Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Moral Decline of America

It's not about drugs, sex, and rock & roll. - or even gays. It was bad enough to hear people cheer executions in Texas in one of the debates. But hearing people cheer for those who die because they are in comas and don't have medical insurance, that was about the most horrifyingly immoral political message I have ever heard. If you didn't see it, here it is:

There are libertarians and extreme conservatives of the tea party persuasion who are so concerned about paying taxes and government control of things like health care. They say that supposedly takes away your freedom. How free is a dead guy because he didn't have insurance? How free is his family that survived to pay off the hundreds of thousands in health care costs that may have been incurred? This fanciful philosophy that everybody does so much better when left alone is appalling. There is even a veneer of religion imposed over it among many around here who follow Beck and Skousen and frame in in the terms of "free agency" and "patriotic freedoms."

They say leave it all to free markets and charity and people who are free and aren't taxed to extremes will be more generous. Where's the evidence for that argument? But it's more than just being supposedly forced to do good at a loss of freedom. That is a blood-drenched crimson herring. What about my freedoms to live in a Union of people dedicated to the proposition that we are all created equal, that we should have equal opportunity regardless of our condition in life? What if I support a government of the People, by the People, and for the People? Our government. Our People. Us. Union. Why are these principles, the actual principles of our founders enhanced by other greats like Lincoln so disfavored by some?

We, as a people, are better united than we are as individuals. We can come together and do good things. We can also do bad things. But as long as we work together with everyone having a stake and everyone having a share - and those in and with each other, we can improve our society and our union and our people and ourselves. That is American morality. Not cheering people who die because they are theoretically and philosophically free.

Shame on you tea partiers! This isn't funny anymore.

I also read and recommend columnist Ezra Klein on these same themes.

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