Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Too Stupid for Health Care?

Ignorance equals gullibility. The less you know the easier you are misled. If this first decade of the 21st century has demonstrated anything, it's that our cousins to the south are, to an alarming degree, ignorant and gullible and easily misled.

In the United States, public support for universal healthcare is plummeting. The pathetic performance of the Democrats and the unspeakably vile lies spread by the Republicans and their private sector co-conspirators has unnerved the American people. Talk of "death panels" and such has caused real fear and suspicion to take hold.

I think most Americans know their country spends more per capita on healthcare than any other and yet, on a performance basis, American healthcare ranks 37th in the world. Talk about American exceptionalism! You have to be exceptional to spend so much more than everyone else to enjoy so much less for it.

But if they know they're spending so much more for so much less, why aren't they marching through the streets with torches and pitchforks? Why? Because they're afraid. The "land of the free and the home of the brave" has been transformed into the land of the corralled and home of the easily intimidated.

Ever since 9/11, the American right has been using fear as a cudgel to shape American public opinion. Remember when then Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge sent them panicking into the streets to snap up every last scrap of duct tape and plastic sheeting which many wasted no time in slapping up all over their doors and windows? Those are people who are way too easily frightened for their own good.

This is a nation of people who have lost their ability to discern reality. It is a nation of people who truly believed their homes were ATM machines that would allow them bountiful luxuries now and boundless comfort in their old age. Americans are a people who, despite the stream of disclaimers from Hans Blix and his weapons instructors, believed Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and the means to attack America with them. They are a nation of people who firmly believe in creationism and think the theory of evolution is a scientific fraud. They've come to equate science with fraud so much that a great many of them believe global warming to be a hoax perpetrated by scientists in order to secure lavish government grants.

The strength of America, like the strength of any nation, is in its people and right now that is the country's greatest danger. America is in decline. It's not the Chinese or the Europeans or anyone else who is undoing the United States, it's the American people. They believe they're the same people as the Americans of sixty years ago. They're not. And that's just sad.


Anonymous said...

it would be interesting if you wrote something about the Canadian Health System at the moment. In the past ten years since being out of the country, Canada's health care is not the number one best system in the world. It has gone down hill enormously. In a country like Canada, healthy care and education ought to be the nunber one concern but it is not. I have noticed everything that is now done in Canada is being compared to the Americans as if Canada does not have to move on anything in this country because we are supposedly so much better than the US. Well....how about the 30% of children who are living below the poverty level...forget those who are border line. We are at the bottom of the UN list...way behind South Korea and the US for gawd sakes. But all we hear is about the "Tar Sands" and how it is going to keep the Canadian economy going.....the big question is, going for whom? Now, we are expected to have an election right in the middle of the H1N1 flu and right before Christmas. What a bunch of "jack arshes". It irrates me no end, that we have this botching goiing on in this country from everywhere within its boundries including the waste of money that has been spent on the Olympics in B.C. where only the rich will be able to attend. Why are you so concerned about health care in American. Does it make us sound better? A. Morris

The Mound of Sound said...

It's not simply healthcare that concerns me but the general decline in our only neighbouring country. As Trudeau noted, they're the elephant, we're the mouse and we're both sharing the same bed.

We've come to put all our eggs in Uncle Sam's basket and, at this point, it's probably too late to diversify our attachments so we're along for the ride in many ways.

To be candid, I'm wondering whether there's really much point in any of this business. The die may be cast environmentally, militarily, economically, socially and politically. Maybe all we can do is to sit back and watch it all play out.

Brad Dillman said...

@Mound: you may be right, but we must struggle against it anyway as long as we're not sure. Imagine that 20 years from now we'd say "if only we'd tried harder 20 years ago." Never give up.

The Mound of Sound said...

I know, you're right RN. Still... The funny thing is I really, really like so many Americans I've known. Sometimes it seems like their country is bi-polar and ruthlessly exploited by the powerful because of it.

Brad Dillman said...

The irrationality I see in my American friends and acquaintences is in their snap judgments and lack of critical thought.

- the government is bad at everything

- the free market and private industry is good at everything

- freedom is more important than anything, even peace, safety or security (think carefully about that one)

The above aren't simple absolutes. They depend on context. But I see (hear) a lot of effort justifying why these things are simple absolutes, rather than thinking critically.

I don't have blind faith in government, big business, freedom - or their opposites and alternatives. But then, look where I hang out [these blogs, eh]. LOL.

Anonymous said...

I also have good people as friends living in the US. But when they begin talking about their government, it is as if they have Hitler on their tail. They really are paranoid. I have friends who own a summer cottage on the Ottawa River and I asked why they didn't listen to Canadian radio and listen to what we have to say but they don't. It's as if they would be disloyal to their own country.....I don't understand that kind of mind-set. A. Morris