Celestial Lands The Religious Crossroads of Politics, Power, and Theology

The Political Right and the Road to Damascus

I have spoken before about what I believe is happening on the far right of American politics today, and from the public and private responses I know it is one of the more controversial topics I engage here at Celestial Lands. I speak as someone who traveled in those far-right circles for many years. Had it not been for what one mentor refers to as my “moment on the road to Damascus” (my experience in Bosnia and the spiritual reflection that occurred afterward) I would probably still be traveling in those far-right circles.

I’ll be honest… if I was today who I was twelve years ago, I would probably be one of the “tea-baggers”… though I hope one with a little less vitriol. I attended many far-right protests and was involved in several far-right organizations… and knew some individuals who moved from being far-right activists to being far-right militants. I called myself a “Conservative Libertarian”… which is I think what Glenn Beck calls himself now.

I also know that this history may cause me to view with more alarm than necessary the trends on the far-right of American Politics… and so I have toned down how much I was focusing on what is happening on the far-right here at Celestial Lands. It actually has been a joy to write about some theological and formation based topics. Yet, my concern about the energy, emotions, and trends on the far-right has not gone away, only increased. I do not want to write about this to cause fear, because I do not think there really is much for society as a whole to fear. But for individuals on the political left who have been identified as targets, there is certainly reason to be cautious right now… because I believe the far-right of American Politics is an emotional tinderbox, and certain conservative politicians and media icons are playing with matches.

There is an interesting set of emotions that can follow believing you have achieved a victory, only to have that victory turned into defeat at the last minute. There is an interesting set of emotions that can follow believing you can actually affect and control something, only to have that control disproven. There is an interesting set of emotions that can happen when you invest a large portion of yourself in a cause… including aspects of your identity that you cherish… only to have that investment negated.

I have seen this in those struggling with a medical condition, where they gear themselves up for “the fight”. They re-form their identity around the struggle. Their families often do the same. They enlist allies and friends, they turn it into a “cause”, and who they are becomes bound up in defeating the illness. Sometimes, if they have been able to maintain some sense of differentiation between themselves and the “cause”, they are able to deal with losing to the illness with phrases like “we did all we could”, or “we fought a good fight”. Other times however, when they have not maintained good separation between their identities and the cause, losing to the illness leaves them with no identity.

Few things are as dangerous to the human soul as a loss of identity. I know that I experienced such a loss in the days after Bosnia. With some help from others who had walked a similar path before, I found my way to engage with who I wanted to be, with what values I wanted to hold… and that time of not knowing who I was became a cathartic experience – a moment on the road to Damascus.

When the Apostle Paul was faced with such a moment, he had some others who helped him take a deep look at who he was, what his values were, and where his faith truly lay… and he chose to re-form his identity, a difference to profound it even changed his name. But that did not have to be the choice he made, nor is it a common choice. It is far easier, when faced with this kind of identity crisis, to fall into apathy (which is what I think the more moderate aspects of both the American Political Left and the American Political Right often do), or to re-engage with the lost fight with even greater fervor and anger than before. The fervor comes from the reinforcement of the identity that is being challenged… the anger from the sense of betrayal.

For the identity to be maintained, there has to have been a betrayal somewhere. There has to be someone working against you who is corrupt, or evil, or scheming. The loss cannot be because you were wrong, or because you did not work hard enough to convince others, or because the issue is more complex than you imagined. To admit any of these things would require that you reevaluate not only what you did, but who you are… and that work of reevaluating and reforming your identity is hard, scary work.

It is far easier, and far less threatening to reaffirm your identity after a loss through fervor and anger at the “others” who caused that loss/defeat. One commentator I was listening to recently referred to this as the “Doubling Down on the Crazy Syndrome”. While the “crazy” part is a matter of opinion (and something that can apply on both the right and the left), it is the “doubling-down” part that I think catches the truth of this method of maintaining identity through loss.

If you sense your identity is in question, and you are not willing to move into the kind of inner work that reforming your identity might mean, then you are left with two options: apathy or a reinforcement of the threatened identity. And one way to reinforce a threatened identity is to become more passionate within it… to “Double Down on the Crazy”.

As we move into the next political season, the Republican Party believes they can ride the current fervor of the Tea Party movement into electoral success in the upcoming election. To do that, they need to insure that that movement stays active and passionate between now and November. Now, I wonder if that movement will actually bring results at the ballot box… or whether its primary result will be to wake up the currently apathetic left.

My concern is that, if the Democrats continue to have successes that challenge some of the identity upon which the tea-party movement is based (which is their election strategy), what will happen as the Republicans and the “Tea-Party” try and sustain their momentum by doubling down on their current identity over and over, when we are already at levels of anger and vitriol that are spilling over into threats and occasional acts of vandalism and violence? The last thing the Republican party wants right now is for the “Tea-Party” to stop reacting emotionally and start thinking…

Paul took the time to re-discover who he was in the face of a loss of identity… but what if he had denied the experience on the road to Damascus? Would he have tried to reinforce his identity by moving into greater and greater persecutions of the early Christians? I know that if I had not had the space, the inspiration, and the impetus to re-learn who I was in the aftermath of my own “moment on the road to Damascus”, I would probably be out there among the tea-partiers right now, doubling down on my own brand of crazy.

There are many months and many pieces of legislation between now and November. If the far-right keeps doubling down on the fervor it is currently experiencing, if it stays in the emotional space it is in… then we can only expect to see an increase in the anger, threats and perhaps even violence in our politics.

Yours in faith,

David

22 Thoughts on “The Political Right and the Road to Damascus

  1. Americans have every right to oppose the Health Care takeover David. Just as Americans had every right to oppose Bush.

  2. Once again Bill… your comment implies a strawman argument. I never said that Americans did not have the right to oppose anything. I should be used to strawman comments from you… but it catches me every time.

    Of course everyone has the right to protest anything they want. They even have the right to do so with as much anger and vitriol as they wish (and there was plenty of that on the left during the Bush administration).

    Just because they have the right does not mean it is healthy, for them, for our nation, or for polticial discourse. Just because they have the right to protest does not mean they have the right to physically threaten politicians, or to throw bricks through windows of democratic offices, etc.

    My concern is that, the level of vitriol is currently leading to threats and violence. As I believe that this trend of political emotionalism will continue and strengthen over the coming months, I am concerned about whether or not such threats and acts of violence will continue to grow in concert with it.

    I will continue to call you on strawman arguements when you present them here.

    Yours in faith,

    David

  3. Charlie Talbert on Thursday March 25, 2010 at 10:32 +0000 said:

    It can be useful to consider the body politic as having an immune system.

    Harmful bacteria and other contagions may be ever present in our own bodies, but if we’re healthy, antitoxins keep them at bay.

    Our society now has a fever, caused largely by fear of change, that’s being exacerbated, in my opinion, by racist and violent elements of the tea party movement who feel emboldened by the politicians and commentators who court them. Our local newspaper today printed a related column by Leonard Pitts. http://tinyurl.com/yzokr9o

    As incidents like the ones he describes are brought to the light of day, I think the United States will recover, as we always seem to do.

  4. Well than why don’t you apply the same standard to the anti war protestors in DC a few days ago. Pictures here: http://pajamasmedia.com/zombie/2010/03/24/san-francisco-anti-war-rally-the-new-communisttruthjihad-alliance/

    You don’t single them out for analysis on the couch and you get bet we had some co-religionists out there among them!

    You’re playing the game of dodging the substantive debate on Health Care by just dismissiong opponents of this law as angry. It’s an old Liberal tack that has served us very very badly.

    Recall E.J. Dionne’s review of a biography on Richard Hofstader,

    Now, Hofstadter was exciting precisely because he brilliantly revised accepted and sometimes pious views of what the populists and progressives were about. But there was something dismissive about Hofstadter’s analysis that blinded liberals to the legitimate grievances of the populists, the progressives and, yes, the right wing.”

    The late Christopher Lasch, one of Hofstadter’s students and an admiring critic, noted that by conducting “political criticism in psychiatric categories,” Hofstadter and his intellectual allies excused themselves “from the difficult work of judgment and argumentation.”

    Lasch added archly: “Instead of arguing with opponents, they simply dismissed them on psychiatric grounds.”

    Baar again: It’s a destructive frame you push here David. A destructive to Liberalism most of all.

  5. It was either 1969 or 1970 when I exchanged letters with a college professor who once had John Birch as one of his students. I was doing a paper for a high school class on the relationship between the political right and fundamentalist Christians. In June 1971 I attended the annual convention of the Independent Fundamental Churches of America in Grand Rapids, but was becoming interested in Pentecostalism. I think the IFCA was primarily Baptist. In August 1971 I joined the Children of God which was prophetically anti-American. I became a parent for the first time in Canada in 1974. Today I am on psychiatric medication and am collecting a disability check.

    I am somewhat disturbed as many are with the polarization in our culture. One can only pray for peace and civility among warring factions. We seem to have a duopoly as a form of government and that leads to unneeded strife. Hopefully we are all on some kind of learning curve in what is happening in America.

  6. Bill,

    My post was not about health care. I written other posts on the health-care debate and you and I have disagreed about those. But this post was not about that. This post was about the current nature and tone of the political discourse in this country, and whether or not there is a trend currently on the right end of those politics that, for some very systemic and psychologically based reasons, is trending towards violence.

    You and I also disagree on whether human behavior, both individually and in groups, can be understood in light of hyman psychological makeup. We’ve hashed that out before too, and we simply disagree. I believe we human beings are far more often motivated by our nature than we are by “issues”. The liberal/progressive movements are just as subject to this as anyone on the right is. I tend to focus on the right because (1) I believe they have shown a pattern of trending towards violence more easily and (2) I have some expeirence having walked within those communities.

    Now, I have critiqued the left many times… and unless I’m mistaken the anti-war marches in DC this year did not contain any overt threats or acts of violence (which is what I’m critiquing in the Tea-party movement). In fact, yesteday I preached a sermon at Meadville Lombard that was very critical of the anti-war left. But simply put, I do not address everything in every article I write. Articles have to have some topic, some focus… and if you can’t understand that, then I have to say that is your problem. Not mine.

    I have never claimed that there are not some important and valid ideas and concerns on the right end of American Politics. I myself agree with the right on foreign policy as often as I agree with the left. On health-care, I disagree with the current positions common on the right… and I’ve talked about that in articles before (once again, not the point of this article). I would have loved an actual engaged debate on those issues… and to be honest I think the Democrats (not necessarily the progressives) tried to foster one. The conservatives and Republicans simply would not come to the table.

    In resonse to the Lasch quote, I do not think only “my opponents” are motivated by the makup of human nature… I think we all are. Myself (and yourself) included. If we want to quote people at each other, I would suggest you read Mark Twain’s “What is Man?”.

    I know you disagree with me… and I am comfortable with that disagreement. On some core values, ideas, and principles you and I disagree. I believe you and I disagree in our basic understanding of human nature. I am confident as to mine… even though it appears to be a “hook” for you. To paraphrase Francis David, “I will defend to the death your right to be wrong.”

    I also find it facinating you name my viewpoint as “destructive”, and yet you do not cite why (and none of your earier arguments seem convincing to me in the slightest, or even on point). So, I invite you to write an article on your own blog as to why you think this framing is destructive, and then post a link to it here. I would be happy for such authentic engagement from you…

    Yours in Faith,

    David

  7. [i]I also find it facinating you name my viewpoint as “destructive”….[/i]

    Liberals avoiding the “difficult work of judgment and argumentation” and dismissing opponents on “psychiatric grounds” destructive of Liberalism.

    It’s a long standing habit as Dionne explained in the review of Hofstader.

    It’s only been made worse since Liberalism went Marcuse (read my post on Marcuse and UUism in 68) when the left adopted the notion that the masses are swayed, blinded, alienated what have you and no longer think much for themselves.

    Well, the masses turn after these leftish spurts and turn around and vote for Nixon, Reagan, and so on… and after all, why not because the right speaks to them as thoughtful citizens, not dopes swayed by Glenn Beck.

    More in a bit… but of course the past few days have all been about the Health Care bill, and the Left’s frame dejour is the angry-right, and the Liberal groups raking in bucks with it.

    Your just playing along with the frame David, and it ain’t good for Liberalism or our Church.

  8. Bill,

    I noticed you ignored my request to post a full article on your own blog and link to here, as I think you are arguing a completely different point than the point and purpose of this article… and that is fine.

    Once again, you are making an assumption that I only use this frame to look at Conservatives… and that that it is not valid to post an article simply from one frame. Neither is the case. This is one lens… and one I find very valuable (I know you do not).

    Again, you did not justify how what you described was destructive of liberalism… you simply restated that it is. I would argue that trying to react to movements on the grounds of “substative arguments” when those movements are actually grounded somewhere else is pointless.

    You can make all the arguments you want with anti-war activists about how they have over-stated much of what they believe about war… but unless you get to the deep emotional issuses that bring many to the anti-war movement you will not make the necessary connections with them so that they can even hear you.

    The same is true of the “tea-party” movement.

    So argue away Bill. You are operating from an assumption that human beings are mostly rational… and that is simply not my experience. I believe we human beings operate first from our emotions and our nature… and then we sometimes shoehorn in a little reason in between.

    Yours in faith,

    David

  9. “You are operating from an assumption that human beings are mostly rational… and that is simply not my experience.”

    Nor mine. . .

    In my experience the far left are just as bad as the far right when it comes to “levels of anger and vitriol” that spill over into “threats and occasional acts of vandalism and violence.” Heck even some “less than rational” members of “The Church Of The Far Left” go a little bit overboard from time to time. I have the educational and quite entertaining U*UTube videos to prove it. 🙂

    Behold Totalitarian Unitarian “Citizens’ Police Officer” U*U COP in action!

  10. Thanks for validating my point Robin…. 🙂

    You know, it would probably be a useful article and discussion… whether our human behavior (and human society) is based in reason and rationality, or whether we primarily operate from a place of emotion and deeper seated psycholoical natures, with a bit of reason and a whole lot of rationalization mixed in.

    I don’t mean to imply a judgement about this, or to claim that I am not just as emotional a creature as anyone else. I certainly am an emotional creature… such is part of what it means to be human. It is how we are… and we would be silly to pretend otherwise.

    The question is, how do we work with ourselves, accepting our emotionality? What does understanding that about ourselves lead us to see within ourselves and within others? Can we look at the behavior of groups of humans and see the same kinds of trends as exist in the emotional life and motivations of individuals? And how do we react emotionally to that realization?

    The emotion / reason dualism has been with us for awhile, and I do not think it has served us well. We are both… and in my opinion the emotional parts of ourselves are often driving… even when we think it is reason.

    Yours in Faith,

    David

  11. [i]Once again, you are making an assumption that I only use this frame to look at Conservatives…[/i]

    Yes indeed, because the UU blogosphere lights up with this angry-anti-Obama care frame. Read Adam over at the \”standing on the side of love\” blog about folks he doesn\’t consider on loves side.

    I posted some pics from the anti-war demo in SF a few days ago. People with O\’Bomba tea shirts and so on… so why don\’t you include these folks on the road to Damascus? You seem awfully blind to them David…. that kind of blindness is what\’s destructive to Liberalism.

  12. Bill,

    No more blind than any of the rest of us… And that is bordering on Ad Hominum. To be truely blind is to see no value in any view but your own… and that is how I have perceived almost all of the posts you have ever made here at Celestial Lands. I have continued to allow you to post in hoping that changes, because we have met in the real world (at Third Church), and I liked you.

    And once again, you assert something as “Destructive to Liberalism” with no explaination or justification why. I invite you to post on it at your own site.

    Frankly, your engagement on this saddens me. I have respect for you and I expect better from you.

    Yours in Faith,

    David

  13. Oh David, you go paternalistic and worse, a Dad with thin skin, on me.

    A Liberalism destructive of itself because your blind to the anti-war protestors on the same day. Folks showing a distaste of ObOmba as anyone on the right. (Perhapes because you agree with them? And can just shut out those truthers?)

    Yet it\’s the right you follow on the road to Damascus, not the left.

    A thoughtful Liberal shucks to the psychoanalysis of motives and deals with the dissenters points: on war, and on Health Care.

  14. Bill,

    I understand that you think an article has to be about everything or else it is biased. That I have spoken about anti-war and other left-wing protestors in other articles and other forums does not balance this article on the “Tea-Party Right” for you. Fine. I disagree, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    I understand that we are operating from different understandings of what it means to be a liberal. I do not have a clear idea of what it is you mean by the word Liberal… but I get that we mean different things. Fine. I disagree, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    I understand that you find looking at the emotional and psyche aspects of human behavior to be harmful to political discourse. Fine, I disagree with you, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    I understand that you are projecting agreement with the anti-war protestors upon me because you have perceieved such to be a common theme in much of the UU world. Fine, I disagree with you, and my own personal opinions are very different than that of most anti-war persons (which is why I keep being invited to be the counter-point to the anti-war protestors on discussion panels. My actual opinion on both these wars and on the topic of war in general is much more complex than what I encounter in the anti-war movement. I disagree with them less than I do the right on healthcare… but I agree with the right on foreign policy and on fiscal responsibility more than I do much of the left. I disagree with your characterization that I “agree with the anti-war protestors” but you are entitled to your opinion.

    I know you think that people are motivated by issues and “points”. I disagree. I think that people are motivated by emotion and reaction, and that often such issues and points are more rationalization than reason. We disagree, but you are entitled to your opinion.

    I am comfortable with our disagreement. Someday perhaps, we can sit down and discuss some of these issues where we disagree (though doing so through these posts is proving unhelpful in my opinion). I would welcome such a conversation (in person). I doubt we will come to any agreement in person either, but perhaps in person the conflict will seem more personalized… more in context. Maybe I can make it by Third some Sunday soon…

    I do want to thank you though… because in formulating responses to you I have become more convinced of my thesis that human beings are primarily motivated by emotion and nature, not reason and issues. This conversation seems to me to be a primary example of my point… on both of our sides (though you may well deny that). As I read back through them, I could not have asked for a better example of emotion and nature being covered as about issues.

    Such is what I think is occurring in most of American politics today, on the “Tea-party right” as well as the “Anti-war left” (though it is manifesting differently, the reason why I wrote about the right and not the left in this article). In fact, I think this is what occurrs through the majority of human interaction and discourse. And that is something else to thank you for… because that will probably be the topic of one of my next articles.

    Call it blind and destructive if you wish Bill…. I will stand by it for now… Maybe I’ll change my mind at some future time… but that would take some strong experience and evidence.

    Yours in faith,

    David

  15. David, please, consider…

    Re: “….but you are entitled to your opinion…”

    Thanks, but who are you to entitle me? Think how you sound here… I as reader stumble accross this and wonder who does David think he is here granting me this entitlement. I recall the UU who tells me they “tolerate” conservative thoughts.

    Re: “I understand that you are projecting agreement with the anti-war protestors upon me because you have perceieved such to be a common theme in much of the UU world…”

    No, not at all. I understand your thoughts on War and Peace from your posts on peacemaking. What I critize is your analysis on anger-from-the-right, on the same days we have some very angry protests from the left. You leave the left out. Why? I can only think it’s because you’ve bought into the current fund raising meme of Democrats to demonize opponents of HCR.

    Re: “Such is what I think is occurring in most of American politics today, on the “Tea-party right” as well as the “Anti-war left”…”

    Well, if you had spent some time with the Tea-partying right you’d find a good many anti-War Paulistas among them….

    …so for all your talk of evidence, I don’t see much outreach from you on what you write here in this post.

    Again, in case I’m not clear. Far too many UU’s have taken to psycho analysizng the emotions and motivations of people they don’t agree with, and have quite avoided taking on any of the substantive points. That habit is self-destructive and leads unreflective things like thinking we UU’s can entitle others to their different thoughts.

    That’s intellectual suicide.

  16. PS a closing note on a link to the struggle between Ron Paul and Sarah Palin for the hear of the Tea Party movment. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jane-hamsher/will-palin-and-the-neocon_b_456824.html

    Get to know the Tea Partiers and you found ordinary Americans working through the issues. On foreign affairs your going to find a great many of the Tea Partiers more in sympathy with the Standard UU of today.

    I wish more UUs would quit writing them off as loons and take the time to get to know them.

  17. It is not I who entitle you to your opinion Bill… it is the Constitution of the United States that does.

    All I’m entitling you to is express that opinion in responses to articles here at Celestial Lands.

    And yes… you are projecting on me the issue of anti-war and the tea party… for I never brought it up. You did. I know, probably as well as you do, the diversity of “issues” that exist within the tea-party movement. To me, that diversity is further evidence that the movement is not about said issues, but rather about emotion and human nature.

    I agree the UUA should look to common cause on some of those issues with some of the tea party individuals… but we will never be able to do that unless we understand the fullness of what is involved in this (or any) movement… and I continue to contend that the majority of the tea party movement (or any movement, including the UUA) finds its roots not in issues, but in emotion and human nature.

    Yours in faith,

    David

  18. I’ve measured the emotional temper of the Tea Partiers by their actions and comments.

    There’s the fellow taped snarling angrily at a man with Parkinson’s sitting in front of him–and then hurling a dollar at him along with vitriolic words… and then coming back to hurl another dollar at him in the most insulting and demeaning way. There’s the fellow who’s something of a leader who’s urged people to “go and pay a visit” to Congressman Periello (and posted his brother’s address); the brother found the gas line to his BBQ cut. There’s the report today of a guy flipping off someone with an Obama bumper sticker and then chasing after him and ramming his car.

    Now, all of these may be extreme cases. Dear god, I hope they are.

    But I think you’ll have to work to find equivalent kinds of extreme hostility to Bush supporters during the Bush era.

    David; the neuroscience of late seems to support the argument that we tend (tend) to formulate reactions emotionally and then structure arguments explaining why our reactions are reasonable. But we do it so swiftly and unconsciously that we really believe that we’re rational, logical beings.

    It’s very, very hard not to do so… particularly when emotions are engaged.

    Bill, I don’t find anyone stating that others are entitled to their opinions is a lofty granting of a privilege. It’s an acknowledgment. We are all entitled to our opinions. FWIW, reading your reaction “sounds” angry to me–projecting anger onto someone you’re debating with.

  19. Ogre,

    You make my point better than I do…

    My thesis is that though what you say about emotional reactions being the primary basis of human valuation and decision making is true. So is the speed at which we make the transition into rationalization… and how that brings us to believe what we are actually doing is reasoning (not rationalizing).

    The second piece of this is, however, that the more awareness we can gain that our primary decisionmaking tools are emotion and nature, the more distance we can gain from it… similar to what Pema Chodron and others refer to as “hooks”. The irony is that the more awareness we gain of the emotional primacy in human valuation and decisionmaking, the less hold it might have on us.

    Now, I will disagree with you on how much hate there was of Bush and his supporters on the left during the “Bush years”… the hate was long, profound, and intense… and still continues today on the left. The difference, I believe, is that the “meme” on the left is one of making profound symbolic statements. My concern is that the “meme” on the right, because of the history and the iconography of the current American right, will not stay to just such profound symbolic statements.

    Yours in Faith… and thank you for the post!

    David

  20. I guess I don’t disagree with that, David. The loathing of Bush that developed was powerfully strong. But there’s a very significant difference between hate and loathing that expressed itself in symbols, and that which expresses itself in fomenting the injury or death of others (particularly other citizens–that way lies civil war, and you even better than I know just how great an abomination that is).

  21. Frank Rich seems to be on a similar thought-track to what I wrote in the article…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/opinion/28rich.html?hp

    Yours in faith,

    David

  22. Donald Wilton on Monday March 29, 2010 at 19:03 +0000 said:

    I wonder how much the debate hinges on the use of Liberal to refer to progressive requests that the Democrats have routinely shelved. Liberals tend to use taxpayer money to “fix” the problem while progressives prefer to regulate the problem since the emotional reasoning that is in use by the free market crowd has consequences.

    Having had my own road to Damascus moment I have found myself no longer in tune with the Liberal demand to use taxpayer money to solve everything. This is part of the road to war that depends on the maintenance of Empire to pay for. As long as we have the capital we can pay for bailouts but the very nature of the emotional reasoning gives the money in bailouts to the rich. Welfare won’t fix the banks problems. I would prefer to regain the regulation that prevented the problem in the first place.

    My church is bent by the weight of the demand that we fight this particular battle against the “enemy” of the people in the form of this particular march. We are presented with the emotional argument that if we didn’t spend the money on war that we would necessarily spend the money on other things deemed by the activists to be good.

    Both sides use must statements, i.e. things must be a certain way. This is untrue but the emotional reasoning starts from the preference and builds a case that what we would prefer to be true is necessarily true. I would prefer to separate the Liberal and Progressive camps because I see the progressives getting used and then thrown aside in favor of the welfare state. We haven’t had real reform in public health care since that would take the civilizing influence of the other Northern States who all have single payer. We have given lots of money to the insurance companies, with some small controls. welfare without limits is supposed to pay the rest. The idea that the free market (which is a set of must statements, i.e. emotional reasoning that things must be a certain way or everything will be “horrible”) is the only alternative is incorrect. A well regulated market is possible and the idea of the market needing to be free is an emotional argument that doesn’t have a counter unless you step outside of the emotion and use a rational argument.

    Radical inclusion that includes you also,

    Donald Wilton

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