The Interwebs are awash in condemnation of the Tea Party, claiming that members of the audience in last night's Republican debate cheered letting an uninsured man die. Not that I'm one to stand up for them, but I come away with a different take. First the audience cheered when Ron Paul said, "That's what freedom is all about, taking your own risks." When specifically asked if we should just let the man die, there were a couple of supporting outbursts from the audience but no applause. Paul answered that we shouldn't let the man die but was unable to truly answer the question as to what he would do in this hypothetical, yet very plausible, situation. Rather than addressing it, he referred back to when he started practicing medicine in the early 1960's and talked about how nobody was turned away at the hospital and "the churches took care of them." That brought on applause.
To me the cheers were for freedom to take your own risks and allowing the churches to take care of people along with hospitals not turning people away. I don't believe the audience members were aware of the contradiction they were applauding. Sure, be free to do what you want, but don't expect the government to take care of you. Expect the churches and hospitals to do it instead. Anybody except the government. They were rooting for the idea that self sufficiency is great as long as anyone except the government is helping you. Or something like that.
Ron Paul continues with this view, explaining that costs are so high simply because the government is involved. For him, taking care of ourselves and our neighbors and friends is okay as long as the government is out of the picture.
We've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves, our neighbors, our friends. Our churches would do it. This whole idea--that's the reason the costs are so high. Because it's so high because we dump it on the government, becomes a bureaucracy. It becomes special interests.