Friday, September 04, 2009

A Bunch of People Shouting in the Dark

In the debate over health care reform on the Internet, you have to judge a person by what they write and link to, unless they post video.

Yesterday I let my temper get the better of me when I saw a comment under a post on a friend's Facebook page summing up anyone without health coverage as a lazy person who wanted a free ride.  Such an assertion had to come from either a rapacious neocon of the sort that has been laying waste to the financial services industry for nigh on 30 years, or an aging conservative who has been hating "hippies" for nigh on 40.

For some reason I envisioned the poster as a neocon female.  Its name was Dana.  Its chirpy tone reminded me of Republican housewives I know, who spout a good line about getting a job and pulling your own weight, but who are buffered from many of the realities of the quest to obtain and retain gainful employment.  As the conversation evolved, however, I began to sense that this was an older gentleman.  The femmy vibe probably has to do with the fact that the body produces fewer masculine hormones as a man ages.  At least he sounds like a young bitch rather than an old one.

It was joined by what seemed like a more verifiable young Reaganite.  The young Reaganites are not so young anymore, but they drew their greatest strength after the tenure of St. Ronnie from the ranks of people younger than I am, who became the most dedicated of the antihippies.  Many of them were the children of liberals who chose the neocon path as their rebellion against the parental non-yoke.

As the argument goes on it seems like a bunch of people shouting in the dark.  No one has more than a second.  Nuance is the first casualty.  Everyone just yells something pithy, hoping to pith off the other thide.  Thus will the entire laudable campaign fall apart, as both sides come to view it as a political liability.  It's another no-win situation.  "I voted against health care reform, but only after I voted for it."

Substantial reform is highly unlikely, however sorely needed.

This country is like a car speeding toward a jumble of fallen boulders.  Half the passengers are screaming to turn right.  The other half are screaming to turn left.  Only one direction is correct.  They will probably compromise by agreeing to plow into the boulders.  We may well end up with something too damaged to drive.  Let the younger generations build what they can from the wreckage.

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