Not relishing confrontation, I parried the liberal’s thrust with humor. When he asserted that “you conservatives lie through your teeth,” I just grinned amiably and asked: “What are you, a dentist?”
No need for my kind to be on the defensive right about now. Our remade country has basted in hope and change until thoroughly pickled. Ben Franklin told us how to be healthy, wealthy, and wise; our new leaders have made us healthy, poor, and stupid. Or, pace Hobbes, our lives are now solitary, poor, brutish, nasty, and long. Our health is insured but our wealth is expropriated. Citizens are none too pleased about these developments, and with their cognac confiscated, they have taken to sipping tea in a menacing way. If the liberals running the joint have any aces up their sleeves, now would be a good time to loosen their cufflinks.
Yet these times still call for conservatives to be on the alert. The short-term opportunities may seem easy enough, falling into their lap as luxury. But there are longer-term opportunities out there for those whose eyes are open. This is true because the left, in their tempo as fugitives, will drop little confessions in their wake. When they are winning, they are careful to disguise their motives and their motifs. When losing, as now, they scramble and squirm and squeal. Like the suspect in the police station before the lawyer arrives, this is their rare moment to blurt. The good detective must pounce.
A fantastic example of this came in the debate between the Latter Day Saint of Nevada, Harry Reid, and the Queen of Heartland, Sharron Angle. Angle said: “What we have is a choice between the free market… America is about choices… Let the people decide where they want to buy their insurance.” Reid responded: “Insurance companies don’t do it out of the goodness of their hearts. All they care about is profit… We need to force them to do mammograms… this will improve our health… by catching the cancers early we save a lot of money…”
Here we have a series of spectacular revelations about the assumptions prevalent among the cognoscenti. Suddenly they have admitted us into their premises, and we see what is Left out in the sun. In these few lines we learn the following:
1. The people cannot choose properly. If left to wing it, they will not wing it right. Two more dollars for the insurance company, tumor dolors for the policyholder. The suckers who are born every minute will be left to die any second.
2. There is no conceivable reason why companies might do the right thing except goodness, and that is unlikely. The idea that they may equate good service with sound business practice is rejected. The only language these companies know is Mammon grammar.
3. Companies will choose profit over saving the lives of the people who are paying the premiums. They do not care that the patient who waits too patiently for a surgery may soon be the subject of a lovely wreath of impatiens.
4. Nor can they do the simple mathematical equation that says there is no profit without customers, and a dead customer is always right in the same spot. You can check the sign over his grave, but you can’t get him to sign a check.
5. Harry Reid and his Congressional cohort can figure out that mammograms save money in the long run, yet the profit-hungry company cannot compute this profit-inducing calculus. They are not only greedy, they are not only stupid, but they are even stupid enough to cheat their own greed.
The truth is the exact opposite. The insurance company is the only instrument in the system today working to save money. Patients no longer negotiate with doctors; the government negotiates but overlooks too much and oversees too little. There is no greater proof that mammograms do not save money over time than the fact that insurance companies do not require they be taken.
But Harry is right about the general principle. Preventive measures can save people money. They can save people from cancers eating them up inside. I recommend all citizens of this great country take just such measures on November 2.
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