Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Republicans and Personal Responsibility

The one thing the Right cannot tolerate are people who will not accept their just desserts for their own folly.

When the financial meltdown happened because, in part, wild bankers took crazy risks with other people's money and set their own banks afire, there were lots of Tea Party types screaming, "Let them burn!"

The Tea Party was organized around indignation over the Moral Peril of bailing out reckless bankers who were playing the game of private gain from public risk.

When Paul Ryan and Jim Jordan talk about health insurance they say, "Hey, if you are prudent and willing to spend the money you know you should spend on health insurance, fine, you win. If not, you lose and you die. It's your own fault."

That's fine for them to say and they are being consistent with their principles which say each man must be responsible for his own welfare and not expect hand outs from those of us who have been responsible.

It's the old grasshopper and the ants thing.

Anyone who has ever worked in an Emergency Room knows how hard it is to see a person come in, to see them suffering, and to send them away because they have not planned ahead. At that moment, faced with a man who is having a heart attack, who is writhing in pain sobbing "Help me!" it is hard to simply turn away. "Oh, you failed to plan."

Jim Jordan was a champion wrestler in college. He trained and built his body and mastered his techniques and he has no sympathy for the obese, slothful, the diabetic who lets his diabetes go.  That guy's a loser and deserves all the bad things coming to him.

But I bet he's never had to look that man or his wife in the eyes and say, "Hey, you lived for the moment. Well, now you're getting what you deserve."

Mr. Ryan doesn't want to make the young and the healthy support the old and the infirm. That's not fair.

It's those liberal Democrats who the undeserving, dissolute poor have wrapped around their fingers. It's the Democrats who said, "Look, people do not plan ahead. So we'll make them plan ahead--we'll force them to take a little out of each paycheck and we'll invest it so they can have social security and medical care when they get old."

The Democrats are the Party which looks at mankind and says, people are so caught up in the moment, they won't plan ahead, and we won't let their lack of planning become our problem 20 years later. 

The whole notion of Social Security is based on an appreciation of mankind's imperfections.  Medicare, too. These programs are based on the recognition that someone has to be the adult in the room and make the kids eat their spinach.

The Republicans are the parents with the rod in their hands. Go ahead, drop out of school, don't buy health insurance, don't save for retirement. When you come begging for health care and retirement don't bother.  We told you so.

What we have now is to see how that plays with the electorate.

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