The Struggle Over Health Care and Racism

Democrats are having bad luck with race these days. Secretary Clinton, in exile in the Congo, loses her cool and practically screams at an African person there (in the old days, “ a cheeky native”). On the same day, a Democrat Congresswomen at a health reform town hall meeting in Virginia gets a woman expelled by the police. Oop, the woman is an older black lady.!She must be another thug, in the liberal commentators’ terminology. I saw the episode on television, I don’t know what the lady did or said. It looked to me that she was being thrown out for something she said, but I might be wrong. Please, correct me. This comes after the beating last week of a slight black man by union goons supporting the President.


On Monday night, for an hour and a half, I listened on the radio to a town meeting held in Monterey, California, by liberal Representative Sam Farr. First, the Congressman is an all-around nice guy. He is brave, hard-working and intellectually honest, I think. He has really bad taste though. A couple of years ago, he tried to persuade voters that Fidel Castro is a nice, warm old guy. That was a bit much for many of the people he represents, even in foo-foo central California. Farr is also pretty much a straight- everything Democrat on everything. No blue dog in his backyard.


At the beginning, the meeting went well, in my opinion because someone stupid had packed it with stereotypical, whiny liberals who insisted on making speeches in favor of an undefined health plan proposed but not described by the President. Even, many thinking liberals must have been embarrassed by their performance. Then, the questions begun. Notably, there were almost no pro-Obamacare questions, only short rambling monologues. Nearly all the real question-questions came from opponents. There was no heckling but there were a few polite boos and some derisive laughter directed at the Congressman.


Congressman Farr, again, a nice guy, gave a pathetic performance. Far from trying to twist his audience’s minds around, as politicians often do, he seemed out of his depth answering nearly all the questions that could not suffer a canned response. I left off with the impression that he did not understand the questions or why they were being asked. It would be difficult to convince me that he had read many, or even, any of the relevant documents. I suspect all he carried in his head was the Obama plan’s salient points, bullet-points, many of which have become untenable in the past few days. His staff was either absent or no more knowledgeable than the Congressman. He seemed puzzled by the vehemence of opponents.


He may have been perplexed that there were no right-wing thugs in sight.


To be continued.

About jacquesdelacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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2 Responses to The Struggle Over Health Care and Racism

  1. Peter Gachot says:

    It seems to me that the real tragedy is a lack of consensus among all Americans — liberal and conservative — that we can do better. I think Sam Farr is a good congressman but I have also heard that this meeting was not his finest hour. I’m trying to appreciate your distinction between a “whiny” liberal and a “thinking” liberal. As a thinking liberal, I don’t mind the whiny liberals because, annoying as they may be, they are on the correct side of the ideological fence. Conversely, the cranky conservatives, lovable as they may be in some eyes, are probably on the wrong side of history.

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      There is no reason why a consensus should emerge spontaneously. We have different interests (objectively) and different values. It’s not in most 25- years old’s interest to carry any health insurance except for catastrophic events. Objectively, they should not pay the premiums. All the Democrats’ plans aim to force them to do so.

      The differences concerning values have to do with how much we believe individuals should be, ought to be responsible for themselves. The alternative is to get the government to force their neighbors and strangers to pay for their needs. Thus, the waitress at my coffee shop who makes eight dollars in hour is forced to pay for my Medicare. I mean that if she does not, she will eventually go to jail. That’s “force,” of course. No exaggeration there, no extremist viewpoint, just a description of the facts.

      The whining issue is one of taste. I don’t like whining because it annoys me to be confronted with evidence that, even in this country, there are adults who don’t want to be adults, who think there is a giant teat to which they are entitled.

      There are solutions to both the fact of our objective differences and of our differences in values. They are based on the general idea: “I can’t have all of my way, all of the time. Let’s negotiate.” That’s routine democratic government. Tempers flare when the parties constitutionally in power say, “No negotiations. You, the other side, have no valid claims. You are just a bunch of extremists.”

      In our constitutional tradition – which is older – than the US itself – the party in power does not have the right to do just anything it wants. That other tradition is fascism. (I am using the term as a good description, not as an invective.)

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