Friday, November 27, 2009

"...we're going to let you die"

In his book, "Liberal Fascism", Jonah Goldberg defines fascism as follows.
Fascism is a religion of the state. It assumes the organic unity of the body politic and longs for a national leader attuned to the will of the people. It is totalitarian in that it views everything as political and holds that any action by the state is justified to achieve the common good. It takes responsibility for all aspects of life, including our health and well being, and seeks to impose unitformity of thought and action, whether by force or through regulation and social pressure. Everything, including economy and religion, must be aligned with its objectives. Any rival identity is part of the "problem" and therefore defined as the enemy.
Goldberg adds that,
...contemporary American liberalism embodies all these aspects of fascism.

The following is a remarkable speech (though not remarkable enough, apparently, to be widely disseminated by the mainstream media) given by former Clinton Labor Secretary and present Obama economic advisor Robert Reich in September 2007.

I'll actually give you a speech made up entirely, almost on the spur of the moment, of what a candidate for president would say if that candidate did not care about becoming president. In other words, this is what the truth is and a candidate will never say, but what a candidate should say if we were in the kind of democracy where citizens were honored in terms of their practice of citizenship and they were educated in terms of what the issues were and they could separate myth from reality in terms of what candidates would tell them:
"Thank you so much for coming this afternoon. I'm so glad to see you and I would like to be president. Let me tell you a few things on health care. Look, we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people. And that's true and what I'm going to do is that I am going try to reorganize it to be more amenable to treating sick people but that means you, particularly you young people, particularly you young healthy're going to have to pay more.
"Thank you. And by the way, we're going to have to, if you're very old, we're not going to give you all that technology and all those drugs for the last couple of years of your life to keep you maybe going for another couple of months. It's too we're going to let you die."
"Also I'm going to use the bargaining leverage of the federal government in terms of Medicare, Medicaid---we already have a lot of bargaining leverage---to force drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers to reduce their costs. What that means, less innovation and that means less new products and less new drugs on the market which means you are probably not going to live much longer than your parents. Thank you."

Reich's speech provides a resounding confirmation of Goldberg's thesis. First he explicitly assumes that the topic of health care is a political issue. (It may seem strange to the progressive mindset, but there is actually a rational case to be made that it shouldn't be). Then he makes a broadly reckless and inaccurate assertion - "we have the only health care system in the world that is designed to avoid sick people". If what Reich says is true then it would not be possible for patients to receive high quality, prompt, urgently needed medical care for life threatening illnesses at substantial discounts from their actual cost (and I mean really substantial, greater than 95%). I am personally aware of more than a few cases where this has happened. Put aside my anecdotal experience - Gallup reports that eighty-three percent of Americans rate the quality of health care they receive as excellent or good, while only 15% say theirs is poor. The system is decidely not "avoiding" these people when they're sick.
Reich's sweeping declaration then becomes the impetus for a complete overhaul of our health care system - an imperative objective of the state. Negative outcomes - and they are exceedingly negative - young people paying more, old people being allowed to die (death panels), the stifling of medical innovation - are all justified to "achieve the common good" of government control of health care. Drug companies and insurance companies and medical suppliers will be "forced" to lower their costs.

Reich's dictatorial tone is reflected in the methodology of the Democrats' efforts to pass their legislation. Compromise and negotiation with those not "aligned with the objective" are rejected. The headlines shout - "Dems willing to go it alone on health care". Unbelievers are trampled. Obama -"I want them just to get out of the way". Grassroots opponents are denigrated with slurs - "teabaggers" - even Bill Clinton used it. (He knows about such things). Pelosi, Hoyer - Protesters "simply un-American". Reich's is a fascist speech mirroring his party's fascist ideology.
Goldberg quotes Mussolini, "The fascisti...proceed unceasingly toward one goal, the future well-being of the...people".

We should be grateful for Reich's brutal honesty. The official progressive line is soothing, opaque and disingenuous. As Reich admits, a real candidate for president would not say these things. Reich has and Obamacare opponents should broadcast his pronouncements nationwide, over and over again. The more effectively this is done, the quicker these atrocious proposals can be deep-sixed. Then maybe we could start over. Revamping one-sixth of our economy should be attempted only after careful deliberation. We could spend three years vigorously debating the issue of health care reform and still have a plan in place in the same time frame as the Democrats' current bills. It's not the sledgehammer, fascistic approach to government now favored by those currently in power. But it's how our American democracy should operate.

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