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October 5, 2009 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Sellouts Exposed as It All Unravels

American Politics

Ever hear someone say they had to laugh to keep themselves from crying? Of course you have; it’s an adage. Well, the other evening, while watching The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, I found myself engaged in the American pastime of laughing at the corruption and vitriol plaguing American government and news.

That is what we’re doing when we watch those shows—like Stephen Colbert or Jon Stewart or even David Letterman. We laugh at the largest problems facing our nation. Sometimes you cry a little whilst laughing—but that’s okay; it’s that other type of crying and not actual crying crying.

If you’ve stuck with me for this long, you know that we’re in no shortage of obstacles to overcome. But it seems to me, it’s getting to a point where it’s all coming undone. This is a good thing; eventually, we’ll realise it’s no laughing matter. That’s how change begins.

The beauty of the present situation is that the hypocrisy is now almost offensively apparent. I’ll direct your attention to our ongoing healthcare debate—which is long overdue. Nearly 65% of Americans are in favour of a public option—that’s code for a socialised health insurance scheme, but in America, anything with the word “social” attached to it is shunned and feared like a Nazi, commie, abortion-slinging, swine-flu harbouring, homosexual, serial rapist. That’s another thing we have to get over: fearing that government can solve problems.

Obviously, those on the right are droning away trying to instil as much fear as possible into the fragile minds of the American public. These little gems were reported by the Huffington Post.

“It’s gonna kill people.” -Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.)

“It will […] put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government.” -Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.)

“One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine.” -Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx), referring to Canadian and European social schemes.

“Places like Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe. People die when they’re in line.” -Rep. Steve King (R-Ia)

The language is getting stronger and stronger… the better to scare you with, my dear.

There’s footage available on C-SPAN, America’s version or Parliament TV. If you could have seen it, you’d notice that many of the Republicans were holding up pieces of paper, waving them about—the supposed alternative to the Democrats’ scary, anti-American, public option.

Now get this. A junior congressman from Florida, Alan Grayson, became curious as to what the Republican’s plan could possibly be, because thus far—despite their constant damning and fear-mongering—they’ve been rather secretive about how they would tackle our healthcare woes.

So plucky, young, Grayson walks over to the other side of the chamber to have a peek at what the Republicans were waving about. Guess what? Those sheets of paper—the great Republican alternative: blank. Their so-called proposal was nothing more than a blank piece of paper, leading a rather angry Grayson to make the following statement:

“If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. That’s right. The Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.”

Of course, now everyone on the right is up in arms, demanding he apologise. FOX News, in their eternally fair and balanced manner, offered a rebuttal in their aptly titled piece, “You Die!” If you have a read for yourself, you’ll notice a reoccurring theme: death, death panel, Grim Reaper, danse macabre, angel of death, inferno, tide of death.

No joke.

As I’ve written perviously, the American system of campaign financing guarantees that a good portion of our representatives (Democrats and Republicans alike) are bought and paid for by the health insurance companies—of which there are only seven in total.

Now here’s where it get really ugly. In slightly related news, Michael Moore, of recent docudrama fame, was on Hardball with Chris Matthews (an American version of John Campbell, but with roid-rage) to discuss his newest film “Capitalism: A Love Story.” It investigates what’s known as “peasant death insurance”.

Moore: They take out life insurance policies on the employees, big companies, Procter & Gamble, McDonnell Douglas, Hershey.

Matthews: Do they bet on unhealthy people dying?

Moore: Yes. They actually [do] and they name the company as the beneficiary. So, the sooner an employee dies, the more money, obviously, the company can make.
What’s best: the profits from these insurance policies are tax-free.

Apparently, this has gone on since the 1980s but the practice has been growing in popularity. Many Republicans have been jumping through fire hoops to keep this issue from coming up for a vote. Some, like former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) (“Foreclosure Phil”, who never met a corporate titian he wouldn’t shill for, who helped bring us the mortgage foreclosure crisis) even advocated for expanding this peasant insurance to teachers and school workers.

So the same folks who seem hell bent on keeping accessible healthcare from coming to America are the same people defending the corporation’s right to make windfall profits from our early demise.

“The Republican healthcare plan is this: die quickly.” Representative Grayson’s words ring through with eerie credence on the tails of this knowledge. Despite all the scare-tactics, people are finally starting to see these people for what they are: corporate sellouts.

America’s not laughing anymore. This may be the moment of clarity we’ve needed for the past decade.


About the Author ()

Andrew Mendes is an American studying International Relations and Public Policy at Victoria. He enjoys following politics and reading lots of news.

Comments (2)

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  1. Guy says:

    You into G. Edward Griffin? He’s my homeboy

  2. I’ve not read him extensively but what I like what I have read. My father always complained about how the fed was illegal and make believe money and I’d never understood why until I stumbled across Griffin.

    He’s on the reading list… but you know how long that list can get. It’s funny how we have to become experts when something starts to affect our life.

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