Tuesday, August 25, 2009

"A mean streak in the U.S. Mainstream"--by Mary Dejevsky

Yep. The article is about health care in the U.S. and the belief that actually giving health care to everyone is a bad thing;

"The second response, as automatic as the first, is to blame heartless and ignorant Republicans. To Europeans, a universal health system is so basic to a civilised society that only the loony right could possibly oppose it: the people who cling to their guns, picket abortion clinics (when they are not trying to shoot the abortionists) and block funding for birth control in the third world. All right, we are saying to ourselves, there are Americans who think like this, but they are out on an ideological limb.

***

The unpalatable fact for Europeans who incline to think that Americans are just like us is that Democrats are not solidly behind Obama on this issue. Even many in the party's mainstream must be wooed, cajoled and even – yes – frightened, if they are ever going to agree to change the status quo. Universal healthcare is an article of faith in the US only at what mainstream America would regard as the bleeding- heart liberal end of the spectrum."

On the whole, Dejevsky kind of goes overboard not in estimating our mean streak but in overestimating the intellectual thought that goes into opposing health care. Further on in the article she talks about people opposing it because of concerns that they'd have to finance sick people, and that that would cost them money. I don't think that most discussions or opinions about health care in the U.S. really go that deep. There's just a knee jerk response that says don't raise taxes combined with a knee jerk fear about being denied coverage.

America does have a mean streak, but it also has a stupid streak that's usually combined with it--and that cuts across ideological lines to apply to both Democrats and Republicans. It's amazing that we're in the position of being a world leader with the amount of willing ignorance that we have here--proof that guns can get a person farther than smarts if they have no morals. In reality, the U.S. should be quarantined and demoted in status until the population can prove that it has the basic intelligence needed to participate in politics on the world scene.

We don't deserve what we have internally or what we possess in terms of power globally. If Europeans really saw the vast wasteland of consumerism in the U.S., and were aware that this is the mainstream, not a crass subculture, they'd start a visa approval process for U.S. citizens entering the EU. Which would probably be a good thing considering how American in general shit all over Europe's cultural treasures and historic cities once they get over there. The ugly American is more the mainstream American than people really want to believe.

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