Salvage Party Health by Sabotaging Everyone Else’s
Grandma doesn’t have to dread “death panels” anymore. Nor perils from paltry Obama health reform, natural causes or natural disasters. All she has to do for deliverance is embrace today’s apocalyptic scare tactics from Republicans. So keen to destroy Barack Obama, they prey mercilessly on the weak – weak of body, will, and mind, especially mind. Mastering the media debate, the Right is terrorizing the terrified: health reform is no longer about life or healing, but denial of services and early death. While the White House looks dazed, the GOP goes with its trustworthy shock tactics to revitalize party fortunes – not unlike zombie vampires feeding on the living. Quite a trick, though less daunting when you bushwhack believers who already distort death as life.
Thus, who’s surprised fundamentalists who love the Rapture can be fired up by jeremiads of universal demise? Or scream we have political Armageddon, with that subversive, socialist-foreigner in the White House? Obama isn’t just freeing Gitmo terrorists in our backyards, per Senator Inhofe, but indoctrinating school children to study harder, even ponder evolution or global warming; not just making us less safe, per Cheney twins, but evading obligations to invade all menaces, like Iran; not just bankrupting America, alleged by hypocritical, Bush big spenders, but oppressing the unborn with crushing debts.
For the frenzied, huddled masses demanding “their country back,” the end of the world started last November, leaving them no option, they reckon, except stockpiling guns to “shed the blood of tyrants” they know by sight. Or skin color. With shameless gall, rightwing flim-flammers are stealing every horror movie cliché, stalking the land for suckers whose openness to gibberish seems directly proportional to the absurdity of the deception.
GOP’s Not So “Modest Proposal”
Enter Sen. Inhofe, cheered in Oklahoma for this hokum: the president undermines “every institution that has made this country the greatest nation in the world.” Every one? Pro football? Mickey Mouse? The Red Cross? “I never dreamed I would see an administration try to disavow all the things that have made this country different from all others,” he said, “I have never seen so many things happening at one time so disheartening to America.” Say what? Obama the Ominous surpasses in dread 9/11 or Vietnam, the Depression or Pearl Harbor as “disheartening.” Do these guys read, or think? Do paranoids never worry about guys in white coats?
Behold our historic experiment (not just for horror screen writers): can nightmare visions, piled on each other, actually drive the fearful into premature graves? I recall dying for love and dying for country. Are we finally testing how many can die from fright, from political theatre of the absurd? This qualifies as the most dire “vast rightwing conspiracy” yet, terrorism of the spirit. Shades of apocalypse, or the movie Soylent Green, or satirist Jonathan Swift’s “modest proposal” that England solve its distressing food shortage crisis by rounding up superfluous, malnourished children for public consumption.
The GOP’s orchestrated PDT – Paranoid Death Trip – rolls on, with enough shock troops to scare grandma to death. Since fear-mongering resurrected the party of Bush-Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld, why not again, even if the result kills rational governance or majority rule? The Death Trip rhetoric ruining health care debates work just as destructively on national security, climate control, taxes, education or energy reform. Skies the limit when ideologues are busy “makin’ up” alternative universes full of horrors.
No Patient like a Dead One
Agreed, inducing premature passing is one hardline solution to mammoth, end-of-life medical costs. And yet, this “early death syndrome” (EDS) removes any legal, moral humbug at the finale: the dead no longer have rights, nor big bucks to squander, and lost dignity is soon forgotten. This is certainly a consummation to be wished by penny-wise insurance companies. Not only won’t the dead complain; not many (except in Chicago) will vote on whatever terrible plights befell them. Moreover, relieved heirs can capture money otherwise squandered; in this bad recession, every “dollar saved is a dollar earned” by estates.
Finally, for true believers, with Satan-Hitler at the helm, Heaven looks better and better. The best aspect of the rightwing theatre of horrors is how few evangelical beliefs it offends, perhaps easing the passage to Paradise for the faithful. If God’s in Heaven, forgiving born-again sinners, what’s so bad about uncoiling mortal cares into God’s merciful arms. That’s one cost-effective solution to a fate worse than death for eye-popping Teabaggers and armed militias: inevitable socialist-fascist-communist takeovers, begun by health care – having to endure one freedom after another stripped away, the only perfect nation destroyed from the inside.
WMD in the White House
Political theatre is about creating scenes and not worrying whether, in Palin’s immortal words, you’re “makin’ it up.” Fabrication gives you the freedom of self-referential worlds where facts be damned. Good propagandists waste no crises –nor devilishly effective tall tales, sometimes the taller the better. Political fiction, not exactly true or false, means never admitting error or withdrawing, marks of weakness. For those morally obliged to defeat a WMD – Wastrel Minority Devil – in the White House, who steals from the rich to liberate uninsured minorities, the end absolutely justifies the means. Lying is virtue, damn that Commandment about false wtinessing, which only counts for sinners.
Underneath calculated fear-mongering is one blaring trumpet call: whoever you are, whatever your over 50, small town, born-again whiteness, you should be scared shitless. Nowhere is safe – and threats are obscure, even totally invisible. If the falling sky doesn’t get you, open fissures in the earth will. In short, the Biggest Lie from rightwing schemers – that reform is national suicide – offset all of Obama’s smaller, modest campaign lies, like pledges to fight for any reform the left can believe in.
Other notorious, anti-life “solutions” followed misguided, end of the world scenarios, from cult shootouts to self-induced, Jim Jones’ death trips. Everything we do, say ecologists of holistic systems, has its price, trade-off, and unintended, undeterminable consequences, many disruptive. The manufacture of fear by Republicans is sucking all the oxygen from debates about real people in pain. The result is moral contagion fouling everyone’s air and air waves, and no one is immune, especially a stymied president unable to clear the pollution. What is truly “disheartening,” Senator Inhofe, is your effective Big Lie Machine, broadcast by extremists and seconded by vicious Republicans, for that defines political terrorism, betraying and sullying everything it touches.