I was going to ask, "How stupid do you have to be to believe that the government is creating a health reform bill that will include killing our senior citizens?"
But I realized that's the wrong question. The proper question is:
"How angry at losing political power or how frightened about liberals or how scared at any change or how terrified at having a black president or how stupid do you have to be to truly believe the United States is creating a public health bill to kill senior citizens?"
Mind you, I'm not talking about people against health care reform. That's another matter entirely. The topic at hand here is one thing only -- believing that the U.S. government wants to kill its senior citizens and weakest members.
That's the issue. And that's what is incomprehensibly insane.
And if right now you are reading this and sputtering, "No, it's not insane because..." then you are among those who, while likely a level-headed and good-hearted person at most times, are being too stupid or angry or frightened or entrenched or racist.
(Just to be clear, you don't have to be all the above. Any one will do. But of course, feel free not to limit yourself to just one, if you are so inclined. That's totally your choice.)
The only thing not your choice is thinking that the U.S. government wants to kill its weakest citizens. Try to justify that, and you lose all sanity defenses.
"Yes, but..." doesn't cut it. Crying socialist, communist, fascist, racist, Hitler, Stalin doesn't cut it.
(Geez, folks, where were you the last eight years? We could have used you. Yet as draconian as the Bush Administration was, even with George Bush scorning the Constitution as "just a goddammed piece of paper," I still know they weren't trying to kill your puppy.)
Actually reading the portion of the bill might be asking too much, but the issue is really quite simple. Most doctors right now meet with their sickest patients to discuss the future openly. Not to make recommendations, just to explain honestly what a patient is facing. (Such options, by the way, include, "You can be kept alive on every pill and medical device known to man as long as humanly possible.") It's the patient's choice. It's the patient's choice if they even want to meet with the doctor! All this bill does - All This Bill Does - is reimburse you for the doctors' bill. For what they're already doing. Reimburse you for what doctors have been doing since the beginning of medicine. Often for free.
That's it. It's about payment reimbursement.
Check it out here. HR 3200, Section 1223. Read it first.
Okay, honestly, I really do get it that there are people who think the government wants to kill old people.
What I don't understand is how deeply, gut-wrenching, twisted-up inside do they have to be to believe it?
How white-ash bleak must one's fury be at having political power for eight years and then losing all of it to ignore reality and believe the government wants to kill old people?
How stomach-churning horrified must one be towards liberalism to believe that liberals, who brought about Social Security, Medicare and civil rights, want to now kill the elderly and needy?
How frozen with angst must a person's life be to believe change means the government wants to kill them?
How terrified in one's soul must someone be towards black people to believe that a black president would want to kill the weakest people in America?
And how willing must a person be to completely stop thinking for themselves to believe without questioning that the United States wants to will senior citizens?
It must be hell inside to be that torn up with vitriolic hatred, hysterical panic, and emptiness to prefer to believe the insane rather than simple reality.
The government is not trying to kill senior citizens. Here, let me give you a hug. It's all okay.
Now, in fairness, some GOP spokesmen who are creating this fear-mongering fall into the above-mentioned categories themselves. But in equal fairness, most know better and are just demagogues trying to relentlessly lie and terrify people for political gain.
Like when resigned-governor Sarah Palin wrote last week how "my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel.'"
Or like when Newt Gingrich said on Sunday that in this government "there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia."
And even Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who said on Wednesday, "[Y]ou have every right to fear...We should not have a government program that pulls the plug on grandma."
You want to discuss "downright evil," as Ms. Palin called it? Start with these statements. Toss in others from Republican spokesmen just like them.
They know better. (And I'm bending over backwards to presume that Sarah Palin does know better.) But what they are doing is just trying to terrify susceptible people into believing insane things, just to advance a conservative agenda.
(How susceptible? An audience that rants against government-run health care while supporting Medicare makes the demagogue's job oh-so much easier. It's like playing with human silly putty.)
A demagogue who relentlessly repeats an insane lie, that's one thing. But how angst-ridden does a person have to be to truly believe that the U.S. is creating a health bill that will kill our senior citizens?
Even the barnyard animals knew that Chicken Little was nuts, no matter how many times he yelled that the sky was falling.
The government is not creating a bill to kill senior citizens.
You know better.
Follow Robert J. Elisberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RobertElisberg