Who remembers the 2012 tea party debate at which Ron Paul was asked by Wolf Blitzer: “Congressman, are you saying that society should just let
[an uninsured 30-year-old man in coma] die?” (some audience members shouted “Yeah!”). Paul’s reply?
“We’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves or assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it.”
I can’t even get my neighbor to stop her dog from peeing on my grass, let alone convince her to give me a helping hand should I ever fall into a coma. As for my friends, they’d certainly be there for me, but their money wouldn’t. That’s because they don’t have enough to pay their own bills, nevermind mine. And “our churches” wouldn’t likely open their wallets to save my life, a total stranger who happens to be a Jewish atheist.
While Big Guvmint won’t stop the cute doggie from ruining what’s left of my lawn, they’re pretty good to me in a number of other ways. Which brings us to this Los Angeles Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:
Instead, he says, the conservative believes that it is “civil society” and “family” upon whom we should rely. I find this to be naive.
Before “big government,” were children working ungodly hours rescued by civil society (whatever that means) and family? Did the unemployed receive some sort of support when there was no unemployment or disability insurance? Where was a safety net for the elderly?
Yes, there is inefficiency in government. As one who worked for a municipality that addressed efficiencies, or the lack thereof, I saw firsthand many of these issues. Nonetheless, it is naive to suggest that if we rely on the goodwill of civil society and family, all will be well.
Whoever thought that conservatives were really utopians?