Sunday, September 18, 2011

And those WTF moments just keep on coming...

I've been sitting on this for nearly a week.

Can't do it any longer, because I'm still angry about it.

I'm talking writing, of course, about the idiots who cheered and laughed and yelled out "Yes!" when the question of possibily letting an uninsured coma patient die for the lack of health insurance came up at a Republican presidential candidates' debate at the beginning of the week. I'm also writing about the huge, yawning, nearly universal silence regarding the incident from the candidates participating in the debate, the rest of the Republican party, politicians otherwise affiliated, and the media.

Oh, there were a few who mildly criticized the audience members who apparently believe that anyone who lacks health insurance should just die, but as far as I was able to find, there really wasn't much comment at all about the incident. If there was any, I'd love it if you all, dear readers, would point me to the coverage of those comments.

Mostly, the reaction of those people in the debate audience made me sick. But it also brought up some questions.

Aren't those the same Tea Party types who were incensed about so-called "death panels" they said would be instituted if President Obama's health care legislation passed? And how many of the people appearing to think that people without insurance being left to die is something to be celebrated are the same ones who characterize themselves as "pro-life" and would outlaw abortion, even in the case of rape or incest? My question for them is, do they really mean to say that the right to life ends at birth?

Oh, well. I suppose they're just being consistent. They are probably the same people who congregate outside of prisons where executions are being carried out, laughing and celebrating. Certainly, there were also cheers that night when the number of executions presided over by candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry was mentioned.

Except for one problem. The only "crime" committed by the ininsured is being too poor to afford insurance. And that isn't even always the case. Some follks are without insurance because their employers have dropped their coverage to save the business money. And many people are denied insurance coverage that they are able and willing to pay for simply becuase they have a "preexisting condition". So, I guess, what those cheering people in that audience were really saying is that if you're poor, or if you work for a cheap company (or a company that simply can no longer afford to pay outrageous insurance premiums), or even if you've just been sick before, you deserve to die. It isn't a simple case of people not "taking responsibility", as candidate Ron Paul seemed to imply in his comments during the debate.

I thought writing about this would help diffuse my anger about this. Get it out of my system.

Yeah. Not so much.


Diane Tingen said...

I totally agree. Some people are so clueless. And I seem to having a lot of WTF moments these days, and it makes me wonder if I'm just more informed (and thus more prone to question), or if there really are a lot more clueless people now than ever before.

And BTW, I just noticed that you live in Fresno, California. That's where I was born and raised. Lived there until 1975 when I moved to Southern California. How is Fresno these days??? Diane

littlemissattitude said...

Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Diane.

Your move was just the opposite of mine: I grew up in Southern California and the moved to the Fresno area in 1978. I'd been visitng since just about birth, so I knew what I was getting into, but I was still in culture shock for years after I arrived.

Fresno is...still Fresno, only not as extreme as it was when I first moved here. It's still essentially a farming community, despite the fact that it's a city with half a million population now. But it's a little less, oh, provincial I guess is the best word, now that it was when I moved here, with more of a cultural life (if you can afford to participate in it...although we've got free Shakespeare in Woodward Park every summer now, which is a huge step forward). There is definitely more to do here now than there was even ten or fifteen years ago.

But the economy is lousy. Unemployment in the county was over 16 percent last I looked (which was about a month ago). Conformity is still way too over-valued in most parts of the community. Still, it has become a more interesting place to live in the time since I've lived in the area.

As far as the cluelessness of people goes, I think it is a combination of things. For all that there is more access to more information now than every before, I think many, if not most, people are less well-informed than they used to be. I don't think it is always their fault; there is so much stuff competing for people's attention, and the bright, shiny, fun things tend to attract people more than the dull, grim news. The shiny, fun things are just so much easier, in many ways.

Also, news isn't what it used to be. I'm old enough to remember when Walter Cronkite and Huntley and Brinkley reported the news, and they didn't editorialize about it or try to tell us how we should feel about it to any significant extent, like so much of what passses for news does now. And news shows weren't always dominated by health advice and entertainment reporting, like so much of it seems to be now, especially the local newscasts. I'd add that print reporting is going downhill at an alarming rate, except that I don't think anyone reads newspapers anymore. I know I don't, except online. I cancelled my subscription to the Fresno Bee a couple of years ago, when they relegated national and international news to the second section of the paper, as if what is going on in the world doesn't really matter.

But, I also think there are more people now who are deliberately uninformed and proud of it. They won't listen to or read anytning that they don't know ahead of time that they'll agree with. Those are the ones, I think, that were cheering and yelling "yes" at the debate; they are the ones who are determined not to let anyone confuse them with an actual fact...although goodness knows that those types don't just exist on the right.

And I'm not about to confuse those people with conservatives, because I know way too many people who are pretty conservative, but they don't hold the kind of opinions those people at the debate were expressing.