Friday, August 21, 2009

Let us not come together

These two videos were posted in the comments at Dispatches from the Culture Wars:

And the followup interview with the crazy lady, where she's much calmer and would almost seem to make sense, if you didn't try to understand what she was saying:

What I found fascinating was how the woman almost boasts of how bad her own health care situation is. She claims she's had $15,000 in out of pocket expenses and that her husband works two jobs and has no health insurance. Assuming this is all true, a rational person would be knocking down the conductor to jump on the reform train, but not her. She has higher principles.

Or wait. No she doesn't! Her reasons for opposing health care reform are entirely self-interested: she doesn't want her money going to any illegal immigrants, or to pay for any abortions. She opposes health care reform primarily because some of the benefits may go to the wrong sort.

It's become a peculiar article of faith among conservatives that you can't improve everybody's situation; it's always a zero sum game. I call it peculiar because it directly contradicts one of the fundamental arguments for capitalism: that the rising tide lifts all boats. But I think it's difficult to overestimate the degree to which conservative Americans have been trained to hate and fear everyone else. You know those movies where two enemies find themselves in a situation where they have to learn to trust each other in order for either of them to survive? I'll bet conservatives don't understand those movies.

As Harry said, "I think I can tell who the wrong sort are for myself, thanks."

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