Shortcuts & Delusions: We’re All Gonna Die!

Within the past week, I’ve had a drastic and sudden change of heart regarding my political ideology. For years, I considered myself a Thoreauvian Minarchist, a term I made up to reflect the influence Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau had on my libertarianism. My ideology, until my recent conversion, can be summed up as a melding of the Founding Father’s rationale for the formulation of government, as can be found in The Federalist Papers, with the self-reliance and spirituality of Transcendentalism.

As Emerson and Thoreau would say, I am still “following my own genius,” but it has led me into a new ideological realm: modern progressivism.

First, a little background. In my extended family, my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles are conservatives, whereas my cousins are mostly liberals. My mother is not very political, but she could be described as right-of-center, and my father is a Reagan Republican. My extended family is quite large, and we would often discuss politics at reunions. I pride myself in understanding and appreciating both left and right sides of an issue, though I typically agreed with the more conservative side; I was more or less a conservative for a long time, but became disillusioned when the size of government never shrunk when the GOP held the reins of government and studied, and then embraced, libertarianism.

However, I am jumping ship yet again. The recent political strife over repealing and replacing Obamacare has enlightened me to a fact heretofore unknown to me. In 2010, I was very much against the imposition of Obamacare, but in recent weeks Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has warned that if Obamacare is repealed, “people will die.”

I took a few philosophy classes in college, one of which centered on logic. By applying a critical lens to what Warren has claimed, I realized that if Obamacare is not repealed, people will not die. I may be an outlier, but I do not want to die. I eat healthy, exercise regularly, and am risk-adverse to the point of not engaging in any sport or activity that requires a helmet, I don’t attend Scottish soccer matches, and I drive well below the speed limit, often with my four-ways flashing.

There is nothing wrong with changing a position upon the availability of new information. I was very critical of Obamacare upon its passage and implementation, but upon learning that Obamacare is a source of immortality, I am now one of its staunchest supporters.

***

When I first started seeing all these ads and interviews about people dying, I thought, “I’m pretty sure everyone dies eventually.” Sadly, I’m not as eloquent as one of my favorite writers.

Ernest Hemingway has a few good quotes about death. From A Farewell to Arms, his novel about a double-amputee: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry. But you will receive good treatment if cared for by doctors subsidized by the state.”
From his essay titled, “Notes on the Next War”: “They wrote in the old days that it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. But in modern war there is nothing sweet nor fitting in your dying. You will die like a dog for no good reason. But if you do not die on the battlefield, rest assured Veteran’s Affairs will neglect you and you will perish in a waiting room from an infection caused by a routine hip replacement.”
Another from a letter he wrote to his family when he was 19: “And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered. And it is most preferable for death to come while protesting on a college campus some conservative bastard’s right to free speech.”
The one I relate to the most is from my favorite short story Hem wrote, Indian Camp:
They were seated in the boat, Nick in the stern, his father 
rowing. The sun was coming up over the hills. A bass 
jumped, making a circle in the water. Nick trailed his hand 
in the water. It felt warm in the sharp chill of the morning. 

In the early morning on the lake sitting in the stern of the 
boat with his father rowing, he felt quite sure that he would 
never die, because the Democrats would one day pass Obamacare 
that would expand Medicaid coverage.
 ***

Democrats/liberals/progressives/hippy douchebags, whatever you want to call them, fancy themselves as fighting for the vulnerable. To them, everyone who isn’t part of the 1% are the unwashed masses littering 19th century Parisian streets. They act as though they are champions of the poor and destitute, protecting them from the indifferent landed gentry riding in their horse drawn coaches trampling beggars underfoot. And yes, I will confirm for those of you suspecting, that I just watched Les Misérables, which stars Wolverine, Jor-El, and Catwoman.

Democrats fancy themselves pro-science (jury’s still out on that one), but they are definitely not pro-math, and I daresay they are not pro-reality. They piss and moan that if Trumpcare passes and envelopes Obamacare, proposed Medicaid cuts (which are just reductions in projected annual increases) would lead to poor and middle class Americans dying in the streets.

Forgive me for changing metaphors midstream, but if you desired to keep a vulnerable people afloat, as well as add to their numbers, and were capable of logic, you might try to renovate the ship so it could accommodate more passengers, or design and build a new and improved ship. You wouldn’t put more passengers aboard an already sinking ship, would you?

National Review writers state, “Medicaid is really the low-hanging fruit of the entitlement wars. If Congress can’t reform Medicaid, how can it ever be expected to make changes to Social Security and Medicare, which have wider and more powerful constituencies?” & “Arkansas is taking significant steps toward reversing Obamacare’s devastating impact. Other expansion states should take note.” Mises.org ran an article stating, “Believe it or not, the data suggest that if anything, ObamaCare actually caused more Americans to die” and at the Federalist, “[R]esearch has shown that being on Medicaid produces no better health outcomes than being uninsured.”

In their quest to show that liberals are the responsible adults in the room regarding the possible repeal and replacement of Obamacare, Salon posts an article about Americans on Medicaid trolling a Republican Facebook page, while Slate posits that it is an infamita that one in five Americans has a disability, but only 1% of doctors have a disability, which makes disabled patients uncomfortable, because how could a doctor ever hope to understand what the disabled patient is going through? My father was very lucky: when undergoing treatment for prostate cancer, his oncologist was also suffering from cancer.
“I never would have allowed him to treat me if he wasn’t also suffering from cancer,” dear old dad said. “How could I trust him to know how to properly provide treatment? From years and years of medical school and practice? Are you nuts?!”

***

And that’s the way it is, as far as you know.

 

Image: Fox News

This post was written by Dillon Eliassen.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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Dillon Eliassen is the Managing Editor of Being Libertarian. Dillon works in the sales department of a privately owned small company. He holds a BA in Journalism & Creative Writing from Lyndon State College, and needs only to complete his thesis for his Master’s of English from Montclair State University (something which his accomplished and beautiful wife, Alice, is continually pestering him about). He is the author of The Apathetic, available at Amazon.com. He is a self-described Thoreauvian Minarchist.

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