I'm not what you would call a great humanitarian. On my better days, any extended amount of time in traffic or in crowded public transit makes me want to know why anyone thinks abortion-on-demand and over-the-counter birth-control are bad things. I'm on record that my own personal solution to the overly high costs associated with healthcare would be to let morons die if their injuries are the result of their own idiocy. Example: Meth-heads ODing? Oh yeah, let `em. It's not like we're talking about the Spotted Owl - human beings, especially useless ones, are not something we're in danger of running out of.
I lay those cards out so that it's understood that my reaction to the following clip from tonight's GOP/TeaParty debate; which at times resembled a race to see which candidate could be the most gleefully dismissive/callous toward the "others" (read: anyone not white, rural-American, Christian or willing to lionize white rural-American Christianity as the highest possible tier of human civilization) the Tea Party believes is responsible for their problems and/or recieving all the precious, precious tax money Uncle Sam is "stealing" from The Real Americans.
In the clip, Wolf Blitzer asks Ron Paul (who, if nothing else, is probably the only person on the stage at this point who ISN'T an unbelievable asshole) what his doctrinaire-libertarian view on healthcare has to say about a (hypothetical) healthy 30 year-old who gets into a car accident without insurance. Dr. Paul goes on to once again invalidate himself from winning any American elections by giving a measured, thoughtful and nuance response - granted, it's a nuanced response predicated on the existance of the kind of Little House on The Prairie human-to-human community kindness that idealist libertarians like Paul can't accept simply not EXISTING anymore, but it's thoughtful all the same - so Blitzer gets down to brass tacks: Do you just let him die? Paul, of course, says "NO" and attempts to re-explain his carefully-reasoned position... but he's cut-off by the audience, who are APPLAUDING at the words "Let him die."
Okay, so... the clip speaks for itself and I imagine the the title has probably lured in some folks willing to "defend" the GOP as a whole on this; so I wanna take this opportunity to ask the following flippant-sounding but utterly sincere question:
WHY DOES ANY INTELLIGENT PERSON VOTE REPUBLICAN THIS POINT?
I mean this 100% seriously. I understand why the brutes cheering for "Let him die!" here or giving Perry a big "yee-haaaaaw!" for the Death Penalty at the last debate go for it. It's only logical - the Republicans are giving them what they most want. Same deal with pro-lifers, climate-change deniers, creationists and other backward-looking flat-earth dolts, That all makes complete sense - the GOP (claims to) believe what they believe. Hell, I'm even willing to grant that it makes a certain amount of sense that the "eternal vigilance" crowd still convinced that a Cold War-sized military machine is a huge necessity sticks with them.
But what about everyone else? I know for a FACT that there are intelligent, thoughtful, not-overly-religious, not-paranoid people who are also Republicans. Teachers. Students. Doctors. Lawyers. Engineers. Scientists. You get the picture. I need to ask these people... why? What are intelligent people getting out of supporting a nakedly anti-intelligence (oh, I'm sorry - "intellectual") political party? I know what the Holy Rollers get out of it. I know what the 2nd Ammendment fetishists get out of it. What is the GOP giving YOU, the nominally-intelligent Republican voter, to stick with them?
A tax cut? Is that REALLY it? A tax cut is worth letting people PROUDLY ignorant of proven scientific facts set public policy? A tax cut is worth having schoolchildren being taught about talking snakes and magic apples in science class? A tax cut is worth unbreathable air and undrinkable water? A tax cut is worth letting policymakers attempt to rewind the tide of social-progress back to an era that wasn't even really THAT nice for the white christian males who had the ONLY power in it?
Cause, I gotta tell ya... I'm a pretty selfish bastard when you get right down to it, but DAMN!