I’ve been out of town for the past two weeks. First I was down in the Phoenix area on business, and then this past week (of the 4th) I was down in Fort Myers on Vacation. And it’s THAT experience, or part of it, that I would like to share with you. Because OMFG… the level of Right Wing indoctrination that I witnessed down there… Holy crap. It was downright CREEPY. I had no idea it was that bad ANYWHERE.
The first incident happened before we were even home from the airport. My mother is always good for some political “gems,” but it’s usually at least a DAY OR TWO before she really gets going. Not this time. We’re driving home from the airport, talking about my sister, who happens to be an MD. Now, even at age 33, she’s still at the point in her career where she’s working 80-hour weeks and getting paid shit for it. Oh: she’s done with her residency! Apparently, for Doctors, the fun continues LONG after that! Anyway, my Mother tells me that she’s in the final year of her Fellowship, and FINALLY, next year she’ll be making some decent money…
“…Unless this Obamacare screws it all up.”
Now, I’ve mentioned this before: I don’t argue politics with my parents. There’s no point. They’re both completely indoctrinated, and they’re also pretty much top 2%’ers anyway, so… whatever works for you. (Plus if I did bother to argue politics with them, there would be little time left in the day for anything ELSE between the all the Fox News, RW Emails, Wall Street Journal, Phone Calls, bad Jokes etc… The cavalcade of RW Propaganda and misinformation pretty much never stops.) But I’ll admit I was a little bit curious how she thought “Obamacare” was going to “screw everything up” for my sister in terms of “making decent money.”
Fortunately for me, I didn’t even have to ask. (When people have no idea how stupid what they’re saying truly is, they do tend to KEEP TALKING, you see!)
“They’re going to make these hospitals take three times as many patients, and the doctors won’t be able to spend ANY time with them at all!”
Putting aside that the lack of time Doctors have to spend with patients is an issue NOW, and is driven entirely by the need to MAKE MORE MONEY…
And even if I were to accept that “Obamacare,” (which, BTW, has become the go-to, RW catch-all for everything that’s wrong with our health care system, even though basically NONE of it has even been implemented yet) even if I were to accept that “Obamacare” would magically triple my sister’s patient load (she’s a cardiologist with a concentration in imaging, BTW), even were I to accept that everything she was saying about “Obamacare” was actually TRUE…
Can someone explain to me how a hospital with three times the patients coming in, with 99% of them now carrying health insurance mind you, makes LESS MONEY?
Think about that.
This just shows you how warped the Right-Wing Brain can get: The problem of having TOO MANY patients, 99% now insured – and I can’t stress that point enough – magically transmogrifies into a problem of REVENUE GENERATION. I don’t care what you think of Obamacare, or where you fall on the Economic or Political spectrum, the fact is that there is not a business or industry on earth that can TRIPLE ITS CUSTOMER BASE and go from [whatever percentage is paying now] to almost EVERYONE paying, and LOSE MONEY.
And that ain’t a ‘Liberal talking point’: IT’S MATH.
And that’s before you even take into account that only about 20%, if that, of this our population currently goes without ANY form of coverage. How does increasing the insured population by about 20% TRIPLE any hospital’s case load? Especially that of a specialist! I don’t know how you can multiply “X” by 1.2 and get 3X, but then… that’s the conservative brain for you!
A couple of days later, I had the pleasure of attending the 4th of July Parade in Naples. (Florida, not Italy!) Now granted… the last time I’ve been to a 4th of July Parade was in 1991, and I was IN the god damned thing! (1st Percussion.) So I know things have changed a bit in the last 20+ years, but this was a rather bizarre spectacle.
First of all… No marching bands. And that’s fine. It’s July. School’s out, and it’s a majority retiree population anyway, so no big surprise there. I get that. And yeah, they had the first trucks, and the sherrif’s dept., and the VFW, and the Shriners and the Boy and Girl Scouts… All of the usual fair. Oh, and they had the National Guard firing blanks from a machine gun on the back of a jeep! That was pretty cool! But despite all that… I would say about eighty percent (4 out of 5 at least) of the vehicles were for POLITICIANS. Senate this, State Representative that, Sherriff, Judge, Clerk, County Executive, District Attorney… TAX COLLECTOR, for Pete’s sake! TAX COLLECTOR! Now… Like I said, it’s been 20+ years since I’d been to one of these, but I have NO MEMORY of ANY parade I’ve ever been to being politicized to the extent that everyone right down to the fucking Dog Catcher is driving his car in it, and handing out everything from baseball hats to balloons, to hand-fans to fridge magnets, saying “Vote for Dick Sellout – Sewage Manager!”
At what point does the Right’s co-opting of our National Pride and Patriotism become… I don’t know… tacky, even to their fellow flag-
And it probably goes without saying, but with only a SINGLE EXCEPTION, every one of these mobile Political billboards in this Independence-Day-parade-for-the-1%’ers was for a REPUBLICAN. OK, TWO Exceptions. There was ONE Libertarian, who’s brochure I’d like to share with you all in a later post because I’m hard pressed to see the difference between HIS platform and that of the GOP. And let’s face it: The GOP treats their Libertarian wing about as well as the Democrats threat their Liberal wing. So you’d think if the guy was going to go “Independent” he’d be offering at least SOMETHING different!
The other exception was not for any particular candidate, but there was a car for the “Collier County Democratic Party.” It was a car followed by people hold signed reading “Alternative Energy,” “Worker’s Rights,” “Equality,” “No Unnecessary Wars,” and other basically common sense stuff. Nothing particularly controversial, that I can remember. (No Pro-Choice signs, for example.)
They were BOOED. My father actually started it, I’m rather ashamed to say, and the crowd immediately joined in.
Because, yeah: Who’s wants clean energy anyway? It's 100+ degrees for a week strait in Michigan, but no: There’s no global warming going. Worker’s rights? Fuck ‘em. If they want rights, they should get rich or die trying, right? It’s pretty sickening that a group that isn’t even presenting a CANDIDATE can say “We’re for equality” and get BOOED. The rest of Florida must be very different from these folks, because if it were all like the Naples-Fort Myers Area, I don’t think Al Gore would have gotten a single vote in 2000, let alone win the State. (Which we all know he did!) And Florida’s been in play for the last five or six elections or thereabouts. Not in Naples though, apparently.
Whatever. I get creeped out by group-think in general, so THIS PLACE was downright creepy all around.
Finally, sitting on the beach later that night, watching the fireworks, I heard some people in the row behind us talking politics. Admittedly I couldn’t hear everything they were saying – and I was more interested in paying attention to my children and the fireworks than listening to these assholes – but the JIST of what they were saying was “The Democrats are trying to implement socialism and we’ve got to stop them.”
Now… If you’re a literate, educated adult… and you’re actually talking about SOCIALISM like it’s an ACTUAL THING in this country? You’re a moron. You’re an idiot. Plain and simple. And if you’re voting Republican because you’re trying to stop SOCIALISM? You’re DELUSIONAL. You should not only lose your right to vote, but you should be declared incompetent and committed to a mental institution and heavily medicated until you have regained your grasp on REALITY. I don’t care who any one person wants to vote for. I really don't: It’s their right, after all. But if you’re voting Republican because Fox News and the Wall Street Journal told you some vague thing about SOCIALISM? (1) You should definitely expand your information sources beyond Rupert Murdoch’s TELEVISED propaganda and Rupert Murdoch’s PRINTED propaganda. You know… like maybe trying out an ACTUAL NEWS SOURCE? And (2) you should be hit in the head repeatedly until either your body goes limp or your brain conjures up an ACTUAL REASON for you to vote the way you do. Preferably something that is FACTUALLY ACCURATE, BASED IN REALITY and actually IN YOUR OWN PERSONAL INTERESTS.
I used to wonder why the Right was so opposed to teaching about Socialism in the Public Schools. You might think it's simply because they're afraid that young people might actually find the idea more attractive. And them getting them OFF of the idea of Socialism might require PAYING THEM more, you know: Letting more than just the top 1% actually BENEFIT from this great Capitalist system we keep hearing about? But that’s not it.
The REAL reason they don’t want young people (or anyone) learning about Socialism is that once people actually knew what Socialism WAS?
THEY’D REALIZE JUST HOW FULL OF SHIT THE REPUBLICANS ARE FOR TALKING ABOUT IT LIKE IT WAS AN ACTUAL THING!
(But then… the vast majority of Republicans think the GRADEN OF EDEN was an ACTUAL THING as well, so why am I not surprised?)
Now these are just a few isolated example that stuck in my memory, but it was like this EVERYWHERE WE WENT, pretty much all week. It was unbelievable.
Anyway, happy belated fourth. The portion of the week I DIDN’T spend listen to Right Wing Jackasses was rather enjoyable. Plus the kids had a good time, and that’s important.