What follows is not only an exceptionally frightening example of how indoctrinated some people have become, but also an excellent and effective response to those that are convinced that what they hear on Fox are their own ideas. Ignorance can only be battled with intelligence. We thank you for sharing your exchange with us.
Response my friend received:
And my friend's reply:
It is always odd when someone comes out against their own self interest in such a blatant way as you have.Stay tuned in to see where this conversation goes.
Your response to me is actually quite silly on its face. On the one hand you reject the article I sent you by telling me not to respond with something that someone else wrote, while you yourself are mimicking Glenn Beck almost word-for-word.
I do not know exactly why you have chosen not to respond to the salient and well-cited points made in the article I sent you. It was my intention to engage in a meaningful debate. It was not simply sent as an invitation for you to continue your inane rant about things like personal responsibility and small government. These arguments, of course, fail instantly. First, the U.S. Constitution actually MANDATES that the federal government provide for the general welfare (its in the preamble). Second, the size of both the Federal government and the federal deficit both grew at an unprecedented rate under Bush, Jr. while both were shrunk under Clinton (Clinton actually eliminated the deficit.) Since this is beyond debate, these assertions barely merited a response.
As to your other points, you appear to be confused about the difference between socialism and social responsibility. Is caring for your fellow man some kind of evil? Again the U.S. Constitution mandates that Congress provide for the general welfare. The founders, including Mr. Jefferson, recognized social responsibility as an absolute imperative for a functioning civilization. Or were the founding father's "socialists" as your definition would imply.
To the extent that health care reform is a social benefit, it is clearly of benefit to anyone who has to provide for their own health care. The health insurance companies cannot do this. That is why they exclude people with pre-existing conditions and deny benefits to their insured on a regular basis. If private insurance were capable of providing health care to everyone who needed it, the government would not have to be involved. There are only two groups of people that have a principled argument against health care reform: The very, very wealthy who can afford health care on their own (i.e. no employer contribution) and the health insurance companies themselves. You however appear to equate the government's intervention in seeing that all Americans can received basic medical care with "socialism", and "Marxism". How does this argument fare when applied to Social Security and Medicare? It doesn't. By your logic, these programs must be dismantled too.
The republican party's relationship with labor would also appear to be against your own self interest. Reagan set the tone by weakening, for the first time, the power of labor to collectively bargain. He set the tone by laying off all of those air-traffic controllers in the 1980's when they decided to strike. Does this create opportunity or does this silence the voice of the American worker? Take a look at this recent mine disaster in West Virginia. Why was this corporation allowed to run roughshod over the government's safety regulations? Why was there no power in the labor union to insist that if the mines weren't safe the workers wouldn't show up? You need to read Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" to understand why labor needs to be protected by unfettered corporate power. I cannot believe that you advocate for removing for workplace and employment protections.
You are not a corporation and corporations are not people. In fact, their interests are quite different. Republicans confuse this issue intentionally and relentlessly. I agree with you wholeheartedly that that the freedom of the individual in America must be protected at all costs, but protecting the freedom of the individual necessarily means limiting the power of corporations and only the government has this power. The insurance companies were shifting the burden of the uninsured onto the government (who pays when an uninsured person gets a heart attack and is raced to the emergency room?) Should the free market be costing the taxpayers money? That's not a free market. That's corporate entitlement.
Why should corporations be permitted to charge their mistakes to the government but not individuals? It was Bush's bailout of the banks-- not Obama's. Where did this fact get lost?
As to Obama's minister, you have simply neglected context and in doing so, you have also neglected common sense. "God Damn America" for not fulfilling her mission of ensuring equal rights for all? Does that mean, "I don't like America." Quite to the contrary, it means I love America and want her to be better. It means that people shouldn't have to die in the streets from easily preventable diseases. If I can save a life by spending a few dollars and I don't do it, then God Damn me too!
Republican policy has lead to the greatest wealth stratification not only in the history of America, but also in the history of democracy. I do not believe that you could be so naive as to think that you have access to the upper echelons of wealth that Republican policy is designed to protect. In fact, you could not survive in the type of plutocracy you envision.
The principles of the Republican party are diametrically opposed to the self-interest of a single, working class, mother living with her parents. Yet you espouse them vociferously.
You should understand that the republican party is really two parties: First, it is the party of the corporation and in this guise, it espouses a philosophy of free markets, small government (meaning no government regulation of business), lower taxes on the wealthiest individuals and corporations, fewer labor rights, elimination of public social services. This party creates wealth stratification. It keeps the poor in the ghettos and uneducated (I mean, after all, how do you pay for public schools and colleges without taxes). But this is understandable: the rich want to protect the rich.
The second republican party, consists of the very poor and uneducated. They have been coaxed in by false patriotism, conservative social values, and racism (all of which happen to make appearances in your post, by the way.) This group ends up espousing against their own interests. The irony is that the republican spin machine has convinced its mostly Christian base that social justice, concern for the poor, and compassion are BAD. Those that require benefits to feed their children, who will not be able to afford college, who require assistance in training for or finding a job or housing; single mothers, the homeless, the unemployed; social security recipients, medicare recipients, disability recipients, and others who benefit from these social programs vote so much against their own self interest, that one cannot help but laugh at them. And in fact, the members of the first Republican party do laugh at them, for instance, by entertaining their corporate donors at lesbian-bondage clubs, while purporting to stand for family values. I'd like to be in that family!
Because these people are not taken seriously by either party, they have self-marginalized and become irrelevant. They have chosen slavery over freedom and deserve their fate. Granted they receive a lot of media attention, but that is because they are a political sideshow. Freakshows get ratings. There is an old legal axiom: "If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have neither the law nor the facts on your side, pound the table." The noise these people make is only to detract from their lack of substance. The lack of a coherent message is a symptom of the disease: the tea-parties were created by corporate lobbyists solely for the purpose of making noise. (Now it may be Frankenstein: free of its corporate masters, its existence is the embodiment of unreasonable danger.)
There is nothing wrong with seeking to serve the greater good and shame on those who have convinced you otherwise. That's what a society is. Your rejection of the article I sent you documenting, with citations, the abuses of the republican party for no reason other than that I didn't write it, is proof of your intention to remain ignorant. Do you realize that you have actually said, quite directly, "don't bore me with the facts, I am only interested in your opinion." It is very, very arrogant for you to reject a progressive point-of-view that is incredibly well supported by facts by saying, "oh, its not supported by facts because its a progressive point of view."
My opinion is that you are an unfortunate victim of media tunnel vision. I fear that you have been exposing yourself only to media that reinforces your own ideas as is made quite apparent from your outright rejection of the well-researched article I brought to your attention and the entirety of the mainstream media. (By the way, because I do not have media tunnel-vision, I am well aware that your reference to "lamestream", is a direct quote from Glenn Beck. I have also heard it used by Sarah Palin and Pat Robertson, so the source of your misinformation is no mystery.)
Your media tunnel vision is a big problem because you accept as fact things that are not fact. For instance your assertion that the President is ignoring what the majority of people in this country want is embarrassingly stupid. Obama won a decisive majority running on the healthcare reform platform and his national favorable rating across all polls, including Fox News shows 51.7% favorable versus 42.5% unfavorable. Even Fox News' independent poll reports 50% favorable to 45% unfavorable. Source: pollster.com.
If you're just talking about the healthcare approval numbers, do you understand that the disapproval numbers include both the tea partiers who didn't want any reform, and the progressives who wanted a real public option? Compromise and ignoring-the-will-of-the-people are two different things. Since I know you well enough to know that you wouldn't intentionally distort the statistics, I must assume that you are repeating a lie that was force-fed to you by media outlets and personalities (Beck, Palin, Robertson) that cater to your preconceived notion. Media tunnel vision is an enemy of principled debate. If we are to continue this debate, please don't resort to Glenn Beck for your arguments. He is truly an idiot.
In sum, as a member of the second republican party your voice is silent in the real political debates of the day and I would urge to analyze for yourself what your interests are and which party and candidates most align with those interests. Don't try to be philosophical. Try to be pragmatic and you can yet save some face. I know that in asking you to do so, I am but a quiet voice against the billions of dollars corporate America continues to spend to keep the second republican party in its service. I hope that your mind has not been so co-opted that it has become unrecoverable.