Permanent Minority

This deserves to be quoted in whole:

“50 years ago you shouted nigger, 30 years ago you talked about States Rights, now you ask to see the president’s birth certificate.”

I’d say it dates back even further—to secession and the Civil War. Back then the reason was Slave Power, for the last half century it was the Southern Strategy, now they’ve been reduced to Glenn Beck throwing a hissy fit and senior citizens screaming to keep government out of their Medicare.

You’d think that after being on the wrong side of history for the last two centuries, these people would get a clue.

The Lion of Liberalism

Back when I did high school debate, the topic that year was:

Resolved: That the federal government should implement a comprehensive program to guarantee retirement security for United States citizens over age 65.

I remember someone from Senator Kennedy’s office came to talk at high school debaters studying at American University about Medicare, since Kennedy was the minority member on “Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions”—even back then, health care was his work.

I remember him saying that health care was a three legged stool with the three legs being quality, cost, and availability. The catch was a health care system could only choose two: a fully socialized system chooses cost and availability (at the price of quality); a social insurance system chooses quality and cost (at the price of poor availability); and the American system chose quality and availability (at the price of high costs).

It’s a nice analogy, but one that was flawed. For in the United States, now, we have none of the above.

Not that it mattered. The speech was lost on us—none of this could be used to show it would cause nuclear war: the only impact of a really good disad.

“My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.”
—Edward M. Kennedy on the passing of his brother, Robert F. Kennedy

RIP, Teddy Kennedy (but not before we a bill is passed).

2 thoughts on “Permanent Minority

  1. I’m not exactly a student of Civil War history and the Antebellum South, but I can see parallels between the poor Southerners who didn’t even own slaves and were, in fact, kept poor by the “peculiar institution”, but were suckered into fighting to maintain it, and these reactionaries, most of whom would benefit from a more socialized health care system. It seems strange – so many of the folks who benefit the most from government largess are the first to complain about it, but the last to turn it down.

  2. @Zack: I guess it is the weakness of our democracy—it depends on an educated electorate. There is a vested interest of the minority to make sure as much of the majority is misinformed.

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