Disclaimer: I am NOT anti-American. I am anti-ignorance. There are so many things that I like about the US. But ignorance is not on the list.
Since I work in news, I get bombarded with e-mails, newsletters, wire stories and phone calls from both Democrats and Republicans. And to nobody’s surprise, the big story right now is the health care reform.
You can read the bill in its entirety here.
Some ultra-right winged conservatives are crying out about euthanasia of the elderly, abortions funded by taxpayers and the end of Medicare as we know it. They use their pentecostal preachings to persuade weak and ignorant minds. They call pro-choice “pro-death” because it allegedly kills babies. I call it a woman’s right to choose. No white, middle-aged Republican MAN is ever going to tell me what I can or cannot do with my own body. But going overseas to kill innocent civilians, that’s just the price to pay for freedom. What’s the difference? Why is killing children in Iraq not frowned upon? I haven’t seen one outcry from conservatives on that issue. Doesn’t God tell you not to kill? That you should love thy neighbor as yourself? Or have I completely misunderstood? So what’s evil about socialized health care? That you have to contribute a little more of your money to ensure the welfare of fellow citizens? Isn’t that what love is? Isn’t that what Christianity is about? To care for each other?
What baffles my mind is all the God-fearing, Bible-swinging conservatives who keep whining they want their freedom. But they will not allow gay marriages, women’s rights to choose, health care for all. So what’s this freedom? To live in fear? That’s not freedom to me. Some believe that closing the borders and stop all immigration will stop illegal aliens from taking jobs from legal citizens. Well, you know.. as long as there are crooks out there willing to hire underpaid and desperate workers, it will never stop. Maybe you should take a look at yourselves? If nobody would hire them, they wouldn’t come here. Also, as long as the US keeps poking their finger into foreign affairs, terror will always be a threat. And keep in mind that the US is not the only target in the world. And what about domestic terrorism? KKK? Workplace shootings? Murder-suicides? Anti-abortion violence?
I want to quote Tom Barret, one of the most insanely ignorant right-wings that keep sending us newsletters from a website called Conservative Truth. In one of his blog posts, he rants that Memorial Day should be about “honoring the men and women who gave their blood so that we could be free”. Who’s “we”? The Americans? As a European, I am thankful that the US is our ally, and that they helped combat the Nazis during WWII. But I think it’s a common misconception that US soldiers need to fight for the Americans to be free. After all, the wars haven’t been fought on American soil. And don’t forget, that just less than 50 years ago, racial segregation was still legal in the US. As a result, there is still racial bias in many parts of the country. Is this freedom? Is this what God would have wanted?
What I don’t understand is the opposition to universal health care. Why this fear? This anger? Nobody is crying out about the need for drivers to have valid automobile insurance, right? Does that limit your coveted “freedom”? I would feel more “free” if I knew I could afford to go to the doctor if I got sick. I’ve been unemployed before, and not being able to go to the doctor because you simply cannot afford it, is the most restricted feeling I’ve ever felt! And yes, this is coming from someone who grew up in a country WITH socialized health care. I can tell you this… I can go to whatever doctor or clinic I want. Medications are low-cost. If you go to the hospital, you don’t have to pay. That’s right. We don’t need fundraisers in order to get a heart transplant, or a new kidney. Childbirths are free. And we don’t get bankrupt if we are unemployed and are unfortunate enough to get cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.
But I do agree in that democratic party leaders should open health care negotiations to C-SPAN cameras, to ensure greater transparency.
Greater knowledge and open discussions would help erase those gray areas that are so often the breeding ground for confusion and misunderstandings.
In the end, only the truth will set you free.