I recently saw a question on Jack Cafferty's blog (CNN): "Fair to soak the rich to pay for health care reform?" Since I am always interested in anything that portends the goose-stepping march of socialism in this country, I read what Cafferty had to say. But it wasn't his comments that ended up inspiring me to write; it was the comments readers had posted to this question.
Inspiration to write used to be as plentiful as fresh air (I live in rural Arizona). A few years back I was writing fairly regularly for a couple of internet sites and the local newspaper. After many attempts, I finally ended up getting a few articles posted on LewRockwell.com. I considered that to be my greatest achievement as a writer.
Then one day I just stopped writing. I started to lose my focus and interest in trying to prove to myself that I had something useful to say that just might express the sentiments of others.
Once I walked away from the keyboard it became more difficult to go back and rekindle that interest in writing. I came to loathe the writing process and the constant struggles that accompany the never-ending search for the perfect word, sentence, analogy, style, etc. Struggles that I once welcomed as a challenge worth pursuing had become repulsive. I gave into my apathy and accepted that my aspirations to be a writer had ended.
I am a teacher by profession. I am what the mainstream would call an "extremist." I trash gatekeeper accounts of Lincoln, FDR, the Federal Reserve and government as a beacon of hope in times of crisis. Sometimes I even make my students read articles by Tom Woods, Tom DiLorenzo, Lew Rockwell, Murray Rothbard and Ron Paul in order to demonstrate how textbooks often leave out critical facts and details about events in history.
One day a few of my students informed me they had been reading my material posted on the internet. They asked me why nothing recent. I replied I needed the right inspiration to start writing again.
Well, the comments to Cafferty's question have become the manure to what I hope to be a fruitful harvest.
I read all the comments — 154 of them. Although there were a few bright spots, and let me emphasize the word few, most all the others were repetitive sound bites and clichés one has come to expect associated with any politically-charged issue emanating from Washington. What troubles me most is that an issue that should be analyzed strictly according to its economic impact is turned into an emotionally-driven freak show about how selected individuals cannot get adequate health care. What is evident by the majority of these comments is the degree of economic ignorance and sheer stupidity of "average" Americans.
Since these model citizens of the modern nation-state included their name along with their comments, I will do the same as I share a few of these gems.
Phil in Georgia said it shouldn't be a problem for the rich to "cut back on a couple of cars you don't really need, . . . 1 or 2 butlers less." Gee wiz, Phil. Think of all the "little people," like those butlers, who would be out of work if the rich in your world were made to "sacrifice for the well being of all Americans and mankind." (Phil's words.) No doubt the guys who maintain those cars not really needed are "working Americans," unlike the rich guy in Phil's mind who employs them.
Stan in Illinois said: "YES, soak them double time. They have road the gravy train for eight years." Stan's comment illustrates another point of annoyance for me as I look out across the sea of ignorance and stupidity that is modern America.
On occasion I read the comments that accompany articles posted on the internet. It's like taking a step back in time and being dropped into a line of Flagellants during the days of the Black Death. Reading these comments is often an exercise in self-abuse. Usually if you jump in and make an obvious point, you become the target of abuse by everyone else in the discussion and the original topic gets lost at that point.
Customarily, email and blogging etiquette doesn't hold participants to rules of grammar and spelling that would normally hold true in other mediums of written communication. In regard to these comments, I think the simple errors of spelling, grammar and word usage are further examples of the intellectually-deficient individuals who so self-righteously proclaim that "soaking the rich" is a legitimate mechanism to achieve health care reform in this country. Their lack of grammar and spelling skills complement their economic ignorance.
Agnes in Scottsdale, Arizona, said that the Obama plan would require "greater contributions" from the rich. Here's a return to Clinton-era linguistic acrobatics, when "contributions" became synonymous with coerced payments under threat of seizure and imprisonment. Again, the people chiming in on this question probably have no clue as to how ignorant and stupid they sound. They are just regurgitating what they've seen and heard on the news. And it's to these people those pushing most for "reform" will turn in order to sway the sizeable portion of our population that is easily brainwashed.
I hope I'm wrong. If health care reform is defeated with the current Congress it will be a small miracle. But the issue will keep coming back again and again until it gets through some Congress in the future. Once it gets passed, it will mutate like a virus and eventually consume all that it failed to consume in its original form. And we will eventually get what Obama and his minions are trying to pass now. They are counting on ignorant and stupid Americans to do their part to help ram this "reform" through Congress. I just hope there are still enough of us with brains to collectively stop them.
So long as government continues to exist, regardless of who is in charge, there should always be inspiration for those who, like myself, try to do their small part to make government's existence increasingly miserable. President Obama spoke of "hope and change" when he was elected president. After reading the Cafferty File, I can still see that rhetoric does not affect many people; they remain willfully ignorant and even downright stupid.
Harry Goslin [send him mail] lives in Arizona.