Upcoming Republican slogans

Upcoming Republican slogans

It’s a truism of American politics that all presidential candidates pander to the extremes to win a primary, then scramble to the center to win the general election. Democrats never seem more lefitst than when running against other Democrats; Republicans never more right-wing than when battling each other. But this strategic calculation always brings high potential for disaster. If primary-world is too extreme, too accepting or encouraging of radicalism, and too indifferent or hostile to any sort of ideological moderation, then its very possible the candidates will wind up irreversibly tainted by the time the general election rolls around.

Watching Monday’s GOP/Tea Party debate on CNN, and the NBC/POLITICO one last Wednesday, it’s looking like the Republicans are teetering very much on this point of no return, extremism wise. Though to be fair, blame rests as much with their supporters as anyone else.

During the Wednesday debate, spontaneous cheers broke out at the mere mention — mention — that Texas Governor Rick Perry had executed 234 death-row inmates, a number which, as moderator Brian Williams put it, was “more than any other governor in modern times.” Perry seemed quite unfazed, even when Williams proceeded to give the Governor a moment to react to the applause, which had clearly unsettled the host far more than any of the men on stage.

A similarly chilling moment of spontaneity occurred on Monday, during a question for everyone’s favorite candidate, Ron Paul. Following a rather gauche theoretical by Wolf Blitzer (reminiscent of the famous “but there’s too much blood on the knob!” debate scene from The Simpsons), Dr. Paul was asked if someone who has no health insurance should simply be left to die if he cannot afford the consequences of his own irresponsibility. “YEAH!” shouted several people from the crowd. Paul held firm on his position that it wasn’t the government’s problem.

And then there was Michelle Bachmann. Once again, she tore a strip off Governor Perry for a decision he made back in 2007, when he approved mandatory anti-cervical cancer vaccinations for Texas schoolchildren. How can you possibly support giving “innocent little girls” “government injections,” she said sharply, to much applause. Perry lamely attempted to defend himself, saying that, basically, cancer was bad and he was against it, but then Bachmann jumped back in, bemoaning “all the little girls and parents that didn’t have a choice,” amid more hooting.

Initially, it seemed Bachmann’s objection to this particular injection was born from a particularly vindictive sort of religious moralizing (since cervical cancer can be transmitted sexually, some have argued inoculating against it merely endorses risk-free promiscuity). But no, as she hinted in the debate, and later elaborated in subsequent interviews, it seems Bachmann is a true believer in the larger anti-vaccination pseudoscience movement that argues vaccinations cause brain defects like Autism and — in her words — “mental retardation.” There’s absolutely no scientific evidence to corroborate this kind of conspiracy theorizing, but it does seem to slot in nicely with the larger hysterically anti-government worldview Bachmann is fond of peddling.

What offended me more than the deliberate callousness of these leading Republicans was their stoic refusal to call each other — or their supporters — out on it. It really highlighted a troubling trend about today’s conservatives: while they’ll happily leap all over each other at the first sign of ideological impurity or deviation, no one seems much interested in criticizing their competitors (or followers) for their rudeness, meanness, stupidity, or general inappropriateness. It wouldn’t have taken much for Ron Paul or Rick Perry to scold the bloodthirsty audience, to say something like “these are important issues, but we should never, ever treat the death of other human beings as something trivial, joyous, or funny.”

If anything defines the Tea Party it may be this rejection of poise in favor of crass ideology. It’s a movement that was spawned yelling people down in town halls, and now expects every public forum to be similarly “interactive.” So long as the right rhetorical lines are being said, it matters not how they are spoken; how undignified, how mean-spirited, how bound-up in hatred and ignorance. The ends will always justify the meanness — assuming anyone still believes petty meanness is something that even needs to be justified.

In this respect, the Tea Party and the modern Republicans who pander to it, are not really about conservatism at all, since there’s nothing conservative about embodying the worst traits of the violent, loud, disrespectful, vulgar culture that is already cheapening every aspect of American life, from families to Hollywood to driving. Indeed, one of the main things that historically separated conservatism from blind right-wing demagoguery was a certain degree of restraint, dignity, and tact; a willingness to moderate one’s political agenda and language in a way that was not overly disruptive to that which had made our civilization worth conserving in the first place.

And that same dignity, the dignity of someone like John McCain, Bob Dole, or Ronald Reagan, used to be understood as one of the conservative movement’s greatest assets, something that could soften the appeal of the right and win over centrists and independents who would otherwise be suspicious of the party’s aims and objectives.

Surely conservatives can appreciate that the decline of this tradition is at least one death not worth cheering.


  1. @Ryan_in_SEPA

    The Perry comparison to Bachmann and Paul is misplaced as the death penalty is accepted by most Americans. Nobody seriously talks about abolishing the death penalty and surveys indicate Americans wish it was used more not less.

  2. J.J. McCullough

    That's true in Canada as well, but my criticism was more about the tastelessness of applauding deaths.

  3. B5C

    That is nature of American Conservatism. This is why I left the GOP years ago. The idea that we should be happy about the deaths and suffering of out fellow human beings.

  4. @Ryan_in_SEPA

    I know plenty of liberals who support the death penalty and love seeing criminals being punished as well. This is far from a Republican issue.

  5. B5C

    Not as much as Republicans.

  6. @ThePsudo

    <leftist tactics>Are you pro-life?</leftist tactics>

  7. rebochan

    Rightist tactics are apparently taking a strong stance on an issue, then throwing a tantrum when people call you out for being a hypocrite about it.

    The party of responsibility, ladies and gentlemen.

  8. @ThePsudo

    The leftist tactic is to see hypocrisy in treating those convicted of heinous crimes worse than those who have had no chance to do anything wrong, but to see complete consistency in killing the innocent and protecting the guilty.

  9. rebochan

    No, you're right. The real hypocrisy of the American conservative movement is the extreme concern for "the unborn" that vanishes the second they become "born". You'll demand that every woman carry a pregnancy to term (because if the slut didn't want it, she shouldn't have had sex!), then gut every social system to allow the child to grow up to lead a healthy productive life.

    I also like how you equate "Not cheering over killing people" with "Protecting the guilty", but that's another common conservative tactic. You know you don't have a leg to stand on, so you're trying to invent an imaginary leftist position that you find morally worse than yours to feel better about yourself.

  10. Guest

    i believe you mean leftist_tactics. "leftist tactics" is not a valid QName.

  11. Jake

    There are penalty of conservatives who are against the death penalty. Look at Mike Huckabee he pardoned and commuted a ton of people. California is liberal as heck and executes a ton of people too.

  12. Jake

    Yes the applause was over the top. However, you view it as applauding death but they viewed it as applauding justice for the victims and prevention of future crimes. Why is that part always ignored when it comes to talking about the death penalty?

  13. Rebochan

    Because it doesn't prevent future crimes and doesn't provide "justice" except in the basest sense.

    I guess I could also point out that minorities and the poor disproportionately suffer from it too. Or hey, you know, like JJ pointed out, the utter hypocrisy of claiming you support life and can't bear the thought of a poor fetus in pain but want to see the black guy burn in the electric chair.

    Yea, I used to be a Republican too. You can blame my hardcore liberalism on their descent into utter madness. Had they maintained a grasp on sanity or basic humanity, I probably would have stayed conservative to this day.

  14. Jake

    1) Yes it does because the criminal will never commit another crime again.
    2) A fetus is innocent and someone who is getting the death penalty is guilty.
    3) So you change your political views not based on fact but because of what others believe? You would be be a moderate Republican or moderate conservative. Just because Bachmann and Palin call themselves conservative doesn't mean every conservatives are exactly like them.

  15. Rebochan

    1) It doesn't deter other criminals, though, which is the entire point. Locking them up does the same thing. And in Perry's case, he's been proud to admit to killing innocent men, meaning that people who aren't actually criminals get the injection while presumably the actual criminal is running loose. But I guess since they could potentially become criminals, they can't commit crimes once dead.
    2) You're still determining that one life is valuable and sacred (a life that can't even feel pain and has to exist at the expense of another, but you're republican, so you probably think the slut has it coming) and one isn't. Can't have it both ways. My father is hardcore tea party and at least he got the hypocrisy enough to become anti-death penalty (to support his anti-abortion views).
    3) Nah, it's more that the more insane the GOP became, the more I had to question why I was defending conservatism as a whole. You know…critical thinking. If conservatism in America hadn't devolved into anti-science and "fuck the poor", well, I could at least consider it as a rational movement that I could still be a part of. See, the conservative movement in America has decided to align itself so far to the right that damn near ANYTHING is left now.

  16. @ThePsudo

    1) Deterrence is not "the entire point." It is one objective. Punishment is another. Protection of society is another.
    2) There is no hypocrisy to believe that life is sacred from conception until it profanes itself by committing torture-murders.
    3) It's better to declare what you believe than defend or denounce what others believe.

  17. rebochan

    1) So you admit the death penalty is nothing than asking to sate blood with blood.
    2) So you admit you value a zygote more than an actual person? And you're happy at the deaths of people who may, once again, not have even committed the crimes you want them fried for? Oh, and let's not forget the "Let them die!" chant was aimed at the sick. Clearly, they've profaned their god-granted life with their illness they can't afford to care for.
    3) Indeed. Since conservatism descended so far into madness, I simply declared that I was not a conservative anymore.

  18. Virgil

    Easy there….

    Theres nothing hypocritical about saying that innocent human life should be protected and guilty should not…at least if you don't consider Churchill a hypocrite for denouncing Hitler for his murders while still supporting that the top Nazis be hung. I don't like the death penalty….at all….but I don't feel that I'll convince other people to my view by attempting to box in their arguments arbitrarily.

  19. Ricardo Bortolon

    Supporting the death penalty is not the same as staying quiet while people cheer a high kill count. They didn't even wait for his view supporting the death penalty, the cheers came because it was more than anyone else.

  20. B5C

    This is what disgusts me about conservatism. Selfishness trumps altruism.

  21. @ThePsudo

    It's individual altruism vs. collective altruism.

  22. rebochan

    AKA "I've got mine, so go fork yourself."

    Wonder if Libertarians have thought that through though. Such as if their house catches fire, by their own philosophy, the state shouldn't put it out. It's your fault for not planning ahead and hiring your own fire prevention force.

    And they say liberals live on fairies and unicorns…

  23. Jake

    You do realize the US actually had that before? It was changed because most Americans live in urban areas and thus fires spread quickly. Most fire houses are actually volunteer in the USA.

  24. Rebochan

    Yes, but they still receive government funding on some level to make up for the gaps that are impossible to deal with.

    I could also point out those government roads Libertarians use every day and the actual logic that if it switched to only those with means maintaining them, most of them would crumble apart. Or hey, clean, hygenic water.

    Then there's the issue where it's not very good for business if most of your customers that needed medical care or fell on unemployment are on the streets and unable to buy the products you're dependent on. Then again, I'm sure libertarians would love the wild west of a third-world country. The "captains of industry" line is great until you remember that most people will never be a captain of industry. It's even sillier as a philosophy than communism, really. And frankly, most of the libertarians I know are in the very class that would suffer the most from a pure libertarian philosophy. But voting against your own self interest because you think you're stopping poor people from picking your pockets is also a proud tenant of the modern GOP.

  25. ID_Fox


    America is still the most privately charitable nation on earth. What many of us oppose is forced public charity, which is not altruism.

  26. B5C

    Yes, privately. Yet, we sill have millions of Americans without health insurance who are deing every day to treatable illnesses because they have no insurance.

    Look at his 2008 Campaign Manager:

    "Ron Paul’s Campaign Manager Died of Pneumonia, Penniless and Uninsured
    At CNN's Tea Party-indulging debate on Monday, Ron Paul, a medical doctor, faced a pointed line of questioning from Wolf Blitzer regarding the case of an uninsured young man who suddenly found himself in dire need of intensive health care.

    Should the state pay his bills? Paul responded, "That's what freedom is all about: taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to take care of everybody—"

    He never quite finished that point, letting the audience's loud applause finish it for him. So Blitzer pressed on, asking if he meant that "society should just let him die," which earned a chilling round of approving hoots from the crowd. Paul would not concede that much outright, instead responding with a personal anecdote, the upshot being that in such a case, it was up to churches to care for the dying young man. So basically, yeah. He'd let him die.

    As it turns out, Paul was not speaking purely in hypotheticals. Back in 2008, Kent Snyder — Paul's former campaign chairman — died of complications from pneumonia. Like the man in Blitzer's example, the 49-year-old Snyder (pictured) was relatively young and seemingly healthy* when the illness struck. He was also uninsured. When he died on June 26, 2008, two weeks after Paul withdrew his first bid for the presidency, his hospital costs amounted to $400,000. The bill was handed to Snyder's surviving mother (pictured, left), who was incapable of paying. Friends launched a website to solicit donations. http://gawker.com/5840024/ron-pauls-campaign-mana

    This guy died to a treatable illness! I had Pneumonia when I was in high school and almost died from it. The only thing that saved me was the free healthcare from the US military. If I had the Pneumonia today that I had in high school. I would be suffering and slowly suffocating my self to death.

  27. @ThePsudo

    Meanwhile, there are medical care organizations like Intermountain Health Care in Utah that provide health care to all comers regardless of ability to pay based on a combination of for-profit services for those who can pay and a charitable branch that takes in voluntary, private donations. No government subsidies, and yet everyone has access to high-quality health care.

    One good example doesn't suggest that the US health care system has no problems (it has plenty, and they seriously matter), but anyone who espouses the idea that private charity can't possibly replace government health coverage is demonstrably wrong.

  28. Jake

    Pneumonia if caught late or treated late can kill regardless of insurance or not. I wonder why he didn't have insurance. A campaign manager gets paid a decent amount. Plus why would his mother have to pay his bills? He is a grown man, not a child.

  29. Jake

    Oh and one more thing. This story is massively fishy because if you are sick, you HAVE TO BE TREATED. You cannot be denied treatment because you cannot afford it. So This story just doesn't add up. Pneumonia if caught in time can be easily treated and is not that expensive. This story is full of holes.

  30. B5C

    He was getting it treated and healed. Yet it cost him 400,000 grand to do so. Gotta love the American medical system where the shareholders profits are more important than your life.

  31. Jake

    So he didn't die from lack of insurance. If so, then insurance has nothing to do with treatment here. Did he choose to not have insurance? That is HIS right. Why do you want to force everyone to have insurance? He didn't want it. That's his choice. How about being pro-choice on wanting insurance or not?

  32. Rebochan

    His family is still paying off his debts – debts he wouldn't have had under a single-payer system. I guess it's their choice for being related to him.

    That's of course because in this country, we're required to provide a certain amount of care. I'm sure you'd prefer a country where every person without means was turned away from the door of a clinic or hospital – surplus population and all that.

  33. @ThePsudo

    "Surplus population" doesn't exist, and certainly isn't recognized by law. There are hospitals in the US system that provide top drawer service to all, regardless of ability to pay; a single-payer system is not the only way to provide that.

    Besides, how much does anyone want to reward people for gambling with their lives?

  34. Pairodimes

    And conservatives are consistently and enormously more charitable than liberals.

  35. B5C

    Got proof?

  36. Michael Scales

    He doesn't have it because it's untrue. Bill Gates is a lefty and he's one of the biggest donators to charity on the planet. In fact, he was willed away most of his wealth to charitable causes when he dies… he's certainly leaving his children enough that they will never want but they aren't getting the bulk of it by far.

  37. B5C

    Also Howard Schultz who is a big democrat also focuses his money back to charities and getting his employees better healthcare.

    Warren Buffet is spending most of his fortune too charities and supports raising taxes on his class to help the government to help the people.

  38. Blake

    Two people are hardly conclusive proof that one side or another gives more. In addition, I would allege that Gates' giving is actually not all that impressive. Gates lives in a $40 million house and still has literally billions of dollars on hand. Giving stuff away hasn't really limited him in anyway; it would be disgraceful if he gave less if anything.

  39. @ThePsudo

    Charity is always a positive good. Doing less good is not the same as causing harm.

  40. @Ryan_in_SEPA

    Actually on a per capita basis, Republican leaning states give more than Democratic leaning states.

  41. B5C

    Of course a right wing leaning think tank says their side is right. I would take a non biased site.

  42. @Ryan_in_SEPA

    Typical leftist mentality from you. Apparently you cannot read or you would have noticed the information came from the IRS and Statistics Canada, hardly right wing organs unless you think the IRS and Statistics Canada got together under some right wing cabal to make leftists look bad.

  43. Jake

    Look at how much Obama and Biden donated to charity the years before running for office. They should put their money were their mouth is.

  44. Ace

    Here are three other sources. Notice that they point out that conservatives give move even when you exclude religious giving:
    ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&p
    Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti
    Philanthropy.com: http://philanthropy.com/blogs/prospecting/conserv

  45. Blake


    There's some proof.

  46. B5C

    The reason is mostly religion not political affiliation for charitable giving. Since Conservatives are more religious they give out more money because their imaginary friend in a 2000 year old book tells them so. http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/

  47. @Ryan_in_SEPA

    Quit bashing people for giving to charity regardless of their motives. The sad fact is that liberals don't think it is as important to give to charity on their own. Instead they believe the power of the state should compel them people to give to individuals. Typical liberal elitism thinks the state should be driving charity instead of individuals. If liberals really cared about people, they would be opening their wallets, sending the IRS more money than they are suppose to and never seeking any tax exemptions. I don't want to here this nonsense anyone cares anymore than the other because of their politics. I know selfish people on both sides, but I do know more people on the right than the left who give heavily to charity.

    Maybe I am cynical, but I worked in an office that prosecuted welfare and charity fraud. Lets just say there was a lot more fraud in the former as they gave away money in a free and loose fashion. I can see why people are cynical of government compelled charity.

  48. B5C

    "If liberals really cared about people, they would be opening their wallets, sending the IRS more money than they are suppose to and never seeking any tax exemptions. "

    Isn't that we are trying to do, but raising taxes on those who can pay more in taxes?

    Also isn't Warren Buffett trying to do that?

    Buffett stated that he only paid 19% of his income for 2006 ($48.1 million) in total federal taxes (due to their being from dividends & capital gains), while his employees paid 33% of theirs, despite making much less money.[130] “How can this be fair?” Buffet asked, regarding how little he pays in taxes compared to his employees. “How can this be right?” He also added:
    “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”[131][132]
    Buffett favors the inheritance tax, saying that repealing it would be like "choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold-medal winners in the 2000 Olympics".[133] In 2007, Buffett testified before the Senate and urged them to preserve the estate tax so as to avoid a plutocracy.[134] Some critics have argued that Buffett (through Berkshire Hathaway) has a personal interest in the continuation of the estate tax, since Berkshire Hathaway has benefited from the estate tax in past business dealings and had developed and marketed insurance policies to protect policy holders against future estate tax payments.[135] Buffett believes government should not be in the business of gambling, or legalizing casinos, calling it a tax on ignorance.[136]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffett#Polit

  49. Jake

    Do you even know why Buffet wants it? He wants OTHERS to pay for it. The higher the tax rate the more loop holes it needs. The really really rich benefit for it and thus pay no taxes. All his taxes in investments

    In addition he is not affected by the inheritances tax because all of his assets are put into trusts which bypass all these laws.

    if the tax rate is lowered and there are no tax credits or loopholes he would then have to pay what he was intended to in the first place. This isn't Tax Law 101 but it is Tax Law 102: How to get around taxes.

  50. @ThePsudo

    Jake, I don't think any of that is true. If you look at Wikipedia's source (link below), Warren Buffet is advocating for more of taxes to come out of capital gains and dividends. You don't have to hike up the income tax on middle America to do that. It's a sensible position.

    Ben Stein, who wrote the article, is a pretty awesome Republican staple. He's the reverse Reagan — a stanch Republican politician (Nixon speechwriter) who became an actor, and who has much more going for him intellectually than charismatically. He's one of the better heads in right-wing politics, but he gets ignored as that guy from Ferris Buler or Fairly Odd Parents.

  51. @ThePsudo

    the promised link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/26/business/yourmo

  52. Jake

    Yah and from what i read he favors an inheritance tax which makes everything i said true. His arguments have always been in favor of that and in the past what he said is exactly what the rich used to say back in the day to get this tax.

    If he actually wants his rate to go up without any loopholes then he putting his money were his mouth is. From what i read he is saying he favors the inheritance tax because the capital gains is low.

  53. Aychrist

    Why is an inheritance tax a bad thing? It's not as if that's money the person gaining it worked for, why shouldn't it be taxed?
    Also, you're playing a losing game if you're going up against liberals on taxes, considering the fact that Republicans want to raise taxes on the middle class by 50%. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/18/paul-rya

  54. @ThePsudo

    Their allowing a small tax cut expire, not passing new tax hikes. Your source also mentions "Obama's own comments from 2010, when the president argued that taxes shouldn't be raised during rough economic times," but Obama favors allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. If you want to call that hypocrisy, you gotta call it on both parties.

  55. rebochan

    …did you seriously link to a George Will editorial as "evidence"?

    Next up – I will link to this Daily Kos article about the Tea Party.

  56. @ThePsudo

    It's inherent to their ideology. People who believe more strongly in individualism personally go and do, whereas people who believe in social cooperation pursue charity by through institutional or governmental programs. Right-wingers love to portray that as the left being uncaring, but it's not really true.

    I like the individual method because there's a trace of the use of force in government welfare that doesn't exist in private charitable giving, but I don't think left-wingers care less about the poor. They just care less about individual economic freedoms.

  57. Jake

    Exactly and that's the problem. The left wants control. They value control over individual freedom and the United States was never founded about government control it was founded for individual freedom. Its about controlling the distribution of money which will result in the government picking the winners and losers. So yes in a way it is about hurting someone, the very people they choose to tax and the very people they choose to not give aid to.

  58. @ThePsudo

    That's not accurate. Leftist politicians want control, but leftist voters who support government welfare think some authority apart from themselves should manage charitable giving. It's not power-hunger in that case, it's just ideology.

    Ideology I disagree with, but ideology nonetheless.

  59. rebochan

    Leftist politicians want "control", while good-hearted freedom loving conservatives want to regulate marriage and sex. Oh, and voting – can't have those poor people actually stopping them.

  60. @ThePsudo

    Very few conservatives want to regulate sex unless there's some cravat like "with a minor" or "for pay" or "in public." "Regulation of marriage" is about withholding government recognition, not establishing governmental involvement.

    I don't know what you're taking about with the poor and voting. I haven't heard anyone call for poll taxes this century.

  61. Blake

    "Right-wingers love to portray that as the left being uncaring, but it's not really true."

    It's easy to "care" with other people's money.

  62. @ThePsudo

    Liberals pay taxes, too. There are plenty of rich liberal elites out there.

  63. Jordan

    I've been frustrated by the way Dr. Paul's position on this has been vilified (not necessarily just here, per se.)

    As he said himself, Dr. Paul has indeed treated people without insurance at various points throughout his career. As a medical professional, he would have advised, prior to the unnamed mystery condition, that the young man got insurance.

    The dichotomy set up by Blitzer is a false one, "Either you make government fix it or he dies." If one concedes to these premise, then the argument is already lost. However, this dilemma is just plain false, and Dr. Paul, rightly, doesn't accept those premises.

    A big reason that a lot of people don't have insurance is because they can't afford it. Blitzer's own John Doe, in this case, was employed, wasn't he (I genuinely forget)? That's the crux of it, and that discussion, providing gainful employment, is a separate one entirely.

  64. Venu Katta

    Yet it has been a position of not only Ron Paul, but the broader Libertarian movement to champion this meme that healthy people ought not get insurance because they have no societal obligation to do so. I've heard the argument time and time again nearly exactly how Blitzer phrased it, "A 30 something year-old is healthy and has a job, should he be forced to get Health Care?" The classic Libertarian answer is "No, he has no reason to be mandated to get Health Care or even have a social stigma to do so as he can prosper on his own". Perhaps it is fair to assume that the logical extension of this argument is that he must be neglected if he chooses not to get care, but let's not forget that John Doe would probably have been a Ron Paul supporter, and that the most vocal members of the "Yeah! [Let him die!]" crowd were the central bloc of the Ron Paul Revolution.

  65. EBounding

    I don't know any credible libertarians that recommend healthy people not to get insurance.

  66. @ThePsudo

    I've argued against insurance, but I'm no libertarian.

  67. Kadin

    I've talked to libertarians who are opposed to all forms of insurance, but I'm not sure whether they qualify as "credible" or not.

  68. Les

    The ones I've talked to opposing Insurance have mostly also argued for sensible checkbook-balancing and saving a 'rainy-day' fund, as well as attacking the institutions which make insurance a prerequisite for things like medical care.

    In the ideal Libertarian world you shouldn't get insurance because you shouldn't Need insurance.

  69. Guest

    In my ideal world we don't have illness. Not going to make it true.

  70. Venu Katta

    I guess EBounding has skipped out on the entire Health Care Repeal debate? The idea is that someone should not be forced to get Insurance when they don't need/want it.

  71. EBounding

    I'm not saying they should be forced to. It's just a wise thing for most people to do. Even healthy people can get sick or seriously injured beyond the assets they have available.

  72. Jordan

    Right, he shouldn't be forced to get insurance, or so goes the libertarian position. That doesn't mean he shouldn't get insurance at all, though. And again, Paul clearly stated that, as a practicing medical professional, he would have advised the young man, previously, to insure himself.

    I should eat lots of greens. But the state has no business ensuring I do.

  73. Kyle Fuchko

    It's official. A pro-cancer candidate is a serious competitor for the presidency.

  74. @ThePsudo

    Criticism of the method of cancer prevention is not identical to advocacy for cancer.

    That being said, Michele Bachmann could not be more wrong about vaccinations' safety and effectiveness, and she's pretty nuts generally. I typically vote Republican, but I wouldn't vote for her.

  75. @ThePsudo

    In case anyone agrees with her, FactCheck says, "No scientific evidence backs Rep. Michele Bachmann's second-hand story of HPV vaccine causing mental retardation. Our research reveals that 35 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, without a single reported case of mental retardation."

  76. Jake

    That's like saying if you are against birth control you want unwed teenage mothers. Bachmann made it clear it was about choice and not force. This is something the most people not in the US and most of the left don't get. You are talking about a people and country who is willing to die for individual freedom whether their it be own or others.

  77. B5C

    Also note if private charities really did help and benefit more than the government? Why do we need government to support those charities? Charities can not provide enough to help the people, so the US government needs to step in to help.

  78. Jake

    Thats because the government keeps taking money from people who would donate anyway. The more money you take from the people the less they have to donate. In addition you do know that the governor on purpose makes it so only every 30 to 40 cents on the dollar (something around that, it went down recently) is tax deductible not the entire thing.

  79. B5C

    That is bullshit. I don't make enough money to pay taxes. Our taxes are just too damn low. The rich need to pay their fair share. Low taxes has never fixed the economy and never will. How is our Bush Tax cuts? Obama extended the tax cuts and were still screwed, but with the exception of the rich.

  80. @ThePsudo

    The liberal money that used to go to private charitable institutions now goes to government welfare programs. The private charitable institutions shrank as a result of that move. They would grow if there was a shift back.

  81. rebochan

    I'm going to have to call for a cite on that one. That is such a steaming pile of self-serving BS that I can't believe anyone could write it with a straight face.

  82. @ThePsudo

    Read history. How were fire departments, hospitals, orphanages, and disaster relief handled before government took them over? They had charitable fundraisers mostly promoted by big newspapers. Newspapers never put charitable fundraisers in their disaster relief articles anymore because they figure government will handle it.

    A little of that is coming back with the new "text this number to donate $10" type campaigns, but you don't see big city-wide efforts to fund libraries or hospitals like you used to circa 1920.

  83. Jake

    You do realize that the rich pay a ton of the "tax pie" as it is. What is fair for you? The top 1% in America paying 99.99% of all taxes? That would mean that about a few hundred people would fund the rest of the country year round.

  84. Matthew Campbell

    JJ, there is merit to not expecting the government to bail out everybody who gets sick — once upon a time (about 100 years ago), there was the understanding that the community (real friends and acquaintances, not the modern notion that dubs entire urban centres like Vancouver as a "community) would help those in need; this happened through churches, unions, local neighbourhoods etc. and is where companies like the co-operators or the various Catholic hospitals got their origins from. It's obvious that everybody can't go it alone, but that's not to say that the only alternative is the government!

  85. B5C

    The problem is that not a lot people don't view that way anymore.

  86. Jordan

    And they don't view it that way anymore because of generations of social engineering and government dependency… It's a feedback loop.

  87. Guest

    That and the fact that generations of people have paid taxes as part of a social contract. If you'd like to create the 'Big Society', good luck with that, but make sure it's genuinely feasible and in place first, and then remove the state.
    I suspect that alone it will be no better than the current US system, and even if there's some government oversight to make sure it's universal, it will do no better than Obama's corporate healthcare proposal.

  88. Nick Wood

    I think that was Dr. Paul's point. You can disagree with the notion that helping other people in this manner is the job of people and not government, because that's a valid point of debate. It does not mean he thinks sick people with no insurance should not receive help from someone.

    J.J. is totally right, though, when he says that the candidates should be rebuking the applause for death at their debates.

  89. EBounding

    Although it'd be nice if Paul rebuked the guy who said "YEAH!", he gets such scant air time he can't afford to spend it lecturing someone who may or may not be a supporter of his.

    I do like the ill-fitting suit in the toon. He really needs to get a tailor.

  90. Jake

    1) Bachmann phrased her statements wrong.The CDC websites says that vaccines can cause mental illness just not to the point of EVERYTIME and EVERY VACCINE. Just when complications do occur, mental retardation can be one.

    2) The whole forced vaccination is a valid point. It's ILLEGAL. Weren't dumb people, black and women at some time or another in the US alone were infected, forced to be vaccinated or sterilized? Senator Santorum touched on the key point cancer cannot be spread through a cough or something similar. So there is not medical justification to forced that vaccine like other vaccines.

    3) Perry should of tried to keep down the applause and point out that:

    A) He has been one of the longest serving Governors in US history
    B) In one of the largest states in the country
    C) One of the states with the largest amount of crimes – illegal immigration, gang wars, human trafficking, drug trafficking, etc.

    4) Ron Paul should of answered like the above two posters (Campbell and Wood) answered. People survived just find until the Great Depression. And even so all the social programs that were add to get through the Depression were meant to be temporary.

    All in all the Republicans fell into CNN's traps. The answered were out there in right field because the questions were phrased out there in left field. The key ones being Ron Paul's insurance question and Perry's death penalty question. The answers didn't delegitimize the question but rather made the Republicans seem weird.

  91. @MT_Richardson

    True, cancer cannot be spread with a cough. But HPV, the virus that in this case causes cervical cancer, can be spread sexually. A girl who is treated for it is not only protecting herself, but all future sexual partners (and their sexual partners).

  92. @ThePsudo

    Unless she only has one partner for whom she is their only partner.

    I managed it. Don't pretend it doesn't happen.

  93. Shawn Spencer

    So…you want a cookie or something? This seems less like a retort and more like you just wanting to say how proud you are of yourself.

  94. @ThePsudo

    I'm trying to predict the usual BS answers and cut them off at the pass. I guess I jumped the gun, though.

    This vaccine doesn't cause mental retardation. Rick Perry's vaccination campaign allowed for parental opt-outs. Bachmann was wrong on both those points, and Rick Perry's campaign was reasonable. But she is right that vaccination is and should be a choice, and there is a reasonable alternative for some people. There is such a thing as life-long monogamy, and it accomplishes the same protection without any risk of medicinal side effects.

  95. Shawn Spencer

    Sure, vaccination should be a choice. If you chose not to be vaccinated, you should simply be dropped off on an island with all the other non-vaccinated people so that you aren't a danger to anyone except the other idiots who feel the same way you do. That way, you get your choice, but your choice won't kill innocent people. And mostly babies, since they are especially vulnerable, if you pass whooping cough onto an infant who is too young to be vaccinated, you've essentially murdered them.

  96. Jake

    You don't have to have sex with someone so HPV is not spread like other diseases. Unless its rape but that is a whole other point. Now everyone has to have a vaccine against every STD in the planet? Why stop there? Force everyone to use condoms because it helps stop the spread of diseases.

    Some diseases can easily be spread and requires mandatory vaccines if you go to schools and the sort. Santorum touched on it. But forcing a vaccine for a virus you normally will not get unless you have sex with someone is just not right and completely unconstitutional.

  97. @ThePsudo

    Something's pretty screwed up with anyone who passes HPV to an infant. It's an STD.

    People (particularly schools) have a right to discriminate against those who do not vaccinate because of public health concerns. But the right to refuse medication is well established in US law.

  98. Jake

    Don't have sex with someone who has HPV or some other STDs. HPV is an STD or STV, treat it like one then.

  99. rebochan

    Better hope they don't lie to you then. Had a close friend catch it that way. She was faithful to her partner. He wasn't. He passed it on to her. She found out after she'd broken up with him. And naturally, after she'd already exposed her fiance. One vaccination would have prevented this entire scenario.

  100. @ThePsudo

    Yes, vaccination would have prevented it. So would saving herself for marriage.

    I really hate cheaters. i wish the law could do something to punish them, but I can't imagine what.

  101. Shawn Spencer

    1 – Generally this is due to allergic reactions, not a fault in the vaccine itself. So if she's going to take that stance, surely she should also be up their preaching the evils of Peanuts, since they can be lethal to certain people.

    2 – I remember a particular quote that applies here "Your right to swing your fist stops where the other guys face begins".
    To summarize – not getting vaccinated impacts more than just the individual that doesn't get it. It also impacts any other person that person comes into contact with that the vaccine may not have worked as well for(it doesn't always work 100%).

    4 – Right, they survived just fine UNTIL the great depression…and then, because none of these programs were in place to absorb the shock, the economy slammed into the ground.

  102. Jake

    1) You don't have to eat peanuts and it is illegal to go and force peanuts onto someone who is allergic.

    2) I agree with the quote but no one is forcing you to have sex with someone that has HPV. It's an STD, you can't force the general public to get one against something that is primarily transmitted through sex. Your argument is for some disease that can EASILY spread. Note EASILY, like coughing and the sort.

    4) The economy slammed because everyone bought everything on margin. Government can control the flow of money. It's in the Constitution. The government didn't, and banks and lenders and people ran wild with credit, buying what they would never be able to afford. It got worst because Hoover raised taxes and created new ones completely stopping any potential economy activity.

    FDR got it right with the first New Deal. The others went too far. The unemployment during FDR's deals stayed around 15% for nearly a decade. Only went down when we started shipping millions of boys to war.

  103. Shawn Spencer

    I was speaking of vaccinations in general, not specifically HPV. People who are going to balk at an HPV Vax are going to balk at any type of vaccine, including the ones that protect against deadly diseases.

  104. @ThePsudo

    They aren't always.

    I support the right to refuse admittance of people who are not vaccinated into various buildings, especially schools. They can choose not to vaccinate, but they cannot choose the consequences of failing to vaccinate.

  105. Shawn Spencer

    What about elevators? If they pass on something to someone who has a newborn kid and hasn't been vaccinated yet, and that baby gets it and dies….you'd pretty much have to lock them in their house to keep them from being a danger to others.

  106. rebochan

    "People survived just find until the Great Depression."

    Unless they were poor or black, of course.

    This is what Republicans actually believe.

  107. @ThePsudo

    Including the poor black Republicans? Or are you saying we should ignore them because they're uncommon?

    It's amusing how you're using a generalization to attack the use of generalizations.

  108. PMP

    Here are the facts. I just looked at the CDC website and the side effects of hpv vaccines – http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects…. – and Jake you are wrong to say «The CDC websites says that vaccines can cause mental illness just not to the point of EVERYTIME and EVERY VACCINE». The topic was HPV vaccines and from the CDC website they DO NOT list mental illness as a side effect. So please stop trying to use false information to have something to validate your own personnal opinion. Juts say it's your personnal opinion. I would have slightly more respect for you.

    P.s. i just did a word search on the CDC side effect page and again, the word «mental» does not even appear. Jake your first point is100% false. If it is, then prove it. I did.

  109. Jake

    I said vaccines. I never said the HPV vaccine. Stop putting words in my mouth.

  110. bificommander

    4 – Society survived just fine, but not all individual people did. The point of welfare programs is to not take a 'if 99% of the families do not starve to death, it's plenty for our country's survival'-attitude.

  111. Jake

    The amount of money taken to fight poverty, drugs and the sort would of been better spent directly allowing jobs to be created. It's about helping those who cannot help themselves. Not help those that refuse to help themselves.

  112. Guest

    'Directly allowing'? Do you mean directly creating jobs? Or reducing taxation in the hope that opportunities for the same or more investment in the private sector will a) become viable, b) actually happen, and preferably c) be genuinely productive?

    And anyway what do you think is done with this money you talk of? From the sound of it, you're really having a go at a) employment of social workers (who spend their wages in the private sector and pay income and consumption taxes like anyone else) and b) provision of social welfare for those with low pay or no jobs (people who have to live somehow, but if they don't get support, they'll just rack up debt and/or seek illegal work).

    Now, you can have a meaningful debate against the efficacy of specific programmes, how many social workers in each of the relevant fields is optimum in the short and long term in reducing crime, keeping other departments' budgets down, maximising social cohesion and building a trust-based economy which is good for GDP, etc.

    But don't pretend that social work is somehow intrinsically inferior to any and all private sector work.

    The point about depression in a market/mixed economy is that private sector growth isn't working. Often (and especially in global ones like these) that's because the many have too little disposable income to spend on non-essential (sometimes essential) goods (e.g. because they have no jobs) and so there's no market for them. The rich then hoard cash, and/or speculate on goods and minerals instead because there are no viable investment opportunities. Job creation, particularly relating to the needs of the current climate like social welfare jobs, is pretty much the only thing a governent can do that is likely to kick start the economy again. The other thing that might get you out of a slump is innovation, but the nature of innovation is that you cannot simply decide to innovate, the best you can do is have the government subsidise industry by putting more money into research and hope something comes out that will help out today rather than in 10 years.

  113. Jake

    1) I never said anything about social work. What I am talking about is if you let business keep their own money instead of taking it, it will allow business that already are in business to grow and allow new business to emerge and stay afloat. Pretty much the government should not be in the business of Solyndra like deals.

    2) Like I said the first New Deal was needed for a kick start as you put it. And the private sector didn't have money because the government seized it under Hoover with new tariffs and new taxes and increasing old taxes. FDR (or his VP) called Hoover a Socialist. His words not mine. '

    3) My point is that all the spending FDR did, did not work in the long run. If it takes over a decade and another World War to get unemployment below 15% means it failed. if the private sector has little disposable income why do you take the little it has left?

    4) Rich do not hoard cash. Rich do not put it under mattresses and sleep on it. It's invested or put in banks who in turn invest it or loan it out. The first New Deal was done to kick the economy into gear but the others were completely government just spending money in a completely inefficient way. All the kick star that the first New Deal did was stopped because the government kept sucking money from the economy to pump into it's projects.

  114. Guest

    Sorry, I misinterpreted "The amount of money taken to fight poverty, drugs and the sort ", it sounded like bringing in social work as well as health care.

    "if the private sector has little disposable income why do you take the little it has left?"
    It's households that most particularly have lower disposable income during a recession, and for lower and middle-income households (who are most likely to be most affected), this corresponds fairly directly to a drop in spending. The private sector, on the other hand, is not just a different story, but several. Some sectors (producers and distributors of non-essential consumer goods, suppliers and contractors of state projects not considered a priority) will do badly. Other sectors will not be so hard-done-by, and they will find credit easier to obtain and there is therefore less of a need to drive up profits, so in a sense, they have more disposable income. Against this backdrop, it would take significant tax reductions to make some sectors break-even, and in doing so you'd be handing a big subsidy to other sectors. I'm not saying there's never a case for tax reductions on firms in a recession, but it's not unproblematic, and it's a different question a) to consideration of top-rate income taxes, taxes on capital gains and taxes on certain financial transactions, and b) to the viability of public enterprise and/or social programmes.

    It's also worth bearing in mind that lowering taxes during a recession is a more practical measure when the rates were substantial when times were better. If they're not that high to begin with (and yes, low/high is something we can debate all day), then the effect of lowering them will be not that great and also it's more difficult for a government to afford it. There's a lot of accounting (moralising?) you could do about whether firms which did not make preparations in good times deserve such a safety net, and the degree to which firms are responsible for managing long-term peaks and troughs of demand in the same way as they manage it week-by-week or month-by-month, but in practical terms, the only way of making it work is through a more permanent agent – the state – which does so (or is supposed to) through social security and the sort of programmes we're talking about above.

    "Rich do not hoard cash."
    You're right that people tend not to hoard physical coinage, I meant cash figuratively, in the sense of minimal-risk non-interest-bearing bank deposits. When there are fewer (or riskier, or less profitable) investment opportunities, it makes more sense for people put their money in places considered safer, such as bonds, banks, and certain commodities, rather than shares. In such a climate, banks are then cagier about lending.

    One of the reasons why public enterprise is so attractive during a recession is that while most private enterprise (except in the 'safer' sectors) is risky and therefore profit requirements are high, governments can get loans pretty cheaply, because the government acts as guarantor.

    "If it takes over a decade and another World War to get unemployment below 15% means it failed."
    Maybe it failed, maybe it didn't and any other route would have meant unemployment would end up much higher. Maybe he needed to do more, maybe he needed to do less, your data can't show that. Maybe the amount was about right but the programmes were not the right ones. Maybe the balance of taxation was wrong. Unless we can come up with similar situations where different actions were taken, we can't test this theory. Generally, that means not looking at huge economies like the US, or miniscule economies where external agents' actions make huge differences, or those with particularly unique circumstances, like Libya and Egypt right now, but finding a reasonable set of more-or-less comparable countries.

  115. @ThePsudo

    You know banks lend out most of the money people deposit, right? So long as it's not cash in a safety deposit box, "hoarding money in banks" provides loans and other such capital that our economy needs right now.

  116. Guest

    But that's the point – the capital is there, it's just there are far fewer good (i.e. having a reasonable risk/return tradeoff) investment opportunities for the capitalist – whether we're talking investments, bank loans, whatever. Why? Because aggregate demand is low. Why? Households have low and falling spending power.

    The economy has spare capacity – look at the unemployment figures. It has capital, as you mention. But the economic arrangements we have can't deliver on that capacity, because of the difficulty in monetizing the returns. Private investment has to be able to charge money for what they do. But government investment doesn't – if the return is a boost to GDP, they get the money back as tax. And governments (with some exceptions) can borrow far more cheaply than anyone else.

  117. Daniel

    Don't people have the right to make their own mistakes? Its not the government's business. Regardless, it was a question about the validity of the welfare state twisted to make those who don't support the welfare state seem heartless. I imagine even under Pres. Paul the theoretical victim would get rushed into the emergency room, and after he was healed he would sort out the cost. That question, and the media's take on the answer was pure spin. Shame on you JJ, for believing the spin.

  118. J.J. McCullough

    That's not really the stance I'm taking. The stance I'm taking is against the extreme personal callousness shown by the candidates who don't seem interested in even pretending to care about the sanctity of human life, or calling out the rude idiots in the audience.

  119. Spencer

    I don't understand extreme libertarianism. I mean what's really wrong with nationalized health care if it's cost effective and administered properly?

  120. Les

    Not trusting the government to make it cost effective and administer it properly?

  121. Spencer

    Yes, that's a nice soundbite, but it IS possible. Government doesn't have to be this bumbling fool everyone always lampoons. Most Westerners are fairly proud of the efficiency and job performance of our militaries, why can't we be proud of the efficiency and job performance of our health care providers?

  122. Guest

    Value for money? Performance? The UK manages it. The Netherlands, which is part-private for short-term healthcare only, does a similar job, but it's a bit more expensive. The US does a worse job and is twice as expensive as the UK. http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/Files/Pub

    The thing is, Les, for state-funded healthcare of the type now being discussed in the US it sadly isn't the government who can make it cost-effective and properly administered, it's private providers.

    Actual state-run healthcare can be remarkably good.

  123. @ThePsudo

    Privately-run healthcare can be remarkably good, too. The question is over which is most likely.

  124. Shawn Spencer

    Considering that the current system IS private, and it SUCKS MAJOR, at least we already know what THAT is like…I mean hello, our healthcare system is running this country into the ground, clearly, it is NOT working.

  125. @ThePsudo

    The current US health care system is a nest of about a hundred thousand independent systems, some of which are incredibly good and some of which are incredibly bad. Fixing the bad makes sense, but screwing with the good does not.

    As a whole, the US system provides more medical research than perhaps any other nation on Earth. Huge reforms risk that research, which is bad for all health care globally.

  126. Guest

    Is that including patentable research like pharmaceuticals, though? Insofar as it does, there's no reason to suspect it won't continue.

    I'd be interested to know where you're getting your figures, as there are some methodological traps. Research you can make money off isn't necessarily of the same social value as research you can't. In fact, some it may well be tailored to be of very little social value, but something that's highly marketable.

  127. Les

    I remember the embryonic stages of the Tea Party movement, it seemed like such a good idea at the time, people fed-up with seeing tax-payers (including themselves) being treated by the government the way a teenager treats daddy's credit-card who felt there should be more care and respect taken about the Billions (with a 'B') being casually tossed around behind the Beltway.

    But, nobody showed-up for that gig, so they cast a much.. much wider recruitment effort which ended-up snagging all the Ayn Rand fetishists and closet sociopaths.

  128. Anonymous Coward

    Gov. Perry is a disgusting human being at taking pride in killing convicted murders (and rapists now) and should not call himself a Christian. He is to Christanity what Bin Laden was to Islam.

    Even George W. Bush didn't want to kill Iraqis and Afganis, he openly lamented the fact that he was responsible for their deaths and it showed in the evolution of his character over the years. I think it's one of the reasons that the U.S. is not involved in Iran now.

  129. Matthew Steele

    No matter who they are, deaths should never be applauded. Even if everybody who was executed was guilty, that is not something to be HAPPY about. That is something to be ashamed of. Its possible that sometimes, it has to be done. For one reason or another, somebody needs to die. That is acceptable. But it is not GOOD.

  130. Shawn Spencer

    Unless, you know, you were a family member of one of the victims that fell prey to the monster they're executing?

  131. rebochan

    I like this tactic. "If you hate the death penalty, YOU HATE VICTIMS OF CRIME!" This is what conservatives actually believe.

    Must blow their minds to meet crime victims who don't want to go on a bloodbath of revenge.

  132. @ThePsudo

    It is better to regret the monster's crimes or existence than to celebrate his death.

  133. Thomas

    I commented on a previous article that I kinda wish we'd get a modern Calvin Coolidge to run on the political side. Someone that just does the presidency and makes it boring to look at again, but generally doesn't screw up. Would also be refreshing to have someone who ignores all the mud slinging, which I feel is what got Obama a lot of his credibility in the election early on. I can't recall many smear campaigns from his side when it first kicked off.

    Could be wrong on that point though. I tend to avoid television on campaign years in favor for other sources.

  134. Thomas

    Er, Run on the Republican political side*

  135. @ThePsudo

    I agree. We need quiet efficacy.

  136. anonymous

    I agree with most of your points–not surprising, given my liberal positions. I would have emphasized truthfulness as something that candidates should criticize each other for lacking, as well as civility.

    The main point I would add, though, is that there is some reasonable grounds for debate about the vaccine you mention. It has been associated, at least according to reports, with deaths from blood clots, etc (rather different from autism)–at least enough that doctors disagree about whether to recommend it. Just something for your readers to be aware of, not something counter to your main point.

    citation: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/CancerPreventionAndT

  137. Virigil

    I think there's a general lack of realization that America is, basically in the midst of a counter revolution. The extremes will continue until the counter-revolution runs out. Please consider:

    (1) Obama ran as a moderate…specifically distancing himself from the Hillary more single payer based model of health care. He also spoke of reconciliation between red and blue states.

    (2) Once in office, Federal spending exploded. This had begun under Bush but greatly increased under Obama…and a simple look at the charts can verify this.

    (3) Most of the money spent is perceived as going to bail out fat cat corporations. The average joe is therefore left to ask why the bankers and investors who created much of the mess get a golden parachute while Joe picks up the tab.

    (4) Joe therefore voted against Obama in 2010…and brought in the Republicans. However the debt has continued to explode.

  138. Virigil

    (5) Joe has also heard that his standard of living depends on the US dollars position as the world reserve currency. He now hears, although he probably didn't think about such things before, that its status is now endangered.

    Its not hard to get out of this condition….just produce a budget that doesn't keep going into the red at the rate we've been. Maybe take the 2000 tax rates and spending rates as a start. One things for sure…if the problem is not solved the guy at the top will get the blame.

  139. Damien RS

    I wonder how much of the “conservatives give more to charity” is due to donations to churches — which do some charity but also use it to run themselves or even make money, depending on the church and pastor — and to alumni donations to universities. And if donations to non-profits like think tanks are included. Also wonder what the relative incomes are; if conservatives had more aggregate income, their donating more absolute dollars wouldn’t be impressive.

    As for “he should have bought insurance”, there is no guarantee that a “free market” insurer will sell you health insurance, especially if you give any sign of needing it.

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