By Len Harding
Apparently Obamacare really did create a death panel. Not the one Fox News lied about; something worse.
The Republicans decided that the United States must die if they cannot have their way. The Republicans have become America’s Death Panel.
Republicans are reacting to the effects of historical developments by desperately trying to keep affordable health insurance out of the hands of minorities, single women and poor people. Never mind that members of Congress swear to uphold and enforce the laws of the United States, they seem to have decided that if they can’t have their way, they will destroy the place; oath taking be damned.
In the olden days of which they are so fond, oath breakers were executed as traitors. But, since they are generally ignorant of the past they worship, they probably missed that little tidbit. I offer this information free of charge; a contribution to keeping us an informed democracy, and with a slight hope that the public will actually enforce some of the “old time” rules.
Do you remember back when the Republican right labeled themselves the Silent Majority? The Silent Majority was a loosely organized attempt to resist liberalization of social mores. The SM crowd was never an actual majority, but they managed to use fear and anger to stampede enough voters for it to seem that there was an actual majority. With the election of Barrack Obama, passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the striking down of DOMA, reality ended that farce. The culture warriors are finding that being in the minority isn’t much fun. So if you can’t beat ‘em, cheat; if cheating doesn’t work, destroy the board. Now with a reified Republican Right distilled into the Tea Party, assaults on the Republic gain ferocity and mean-spiritedness – an out and out war against democracy and majority rule.
America is changing – weather reflects new climate realities; fuel prices reflect new global economic realities; politics reflect new demographic realities. But the Republicans resist these changes, and the Tea Party resists them most emphatically. The common thread running through all this turmoil is that we have to adjust the way we do things to accommodate the new realities.
Accommodation in a world of finite resources means that some people are going to experience changes that may seem onerous. This is a problem to those who have, until now, been the favored few. I am speaking of white persons in the middle income ranges. These white persons react to perceived loss of status in same fashion as have other favored groups in history (the nobility, church fathers, pagan priests, shamans, and hunter-gatherer war chiefs) did: they get all pissy and cheat.
That “loss of status” is a central theme can be observed in the T-Per desire to “take the country back.” Just what is it T-Pers want back? Easy: superior social status for white people, economic advantages for straight white people, rules against foreign competition, discrimination against “foreign” religions, and rules to prevent poor and minority people from having a say in election outcomes. In T-Per heaven, lynching is a misdemeanor best handled by gentlemen of property and standing – NOT civil rights laws with teeth. Discrimination is a matter of common sense, not a barrier to equality. Rape can be an act of violence OR it can be the tragic result of how women dress too provocatively. Clearly, white men are best able to determine this.
What to do and where to start? We can start ASAP. The Republican/Tea Party coalition of Clermont County runs the place because it has a preponderant majority of Clermont County’s white folks tied up in knots over fear of change. Gay marriage, guns, and religion are just iceberg type apparitions; 90 percent of the unease is below the surface. We have an unhappy bunch of people with guns, unrealistic expectations and tragic ignorance of how the world works. We need to temper our rage and adjust our focus. I had always hoped this was just a bad dream. Now it’s daytime drama. I’m just sayin’.
Len Harding is a retired consultant, technical writer and historian. He lives in Clermont County.