"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."

Aug 25, 2009

American Mean Streak

Mary Dejevsky: A mean streak in the US mainstream

The US tolerates more inequality, deprivation and suffering than is acceptable here

When we Europeans – the British included – contemplate the battles President Obama must fight to reform the US health system, our first response tends to be disbelief. How can it be that so obvious a social good as universal health insurance, so humane a solution to common vulnerability, is not sewn deep into the fabric of the United States? How can one of the biggest, richest and most advanced countries in the world tolerate a situation where, at any one time, one in six of the population has to pay for their treatment item by item, or resort to hospital casualty wards?

The second response, as automatic as the first, is to blame heartless and ignorant Republicans. To Europeans, a universal health system is so basic to a civilised society that only the loony right could possibly oppose it: the people who cling to their guns, picket abortion clinics (when they are not trying to shoot the abortionists) and block funding for birth control in the third world. All right, we are saying to ourselves, there are Americans who think like this, but they are out on an ideological limb.

If only this were true. The reason why Obama is finding health reform such a struggle – even though it was central to his election platform – is not because an extreme wing of the Republican Party, mobilised by media shock-jocks, is foaming at the mouth, or because Republicans have more money than Democrats to buy lobbying and advertising power. Nor is it only because so many influential groups, from insurance companies through doctors, have lucrative interests to defend – although this is a big part of it.

cont. @ The Independent


At 5:25 PM , Blogger Zoro said...

Some I have known applaud the person-centredness of ordinary Americans. I am not placed to comment on the point of 'every person for themself' the article refers to. What is pointed out is the massive diverging points of view on why every citizen of the US should be supported and provided with universal health care. Perhaps the keyword is 'citizen?' If I wanted to analyze ethnicity and low income in relation to 'let them choose their bed and lie in it,'I would need to investigate to what extent some form of ethnic cleansing is on the agenda. It is fully understandable that wealth = greed = obesity. Hallejula, I swear I heard the twang of rubber bands in the many mansions of the good lord's hovel in the sky.


At 4:02 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Mainstream American meanness is percolating in ways untold. It once was well concealed, in the naive boom years of post WW2.

Now, after all the wasted warnings and lost decades wallowing in the plastic fantastic, instead of embracing tolerance and compassion and forgiveness, the milieu yields a burgeoning punitive selfishness. Conservative me-firsters and love-it-or-leave-it types have no time for the downtrodden, until they wake-up amidst 'em.

At 4:58 PM , Blogger Zoro said...

Obviously, the conspiricists are ensuring that the growing underclass are restricted to simmering instead of boiling over supra world leadership. Who pulled the plug on St. Louis expose of poor assistance for black citizens - yes the white supremacists steer the ship of state - what the fuck do they make of Obama? What the fuck does Obama make of them?


At 6:47 PM , Blogger Indigobusiness said...

Things are fixin to get real ugly, I fear.


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