How Can a Political Opinion be Stupid Even If its Author is Not?
|December 24, 2013||Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn under Editorials|
These two 2013 excerpts of op-eds are by Joel S. Hirschhorn, Oct 1 and Oct 6. While we don’t agree with every opinion expressed on this site, we do intend to give a forum to clear thinkers with overlooked information. If you’d like to blog here, do let us know.
How Stupid Are Limbaugh Listeners?
On having to buy health insurance: Car owners are required to buy automobile insurance. There are now jurisdictions where home owners are required to buy flood insurance. There are also places where people must pay for an ambulance if they do not have insurance coverage. And let us not forget that government mandates parents to send their children to schools, which requires various kinds of spending (as does even home schooling). When I travel by air my ticket includes several government mandated costs.
You might think that a genuine conservative would strongly support public policy that prevented people from shifting costs that they should be responsible for to the general public. Individual responsibility is not some socialist belief as much as it is a true conservative one.
It’s an incorrect notion that by forcing people to use health exchanges the hidden goal was to put private health insurance companies out of business. Yet health exchanges offer insurance provided by private health insurers, not some government provider.
Obamacare is not a government single payer system, essentially Medicare for everyone, rather a system that maintains the grip of private health insurance companies on the health system, because so much money is siphoned out by the insurance companies.
The Rush Limbaugh slush has reached such high levels that I hope some entity would go to the courts and attempt to get him off the public airwaves, and force him onto media that must be purchased. What Limbaugh is getting away with is akin to shouting fire ina public place when there is no fire. Constantly telling lies that are designed to screw up our political system should not be been as allowable free speech. And his sponsors should also take umbrage at his irresponsible pattern of behavior and stop supporting him.
Fighting the Stupid Revolution
Government hating Americans elect government hating politicians. Mean spirited citizens elect mean spirited politicians. Like minded Tea Party Republican conservatives end up living together, feeding their mutual anger and resentment. This reinforces and intensifies narrow-minded beliefs. House districts are gerrymandered by Republican legislatures to consist nearly entirely of such communities. This creates safe elections for the most extreme Tea Party politicians. Shut down the federal government. This is the Stupid Revolution that accelerates the destruction of American democracy.
The far right complains about an expansive, high spending federal government, especially for social programs. Yet an unjust economic system greatly increases the need to assist the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the ill, the jobless, and so many others struggling with economic insecurity, both middle class and working poor people.
Who are these radical Tea Party aligned republicans? The Bloomberg National Poll of adults 18 and over showed that 40 percent of Tea Party supporters are 55 or older, compared with 32 percent of all poll respondents; 79 percent are white, 61 percent are men and 44 percent identify as “born-again Christians”, compared with 75 percent, 48.5 percent, and 34 percent, respectively, for the general population. According to a NYT/CBS News poll Tea Party supporters said they did not want to cut Medicare or Social Security — the biggest domestic programs, suggesting instead a focus on “waste.” Moreover, a majority of tea party people described their own financial situation as “good” or “very good.”
The great irony is that these Tea Party smaller-government zealots include many, many people, especially older ones, benefitting from federal programs, including veterans, social security, Medicare, small business loans, and farm support. They see Obamacare as some form of awful welfare, while so many of them enjoy Medicare.
I too want to see reduced federal spending. But the zealots on the right put far greater value on a eventual economic catastrophe resulting from extremely high federal debt – something possible in the future – while willing to ignore the economic pain today felt by so many Americans (but not likely by them).
The core problem is the perversion of the electoral process by the design of House districts aimed solely at removing diversity of the population, an awful form of political segregation. Politicians no longer have to worry about losing elections. All of this is fed by right wing talk radio and television like Limbaugh to Americans living in bubbles of intellectual isolation and bankruptcy.
There is one potential solution. The Supreme Court must make highly gerrymandered, manipulated house districts by any party unconstitutional.