We are all used to political candidates lying (oops, they now call it mis-speaking). One candidate who doesn’t think much of the quality of honesty is, of course, Mitt Romney. It is easy to listen to a speech of his and pick out areas where he said the exact opposite a month or two ago. Well, he has been dealing with right-wing Republicans for quite a while so maybe he can be forgiven for telling them anything that they want to hear.
We have a real problem, though. We don’t seem to keep honesty in high regard anymore. We have all gotten used to a candidate promising that when he is elected he is going to do “this” on his first day in office, or that he is going to do “that”. Well, it is easy to say, but mostly he will not do the “this” or the “that” if Congress does not agree. But our problem really compounds itself when we simply refuse to be honest with ourselves.
Jonathan Rauch, a writer for The Atlantic Magazine pointed out something very interesting on page 72 of the July/August issue. A moderator at one of the Republican debates asked Representative (and Physician) Ron Paul — a real hard liner on the issue of personal responsibility — whether an uninsured person in need of urgent care should be left untreated, possibly to die. The answer, of course, was “No”.
Conservatives say that government cannot and should not require people to buy health insurance, but here is a problem: in 1986 after a few incidents in which it was rather clear that a hospital patient died because he had no money and no insurance, congress passed the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” which required hospitals to treat a patient whether or not he could pay.
It turns out that this well meaning requirement is costing hospitals tens of billions of dollars a year! Lots of hospitals have closed their doors because of this act of congress. It seems to me that one of the things that the Affordable Care Act has done is to put medical care on a more fiscally sound basis — something that true conservatives ought to be happy with.
But, of course, since a black Kenyan with a forged birth certificate did it, there is no way that Republicans are going to agree with that.