So let me get this straight.
Barack Obama is Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin or both, depending on where you get your information. He's also a tyrant, notwithstanding the fact he was elected in 2008 by the largest majority of any U.S. president in 40 years.
He hates white people, and possibly white culture. He is a secret Muslim extremist who was actually born in Kenya instead of Hawaii (as his so-called "birth certificate" and "doctors" would have you believe) and therefore was never eligible to run for president in the first place! There's obviously been a massive leftwing cover-up, financed by George Soros, Warren Buffet and America-haters at the Huffington Post .
It all makes sense. Obama wants some form of government option for health care to ensure all Americans are covered and health care is intrinsically socialist. The Nazis were "National Socialists," ergo Obama is a goose-stepping, Poland-invading, Wagner-loving Nazi.
He calls top advisors "czars," and the word czar is Russian, and therefore he is probably a communist as well as a Nazi. Also, the communists nationalized industry, just like Obama took over management of General Motors during the financial crisis! Connect the dots, people!
Furthermore he wants to create death panels to euthanize the old and people born with disabilities. He wants to take Medicare away from seniors.
Thank goodness for Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin, and all those other brave conservatives for telling the truth. Thanks to all the teabaggers and teabag parties (which are actually a lot less fun than they sound), and thanks to the Facebook guy who posted the survey asking whether Obama should be killed and all the pundits out there wondering whether the president of the U.S. could be executed for treason.
Thanks to Congressman Jim Wilson for breaking all protocol, tradition and decorum by shouting "You Lie!" at Obama while he addressed a joint session of congress. (Obama wasn't lying it turns out, but Wilson sent a powerful message that the Republicans won't let the facts or reason hamper their God-given beliefs).
Obama is an elitist who uses large words and a community organizer who pals around with domestic terrorists. He's uppity.
Wow. Normally I would shrug all this craziness off as one of those peculiar differences between the U.S. and Canada, like the Second Amendment right to arm yourself to the teeth or the Electoral College system. Goodness knows Canada is not perfect, either - four collapsed governments in eight years is nothing to brag about.
But we were dragged into this lunacy as cautionary tale, by being used as a negative example of what American health care could look like if Obama gets his nefarious way. They paraded out a few Canadian health care horror stories - again we're not perfect - while avoiding recent surveys that show most Canadians are happy with the health care system, that wait times are decreasing and that the quality of care is improving. We know for a fact that Canadians live longer, our infant mortality rate is lower and almost nobody has ever declared bankruptcy strictly because of an injury or illness.
I'd like to see a national Pharmacare and dentistry program here but other than a few omissions I'm quite happy with the quality of our health care system.
Meanwhile the U.S. remains the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't offer public health care (unless of course you include Medicare for seniors, the Veteran's Administration plan, and the health plan for elected politicians and senior civil servants). The modest plan that Obama is proposing - a public health insurance option that anyone could afford, cuts to health care costs, and a law forcing the insurance industry to accept patients regardless of pre-existing conditions - is not only reasonable, it's also far behind other industrialized countries.
Can I mention again that Obama's public option is just that, optional, and that anyone is free to "opt out" if they want to keep their private plan?
That's right - a duly elected president of the United States is actually being compared to Hitler, a man responsible for 50 million deaths, because he wants to use his fairly won majority to give everyone a health care option?
Again, Canada is not perfect. Our health care system is not perfect. But if I lived in the U.S. I would probably not be able to afford health insurance. I also have pre-existing conditions like asthma and allergies, as well as various back and knee injuries, and several concussions. No profit-driven insurance company would take a risk on me.
I really do wish Obama the best. I hope he gets a health care plan approved with a public option. I especially hope nobody takes this "secret Muslim/Hitler/Lenin" thing too seriously and tries to assassinate him.
When Obama was elected there was a huge sigh of relief around the world. It felt great to have America back as we used to know it - the kind of place where a mixed race kid like Obama could buck the odds and make the leap from food stamps to Harvard to the White House.
That sense of relief didn't last long. While the right-wingers may not represent a majority of Americans, they have monopolized the media spotlight by spouting faintly racist drivel and blatant untruths. The media, instead of asking "who are these idiots and why do we let them buy guns?" presents them as legitimate opposition to Obama's government.
I understand the tactic. You really can't defeat the argument for public health care on merits, there are just too many countries out there that prove that it works. That leaves people with just one option, and that's shooting the messenger.
Please don't shoot the messenger.