Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wanted: A smart conservative

Here's a conversation I'd like to have:

Me: "I'd like to see universal health care in the United States. Short of that, I'd like to see a public insurance option offered by the government, as a way of making insurance cheaper and more honest across the board."

Conservative: "I agree that we need reform, but a public option is not the way to do it. I say we enact more oversight on private insurers, possibly through a government-appointed board, and offer tax credits for consumers dedicated toward purchasing a plan on the free market. Speaking of free market, I'd end restrictions on interstate commerce to ensure that Americans could really find the best price possible on their insurance policies."

Instead, the conservative response goes something like this:

Conservative: "I don't want Obamacare! It's socialist. He's just trying to get government into every aspect of our lives. No death panels! Get your government hands off my Medicare!"

Here's another exchange I'd entertain:

Me: "I suspect that a lot of opposition to President Obama is steeped in racism, be it conscious or subconscious. I feel this way because so much of it relates to his alleged origins (i.e., birth certificate, alleged Muslim madrassa) and supposed ideology (association with Rev. Wright, supposed move towards socialism, communism, fascism) more than any real political issues. There's an ugly undercurrent to Obama's opposition that seems more personal and threatening than the norm and isn't particularly grounded in reality."

Conservative: "I understand how it must look. There's a lot of frustration out there among conservatives, and the fringe among us has taken perhaps the most vocal and visible stance. And while I can't deny that some of it does play on deep-seated prejudices, some of it does have legitimate roots. I'm sorry that our frustration and our meanest elements have drowned out what are genuine grievances. We are concerned that Obama's policies on the bailouts and health care amount to more government control than we are comfortable with. We don't think the free market would benefit from increased government influence. A public insurance option would not level the playing field, but instead thwart free competition by running insurance companies out of business. The bailouts, in my view, gave the Obama administration de facto control over General Motors and top financial institutions. These big-government actions are not exactly the stuff of Stalin, but are of concern to those of us who favor smaller government."

Of course, no one will have any of that.

Conservative: "There's nothing racist about it! That's all you liberals ever do, cry racism. Nice try at class warfare. And way to parrot all those talking points you read on Daily Kos every day. You liberals you liberals you liberals you liberals you liberals you liberals and your socialism."

Are there any sensible conservatives left, or am I just going to have to keep talking to myself?


NOLA Progressive said... make a better conservative than conservatives do. That's just sad, or is it Socialist? Hmmm.

Robert Taylor said...

I feel like this is an apt opportunity to give me thoughts on why Republicans sound so irrational and inarticulate in their arguments against Obamacare: because they too are Socialists.

Without going into elaboration, you can see how it would be difficult for so called "conservatives" to keep in line with the ideas they borrowed from classical liberals when they really have differences from Democrats that are few and far between.

It's the Republican party that has been responsible for growing government more in the past 50 years than the "opposition".

What is clear however, is that it is precisely Obama's current hot topic crisis that showcases how government ultimately screws prosperity and raises prices to hurt us all.

If you were a smart individual, regardless of your position in the false political spectrum, you might try and investigate the historical roots of where the conservative opposition to Socialism comes from. But you won't.

Ian McGibboney said...

You know, Robert, you had me until those last two paragraphs. I don't know why you feel like you have to end every comment with an incredibly condescending dig toward me. Do you think that helps your case? Because I think it weakens it.

I agree with you that the GOP is the party most responsible for the inflation of debt and deficit we have today. I disagree that Obama's intervention is in any way to blame for the disasters, and that in fact it is the only thing that might save us. You might disagree with that Robert, but try to do it without attacking my intelligence, OK? Otherwise, you're no better than those other petulant guys who insist on making this about me and not about the issues.

Robert Taylor said...

Hey Ian I know you try to stretch your comedic skillz, but you can't just attack and ridicule conservatives and then act hurt when someone gives you a taste of your own medicine.

The whole point of your post was to showcase the lack of intelligence from your opposition. I'm pointing out your own lack of intelligence through jest. You make this about the loudest jesters in the Republican party, and keep a giant distance from the intellectual conservatives who have an argument.

YES. They do exist. And while in many ways I do not agree with many of their theories, they have legitimate arguments that are compatible with my own stance.

You end your post by asking if there are any sensible conservatives left. I'm not going to ask such questions, but instead open a dialogue if your willing to discuss the reasons why Obamacare is untenable and will eventually lead to a single payer system and why that is a bad thing

Ian McGibboney said...

Gee, Robert, I'd love to debate you on the topic exactly as you've framed it. I'm sure that, combined with your repeated assertions of my lack of intelligence for disagreeing with you, will bear lots of intellectual fruit.

Robert Taylor said...

So I guess your posts are never sarcastic in nature. I should just take everything you write literally.

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt before, a luxury you don't extend me.

Ian McGibboney said...

I think I'm being clear enough with my intentions here. Why you think my call for an earnest debate necessitated an allegedly sarcastic dig at my intelligence is beyond me. But I guess we just have different conceptions of humor.

NOLA Progressive said...

If you were a smart individual, regardless of your position in the false political spectrum, you might try and investigate the historical roots of where the conservative opposition to Socialism comes from. But you won't.

I'd particularly like to hear the roots of this opposition begin, and even more, like to here how it has anything to do with health care reform.

6p00d83451b40e69e2 said...

The roots of where the conservative opposition to socialism come from two not particularly great places: (1) the conservatives' desire to control everything and order it to their benefit, particularly money/capital and political power, thus being unwilling to share it with anybody else; and (2) the fact that socialism grew out of the lower class and its belief that the fat bastards eating all the pie had been having it their own way for too long, thus irritating the fat bastards who had been eating all the pie, i.e., the conservatives.