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Paul Krugman has found out the hidden truth of his political opponents once again: Republican opposition to Obamacare is motivated by how much they hate the poor:
“The purpose of most health care reform is to help the unfortunate — people with pre-existing conditions, people who don’t get insurance through their jobs, people who just don’t earn enough to afford insurance. Cost control is also part of the picture, but not the dominant part. And what we’re seeing right now, in any case, seems to confirm a point some of us have been making for a long time: controlling costs and expanding access are complementary targets, because you can’t sell things like cost-saving measures for Medicaid and limits on deductibility of premiums unless they’re part of a larger scheme to make the system fairer and more comprehensive. And here’s the thing: Republicans don’t want to help the unfortunate.”
Krugman goes on to denounce the “rage of the right” at President Obama’s policies, for just trying to offer help to these poor unfortunate souls. But I think the professor isn’t thinking big enough here. He’s settling for an easy answer to a far more complex problem, perhaps out of deference to his opponents. He’s missing the true villainy of Republicans – particularly conservatives, and even more particularly religious conservatives – and how it reveals their vile and antisocial character… and how they purposefully disguise it in a way that allows them the opportunity to be pompous and judgmental of people like Professor Krugman.
It’s really devious once you understand it, so I’ll try to explain.
What you have to understand about American Republicans is that they are the most misanthropic people on the planet. They don’t just hate the poor. They hate everybody. A tribal people to the core, they assign ill-motives and deal in broad-based evaluations of everyone, even those technically within their own clan for being insufficiently hateful. Just look at the Republican on Republican violence over the Medicaid expansion, and how they react to a few of their fellows breaking ranks to help the unfortunate! You might as well have run over their puppy for how they react (though of course Republicans also hate puppies).
But here’s why Krugman’s answer is far too easy: because it leaves out the really evil part of what Republicans do. It’s not enough that they loathe the poor and unfortunate and demand fealty to policies designed to make their lives as terrible as possible. It’s that they also want the moral superiority that comes with philanthropic activity! They are quite dedicated to it, too, particularly the Mormons and the Southern Baptists (who, as I’m sure Professor Krugman knows, hate the unfortunate more than any other Republican factions). That’s why states like Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and other red states lead the country in the percentage of household income given to charity, while New England – where such hatred of the poor is rare, and charitable giving is not required in order to achieve that special warm feeling of superiority – lags the nation with near Biden-level percentages of charitable donations.
This organized effort, built on a network of religious fanatics who sing songs together and recite prose in unison in cult-like meetinghouses across the nation, demonstrates the true villainy of the tithing culture and the vacuity of so-called “acts of charity” which exist in Republican communities. Remember: you only care about someone if you’re dedicated to compelling someone else to give money to an effort. The only purpose of giving of your own free will is self-aggrandizement. The only kind of spending which demonstrates actual care for the poor and unfortunate is government spending.
I’m sure Professor Krugman realizes this, so it’s probably just an oversight that he forgot to mention it. His only problem as a columnist is that he’s far too nice.
[Originally published on The Federalist]