Saturday, February 6, 2010

Head In the Sand

I've tried to have a discussion with some right-wing folks about the health care bill, but as with most things, it has proven to be totally pointless to even try. These people have their head in the sand and refuse to see there is a problem. They deny that anyone is denied healthcare for being poor. They cite laws that require EMREGENCY care and then equate that with saying that everyone gets health care, apparently oblivious to the fact that most health care is not emergency care. They also ignore the fact that even emergency care will saddle you with a huge bill that can bankrupt you and put your family on the street, which is a reason for the poor to avoid going to get even emergency care.

I mean really, how can you even have a discussion with someone whose head is six inches under the ground? What can you say to people like that? Health care is doomed. Everything is doomed. People are morons.


The Barefoot Bum said...

I've tried to have a discussion with some right-wing folks... but... it has proven to be totally pointless to even try.

This is coming as a big surprise?

S said...

That sums up how I feel.

DBB said...

Larry - I suppose it is like the hope one feels in purchasing a lottery ticket that one will become a millionaire. You know the chances are basically zero and the lottery amounts to a tax on people who are poor at math, but you can't help but feel it anyway.

It is both sad and infuriating.

The Barefoot Bum said...

I think, DBB, that you're seeing political discourse in essentially the same light as a rational scientific discussion aimed at understanding reality: people might be more or less opinionated, things might get heated at times, but at the end of the day everyone has the same fundamental motivation and goal: to accurately understand the universe.

But political discussion isn't like that. It's about winning and losing. You might as well ask, "Why don't the Nazis just meekly surrender when we show up with our army?"

It's a fight: the Republicans are fighting for a particular kind of society, and if lies serve that fight, well, all's fair in love and war. They don't care about the truth as truth, they care only about doing whatever it takes to bring about their "utopian" society.

I hope sooner or later liberals realize that they're in a real fight, not a rational discussion, a fight that is not yet predominantly violent only because lies are presently more effective than guns.

DBB said...

I understand that for the leadership and pundits, who lie their asses off and know that they are lying.

The people I'm having the discussions with are not lying - they truly believe the bullshit they spout - at least they give all indications that they do. The lying at the top wouldn't work if it didn't fool a vast number of ready-to-be fooled rubes, and most of the people who support the GOP fall into that category. I'd guess that would be probably about 20-25% of the population as a whole, judging by the floor for the GOP approval rating (and the population of RWAs).

I don't think liberals will ever believe this because people who recognize political discourse as a dirty fight where lying your ass off and appealing only to emotions is the way to win almost all become Republicans. Liberals, I think, feel guilty about doing such things and feel "above" that or something. The GOP comes to a knife fight with a tank and air strikes. The Democratic Party comes to a knife fight with a knife, but then drops it at the start of the fight to prove how they want to be bipartisan.

The Barefoot Bum said...

I don't think liberals will ever believe this because people who recognize political discourse as a dirty fight where lying your ass off and appealing only to emotions is the way to win almost all become Republicans.

I think you're only half right here. Political discourse is a dirty fight, and one must appeal to emotion. (What else is there to appeal to?) However lying is not necessary to winning a political fights; sticking to the truth does have its advantages, which a clever partisan can exploit.

The problem with the Democratic leadership is not that they're refusing to lie, but that they're refusing to fight. They're not even confronting the Republicans. Scott Brown can call up Harry Reid right now and say, "Kill the health care bill," and Reid will just say, "Sir! Yes sir! Sir Right away sir!"

Reid and Obama could say, "Fuck you. If you want squash this bill you're going to have to it yourself, in public, over my dead body." Maybe they'd win, maybe not, but at least they'd go down fighting.

The problem with the public is that not too many people have the time, effort, energy, training, education and inclination to actually get at the truth, especially when trusted authorities are telling them something completely false.

You and I are not exceptions. We're pretty sure, for example, that scientists are telling us the truth about evolution, but neither of us really have the time, etc. to look deeply at the evidence. It would seem odd for so many people to conspire to lie to us, but that's precisely what we're saying the Republican leadership is doing to the people.

And you and I probably spend ten or twenty times as much time and effort than most other people at really understanding the truth. What chance has the ordinary person, who was never educated in critical thinking and whose whole social milieu requires that they have the "right" opinions? If our comprehension of truth and falsity is second- or third-hand and fragile, what chance do they have?

The Barefoot Bum said...

OT: I'm hosting the next Carnival of the Godless on 28 Feb. I'd be pleased and honored if you would like to submit something. Also, it would be cool if you could spread the word, perhaps among godless heathen who could use a bump.

C Woods said...

I so agree with everything that has been said here.

I had a similar discussion with my niece's boyfriend a few weeks ago. He is convinced ANY health care program will be socialism. I know he has been out of work and taking temp jobs. So I asked if he has health care. (I knew he couldn't possibly have it under those circumstances.) I asked why he would be against something that would be in his own best interest. All he could say was, "But it's socialism." He has a son in the military and I reminded him that his son has socialized health care in the army. And then I asked him to define socialism for me. He sort of gave me a half-assed definition of communism.

This is typical. He hasn't read anything or learned about it himself. He is spouting what he hears on talk radio.

I wanted to tell my niece to run ---very fast ---from this man. Every man she has ever been involved with has been a dud, so she probably wouldn't listen. I just shut up. I figured I was wasting my time.