I've already touched on this once this week, but there is one more point worth making.
From Charlie Pierce:
Saddened, Angry, Sickened, DefeatedI can't explain why people voted to take away their own healthcare....I hate this. I hate that the United States is still fighting over healthcare when the rest of the industrialized world has left the issue behind. I hate the politicians who stoke dread and hate in order to get elected to make the problems of places like Clay County worse. I hate the impotence of the political opposition in making its case. I hate all these things, but the thing I hate worst of all is the overwhelming temptation to gloat over the miseries of people who, for whatever reason, vote against their own self-interest. Hell with self-interest, they're voting against their own survival...Perhaps, somewhere, there's a political mind sharper than my own who can figure out how to reach people so filled with desperation that they will cast votes that literally will immolate their own lives. (Remember, Matt Bevin made absolutely no secret of what he intended to do. There was no insulting "repeal and replace" jive from him. And the people whose lives depended on the program voted overwhelmingly for a guy pledged to destroy it.) All the glib talk about how the Democratic Party has to "reach out" to this folks is coming from people who don't have the first fucking clue how to do it.Ease up on the social issues, they say, as if tossing the privacy rights of 51 percent of the population, or jacking around trying to find a "middle ground" on gay marriage somewhere between civil unions and Leviticus, ever slowed the slide before. I suppose the Democrats could go back to being the party of Jim Crow, but I think they might have a little trouble with their base there...
It saddens me too.
And then I remember that these people also voted to take away my family's health insurance, and my sadness alloys into something else.
If you're holding my family hostage, I'm suddenly a whole lot less interested in your sad back-story that I otherwise might have been. Suddenly my entire attention is focused on eliminating the threat in front of me. And while I truly am all-in for "nice" and "live and let live", I cannot help noticing that every time we manage to crawl one inch forward as a culture, people like the citizens of Clay Country always seem to need to be dragged along, kicking and screaming and sometimes at the point of a Union Army bayonet or at the prompting of armed National Guardsmen.
And every time they are released on their own recognizance, they sure as hell seem to go immediately back to trying to blow the place up.
This is not a job for political analysts or cultural critics or whatever-the-hell I am. In all seriousness, we've reached the point where this is a job for mental health professionals, whose services I'm pretty sure will no longer be available to the citizens of Clay County once the men they voted for so overwhelmingly finally get their way.