I’ve gotten away from political posts since the election, for two reasons: 1) I don’t need to waste my time saying things other people have already said, and 2) After the election, I’m sick of the whole business. The idea that there are adults in charge means I can worry about other stuff, like music, music software, and random silly shit.
But I have one moderately original thing to say about the Healthcare Reform process that is underway: I’m all for dialog and making places at the table for all interests in putting the plan together but there is one really big thing no one seems willing to say: It is morally reprehensible to profit from the suffering of others. All of the major interests fighting real reform in the Healthcare system — Doctors, Insurance Companies, Drug Companies — have one thing in common: the current system, which is frequently horrible for patients, and expensive beyond all rationalization, is one from which they profit.
It’s not politically practical to do what we’d do ideally, which is to go to a single payer system. The insurance industry is just too large a sector of our economy to wipe out all at once. Drugs are expensive to develop, and while doctors can make a lot of money relative to most people, their pay tops out a couple of orders of magnitude lower than, for example, corporate executives and investment bankers.
But in order for anything other that yet another bullshit fake reform that keeps punishing people for not being wealthy and immortal to take place, the President, the pundits, and everyone else needs to have the courage to stand up against those groups, and speak the truth. And the truth is those people are getting rich on the suffering of others. They are no different, morally, than the arms dealers who sell to the government and militias in Sudan.
The argument has to be framed in those terms, and people need to bring it up again and again, because otherwise we’re all going to get fucked over yet again.
Oh those other two topics?
1. I feel a lot of goodwill towards the people of Iran and the courage they’ve shown in standing up to their government. Not an original idea, but this last weekend is one of those moments like Solidarity in Poland, Tienanmen Square in China, and the Orange Revolution in Georgia, where you get a feeling of hope for change. A more democratic Iran will benefit the Iranian people, and the world at large, and the only way it’s going to happen is when the Iranian people stand up to their government.
2. Fuck Sarah Palin. Again not an original thought, but every time you think she’s plumbed the depths of unprincipled political opportunism, she finds a way to go lower. There is nothing more despicable than transparently using your own children as props for your own ambition, and it’s something she’s done again and again. It’s hard to think of another figure in American politics whose ambition so completely outstrips his or her abilities or sense of shame. Mitt Romney comes to mind, but Sarah Palin makes Mitt Romney look like Abraham Fucking Lincoln.
Originally published at Do My Eyes Look Scary?. You can comment here or there.