Thursday, June 28, 2012

Conservative Cognitive Dissonance

Lately I've been gathering more and more examples of cognitive dissonance-- the state of holding conflicting beliefs, values, or emotional reactions simultaneously-- among American conservatives.

One such example was during the GOP primaries when Mitt Romney kept trying to appeal to the NASCAR demographic by pretending to be just a regular guy, and not a Very Rich Man who had nothing in common with them.  (His efforts seemed painful to me, like watching a dog walk on its hind legs.) 

It was ironic that although Romney was trying to win the nomination of the party that openly serves the interests of the Very Rich, he had to pretend that he wasn't one himself. 

Another example was served up to me this morning when the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act as constitutional.  Immediately a slew of conservatives tweeted that they were so mad about Obamacare they were moving to Canada.


You do realize that Canada's nationalized health care system is way more comprehensive than anything Obama has ever proposed, right?  (And it's also very popular among Canadians, I add snarkily.)

In fact, I can't think of a single other country that offers less nationalized health care than the U.S.-- at least not one that conservative Americans would want to live in.

(Full disclosure: after some investigation, it appears that some of the people who tweeted about moving to Canada were joking.  Others, well, were just idiots.  It's probably not fair to use them as samples of conservative thought.  Still, it kinda shows you the stupid shit that Obama is up against.)   




Sarah said...

You love me, right? And don't mind that I constantly show up in the comments section of posts like these?

The only thing I really have to say about it is that, as a general rule, I do think healthcare should be available for everyone.

My issues, directly, with Obama's plan are, for one, that it's forced on everyone. I'm not saying people SHOULDN'T have it, but I take big issue with it being required.

Issue #2 is the provision (that actually, a lot of people aren't aware of) that the cap on Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) is being lowered from $4,000 to $2,500. This affects me directly as Type 1 Diabetes is a Very Expensive Disease and I used a big chunk of my FSA this year to buy a new insulin pump to replace the one I haven't been able to replace for 12 years. Which leads me to. . .

Issue #3: The 2.3% excise tax on medical equipment. This includes the aforementioned insulin pumps (and also wheelchairs), which will, in effect, make it even more expensive to be diabetic. Or disabled.

The whole bill is like one of those bills that does something like, I don't know, outlaw murders, but there's a little addendum in there that outlaws chocolate at the same time. The overall idea is good, but the execution isn't awesome.

Dan S said...

There was a funny bit on the Daily Show last night with Romney saying he is going to repeal Obamacare, but also make healthcare available to those who can't afford it, do away with pre-existing conditions, extend a child's healthcare from parents to age 26, etc, you know, all the things that Obamacare does. He's just going to do away with the individual mandate, the thing that pays for it and makes it work.

I think we are seeing some cognitive dissonance here as well. If you say that healthcare should be available for everyone, but you don't want to pay for it by requiring everyone to contribute to it, then your support for universal healthcare is merely symbolic. It's like saying you support the idea of education, but are against taxes to actually provide schools.

Tim said...

Of course I love you and your comments, Sarah. :)

I'm happy to debate the specifics of Obama's plan, and I know it's not perfect. My complaint is American conservatives are in principle against ANYTHING resembling "socialized medicine", even though we're the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't have universal health care.

All of the issues you have with Obamacare would be moot if we had the same kind of system they have in Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, Brazil, or almost anywhere else with a comparable standard of living. (Countries that provide universal health care.) You shouldn't have to worry about how to pay for your Very Expensive Disease. It's not Obama who's preventing that in this country-- it's the conservatives.