You’re right. My response was inappropriate, mean, and vulgar. I’ll be honest, it’s hard not to be angry when having an argument with someone we disagree with vehemently. So I apologize–I hope you can forgive me.
Because here’s what I’ve observed about our differences: left vs. right. On the surface level, it appears the same, right? I hate Republicans, you hate Democrats (feel free to replace hate with dislike if that’s too strong a term). And therefore, in my eyes, your eyes, and everyone else’s eyes, it’s just two partisan hacks doing what everyone hates about politics.
But there’s a key difference, and it’s implicit in your example about President Obama’s worth of $12 million–and the book deals (we can’t forget those book deals). It would seem to me you chose this example because I’m a lefty, so therefore: A) I must love Obama, B) I must hate rich people, so C) here’s an example of a person you love who’s rich–so why aren’t you upset about that? And I suppose that would be a rational thing to think–if I thought as most Republicans do about how the world works (don’t worry, we’ll get to that in a moment).
However, in point of fact, I don’t like Obama just because he’s a Democrat. For me, this isn’t about rooting for a team. And for that matter, I don’t hate rich people–if you’re rich, great! Be rich! I hope someday I’ll be able to call myself rich (not likely, but y’all can buy my book if you want to help).
No, I like Obama because I thought he was a dignified President, who–though not close to perfect–governed effectively. Indeed, he passed the most consequential law to help ordinary Americans since I’ve been alive. Yes, I’m talking about Obamacare.
Now look, I’m sure you think Obamacare is an awful, terrible, no good law–as most conservatives do–so on that maybe we’ll have to agree to disagree for now (although you might consider that the fact Republicans can’t come up with a bill that covers more people, significantly lowers costs, or frankly, in basic structure is all that much different, is a sign that maybe a lot of conservative criticisms weren’t entirely above board).
But I liked Obamacare because it helped a lot of poor, working people have access to healthcare and created a framework for a market-based insurance system that delivered the closest thing to universal care we’ve ever had in this country. Now there were some flaws: premiums are still too high, the subsidies are not high enough to help middle class Americans buy quality plans (think $50+K/year), and there probably ought to be some sort of public option in case insurance companies pull out of certain markets–especially in rural areas. And if Republicans were willing to work with Democrats on those issues, they could easily be fixed, and we’d have an excellent system we could fine tune from here on out.
From what I can gather, however, there’s one of either two reasons Republicans like yourself don’t like Obamacare: 1) because they don’t believe access to healthcare is a right, or 2) because it was passed by Democrats and President Obama.
If it’s #1, there’s nothing to say but that we have a fundamental disagreement about what functions government should serve, and we’re probably not going to solve that here–or maybe, ever.
But if it’s #2, which I suspect for a lot of people it is, then therein lies why I got so angry in my mean, vulgar, unnecessary response.
Because it seems to me that for a majority of Republicans, it’s not even about actual issues or policy–it’s about being on a team; about playing to win against an opponent you hate. And all one needs to do is look at Trump’s Presidency so far to bear this out.
In the 2016 campaign, Hillary Clinton was criticized by the right for being a corrupt, Washington insider. A person who kowtowed to Wall St., cozied up to lobbyists, and found ways to use government in her favor. Worse, she had a sleazy foundation, was a risk to national security re: the email scandal, and then, of course, Benghazi.
Enter Trump: a President who held a national security meeting using cell phone flashlights at a dinner table in the “Winter White House” aka Mar-a-Lago, a resort he owns and is profiting from, even more so now that he spends most weekends golfing there.
A President who’s inner circle had numerous, shady contacts with Russian spies DURING THE CAMPAIGN–a campaign in which he asked Putin to spy on his opponent.
A President who launched an ill conceived counter-terror operation which resulted in a Navy Seal’s unnecessary death–and then instead of going to the situation room to watch it unfold, he went to a fancy dinner.
A President who’s appointed an Orwellian mix of billionaires and no less than half a dozen Goldman Sachs bankers to his cabinet/troupe of advisors.
A President who’s propping up his businesses and family members through connections to foreign governments, actively using his office for personal gain.
Now just ask yourself this question: if Hillary Clinton had won the election and done any one of these things, wouldn’t you and the rest of the elephants be pissed? HELL YES YOU WOULD.
And if that was the case, I’d be right there with you–because the way Trump is operating in office is corrupt, despicable, and beneath the office of President.
Yet, Trump has great numbers among Republicans. They believe every lie he tweets–even when it’s clear as day it’s a lie–even when Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer basically admit that they’re lying. Remember those fake unemployment numbers when Obama was in office. Well, now that Trump’s in office, they’re suddenly real again.
Can you explain that? No really, can you? Can you explain why/how Republicans are supporting this man who is clearly corrupt, dishonest, and day-by-day reneging on his campaign promises?
Because I’d really love to believe that a huge number of my fellow Americans aren’t just blatant hypocrites–or worse: dangerous, hate-filled idiots who put party before country.
And let me just disarm the counter argument: no, we on the left don’t hate Trump because he’s a Republican.
We hate Trump because he’s behind a law that’s going to see 26 million people lose access to healthcare.
We hate Trump because he’s cruelly ripping families apart–people who’ve lived here for 20 years; who’s only crime is being here.
We hate Trump because he’s targeting religious minorities, which puts our troops in danger and undermines our national security.
We hate Trump because he’s appointed a Secretary of Education who doesn’t know jack about education, and appointed as the head of the EPA someone who doesn’t think climate change is real and also doesn’t think the agency he runs should exist.
You see, we think people having healthcare is good. We think people having clean air to breathe and clean water to drink is good. We think public education is good. We think running the government for all Americans, and not just rich campaign donors, is good.
I could go on, but you get the point. Liberals, lefties, Democrats–whatever you want to call us–we don’t like Trump or frankly, the Republican Party, not because of their names, but because of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it. Not because of labels, but because of how they function in government.
Now maybe Republicans are just the same and would prefer to have dirtier air and water. Maybe they want Wall St. running our government. Maybe they think the rich and powerful should be even more rich and powerful. Maybe Republicans would like it if 26 million mostly elderly and/or poor people lose their health insurance, and think it’s great if we alienate, harass, and persecute brown people who speak a different language or worship a different God. Maybe, if all those things happen, Republicans are willing to accept a buffoon of a President who’s running the country as immorally and selfishly as he runs his businesses. Maybe?
I guess I just don’t want to believe that–because it’s awful. And, if that really is true, I rescind my apology and I’ll stick to the inappropriate, mean, vulgar response I wrote in the first place. Because then you’ll deserve it.
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