would be that grossly "impudent" as to make up such a thing. He was. And he went from one Big Lie to another in his distinguished career.

For Obama, I think the the Big Lie surrounding health-care reform (and earlier, economic stimulus), and supervenient upon all the other lies, myths, conspiracy-theories, etc. is the threat of COMMUNISM--that old bugaboo, currently re-buzz-worded as SOCIALISM, attached to progressive social action since FDR. Truman's fitful health-care initiative (and civil-rights) couldn't stand up to it. Neither could LBJ's. The Clintons' reform package crashed more quickly than expected, even by the chief purveyors of the Big Lie of "socialized medicine." Some of the hate for Obama and his regime surely involves racial and religious bigotry, along with mindless partisanship. But also deep down for some people, Obamacare is really Commie-care. Recall the lady protesting, "This is like Russia!" mentioned in an earlier post. And we have the misguided protester above who'll allow government control for one program--"Medicare is fine"--but disallow the presumably way-too-socialized Public Option, which is to be modeled on Medicare! (see DM #141 for more)

Who's responsible for the Big Lie here? Nobody in particular, because commie-phobia in this country has a history so long and deep that it's an easy thing to tap into when someone's up to no good. But does not "Big Lie" roll rather trippingly off the tongue with "Big-Med"?

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