Yesterday, I witnessed a lot of emotions in the wake of the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act. (For you Canadian and European readers, I know you think we’re all a bunch of fucking lunatics for having our asses in an uproar over such a basic thing as healthcare, but bear with me.)
There was joy, relief, and elation (particularly among those in the populace who have been on the sharp end of the insurance industry stick) and there was disappointment, bafflement, and fear (mostly from those who quibble with the legality of the law, still, even though now all three branches of Constitutional government have passed/upheld the damn thing).
I’m not talking about any of those people. No, there’s another group of folks out there, and there’s no denying that it’s a large group, and man have they overdosed on the crazy pills. I’m talking about the people who are so crazy that they make the guys who want to start a shooting war over healthcare reform seem positively tame. (In case you missed it, there’s grumbling out there that the way to repeal the healthcare law is to get yer gun. In all fairness, that particular GOP fuckwit who said that has since apologized, but maybe attach a filter to your stupid yap next time?)
No, I’m talking about the real crazy people. Those who make grandiloquent over-the-top hyperbolic statements, the kind of breath-taking hyperbole that make normal everyday hyperbolic statements go, “Duuuuuuude.” Like those who claim that healthcare reform is compassion at the end of a gun. YES, we’re all a bunch of roving madmen knocking down your door in the middle of the night, sticking a shotgun in your mouth and shouting, “YOU WILL HAVE HEALTHCARE! AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!”
I’m also talking about an ex-acquaintance on Facebook who compared healthcare reform to the Holocaust. That’s right, providing affordable healthcare to uninsured Americans is just like the wholesale slaughter of the Jews by the Third Reich. That person has been unfriended and blocked, and anyone else with equally cockamamie ideas should come forward now because my unfriend/block muscles are all limbered up.
(If you need more crazy, go here. But be prepared to facepalm. I especially like the bit where Chief Justice John Roberts only voted to uphold ACA because someone kidnapped his family and threatened to kill them unless he voted the way he did. Yeah.)
In a way, I feel bad for these people. I can’t even begin to imagine what their home lives are like. I’m sure the dog shitting on the carpet is like the firebombing of Dresden. Having the DVR not record your favorite show is like ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. The dryer not properly drying the heavy comforter is like Abu Ghirab prison.
This kind of hyperbolic thinking is the end result of listening to right-wing media personalities, and I know, you’re just in thrall to the stupid and can’t change the channel or read a book (other than the Bible). But these rhetorical tropes are way past their expiration date, folks. Hell, it was tiresome back in 2009 when people were running around with Obama as the Joker signs.
(And yes, the image on the left is a picture I took in 2009, at a healthcare rally in Austin TX for crissakes, so don’t try to convince me that these people are running around in the back woods. They live among us.)
I’m sure if I gave enough of a shit, I’d find out that these same people also profess to believing in a flat earth, a return to the Gold Standard, that we faked the moon landings, and that faeries really do cavort in gardens. I don’t know, I don’t care, just stay the fuck away from me, and take a chill pill, okay?
PS. I took this second picture at the same rally. I asked the woman permission to take the photo, and she agreed on one condition: “Okay, but don’t go around telling people I was calling Obama a Nazi.”
So I said, “Well, you’re kinda making a direct comparison there, in writing, to the Third Reich.”
And she said, “No I’m not, I’m saying that government healthcare is about Nazism.”
And there you have it.