The Politics of Credulity & Fear

I have been pretty disgusted with the absurd level of craziness about the health care bill here in the U.S. I mean, death threats against people who supported the bill? I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell is going on to cause all this insanity over something that every other industrial nation on earth already has, namely, universal health care.

I had an epiphany today. I don’t for a moment think that it is in anyway original, but I think it might explain what is going on. This is just my preliminary theory and I have nothing but anecdotal evidence to back it up, so take it for what it’s worth.

For those of you who remember when the Berlin Wall came down, you will also remember that shortly after communism fell throughout Europe, something interesting happened to the political right here. Suddenly, gone were the godless communists who were going to destroy our whole way of life, and a new threat appeared – homosexuality, and especially gay marriage.

We were told that if homosexuals were allowed to marry, all sorts of social depravities would ensue. Our children would all become gay. Families would be torn apart. Apparently, to believe the rhetoric, our whole American society would simply collapse. Well, it’s been a decade or more and we are all still here. Thousands of homosexuals have legally married and families are intact. Homosexuals are no greater a percentage of the population then they were before. None of the predicted ills have befallen us.

These days, it has become politically inappropriate to denigrate homosexuals, so the political right needed something to new fear, and to try and make us all fear.

Enter Obama and Health Care. Now, we are told, this health care bill will cause our country to become a socialist country, the next Nazi Germany. Seniors will be round up and sent to death camps to save money on health care and all of those ugly, smelly illegal immigrants will be getting their health care dollars instead. Oh, and don’t forget all the unborn babies that will be killed with taxpayer dollars.

In a year or two, our society will still be intact. More people will have health care and non of the predicted ills will have manifested themselves, just like with communism and homosexuality (and Freemasonry, Mormonism, and many other supposed threats from our history that never seemed to pan out either).

I wonder what the political right will find to be afraid of then? Who knows? The only certainty is that they WILL find something and the world, once again, will be about to end.

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