Monday, May 22, 2017

LIFE, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (Part 2)

Okay, so, we're talking about the Declaration of Independence and how it laid the foundations for what came after it. It itself is not a legal document, but we refer to it as a foundational piece of our history, our ideals, and, yes, our government. Last week, we were talking about the pursuit of Happiness, and how we, culturally, have messed that all up, but, really, you should just go back and read last week's post. This week, let's move on a bit and, by doing that, go back to our first principle: Life.

Let's look again at the Declaration:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, -- That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of those ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it...
 So... Let's reaffirm the Rights we're talking about. There are only three: Life, Liberty, and the PURSUIT of Happiness. Jefferson is saying here that these three things in particular (there could be more than three, but these three in particular) are innate. They have been created within us and the Right CANNOT be taken away. The thing itself can be taken away, but the Right to have it cannot be. To safeguard these Rights, mankind (humankind) institutes Governments, and those Governments only exist through the consent of the people.

The very first Right he lists is the Right to Life. [Remember from last post, I'm talking about adults. There is nothing Pro-Life in any of this. That's a completely separate matter.] Yes, I'm going to talk about healthcare.

See, we have these Rights, and we institute Governments to make sure that the things themselves that we have a Right to are not taken away from us by someone stronger or more powerful than us. Including that government itself. What that means in this context is that the government, our government, is here to protect our Life and our Right to that Life.

Which is what makes it so insulting when a GOP asshole, a member of our Government who has been mandated by the fact that he is a part of that Government to protect our collective Right to Life, says something inane like, "Nobody dies because they don't have access to healthcare." That was Raul Labrador, by the way, part of the Right-wing Nutjob sector of the government defending the new death warrant the GOP call the "American Health Care Act," a bill which clearly favors the insurers over the insured and the very wealthy (who don't really need the help) over the average citizen. It is, in short, a bill that says, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others." Way more equal.

The GOP has clearly demonstrated that they have become "destructive of those ends" of securing our Right to Life.

In fact, the GOP has been clearly demonstrating that for, well, decades, what with their destructive environmental policies, their stance against safety net social programs, their support of hazardous industry over the welfare of communities, their support of the NRA and "stand your ground" laws, and their general willingness to assume that if a cop shoots a black man, even an unarmed black man, he must have had good reason. The whole healthcare thing? That's just them spitting in the faces of the people who got them where they are and saying, "No, we don't like you either."

Government to the GOP has become about how to make a profit and no longer has anything to do with securing our "unalienable Rights." Their Form of Government has become destructive of those ends which secure for us our Right to Life; as such, "it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it." We are "the People." "We the People."

Look, the Republicans continue to say that healthcare is not a Right but a privilege. It's that stance which allows someone like Labrador to say things like nobody dies from lack of healthcare, but people die from lack adequate healthcare ALL THE TIME. In fact, it's the lack of access to healthcare that causes people to die from preventable or manageable illnesses. They can't afford to go to the doctor until it's too late. And, no, I don't have the numbers for that, but I don't really think I need to have them.

What I'm saying here is that the GOP is just plain wrong on this. If we're going to refer to the Declaration as one of our Founding Documents (and the GOP loves to claim how they stand by our Founding Documents), then you can't really get around the fact that it proclaims that WE ALL have the Right to Life. That is, after all, why hospitals can't send anyone away. And, at one point in time, that was the best we could do, but it's not anymore.

And here's the thing, we don't have the right to the best healthcare we can afford; that doesn't work with all men being created equal. If the wealthy have access to better healthcare, that means that we are not being treated equally. The Truth is that we have the Right to the best healthcare available. All of us, all the time. The kind of healthcare you get should not be dependent upon your wealth. That is NOT equality in our Right to Life.

Seriously, it's time for us, the People, to alter our Government. We have a Right to equal healthcare and equal Life. If gaining access to that means abolishing the GOP and their stagnant and destructive ways, well, that's what needs to happen. I do not consent to be governed by the assholes currently holding the reins of power, and it's time we took them back.


  1. Wait, wait... there's a guy in congress named Raul Labrador? Are we sure he isn't just a dog with a very elaborate human costume? Because that sounds exactly like something a labrador would say.

    1. ABftS: I had a similar response when I heard his name.

    2. Or, you know, read his name.

  2. They care about right to life up until the day you're born. Then you're on your own. No health care or food if you're "too lazy" to work. Because then you have no motivation to get a job. It doesn't matter if you're starving to death! Get out there and work!

    1. Jeanne: Yeah, you gotta love that "protestant work ethic."

  3. I was in a class last week where two students decided they wanted to discuss politics with me. They were conservatives. And for them it was all about the national debt. They couldn't see funding things until that national debt was paid down.

    I told them about my sister-in-law. They seemed sympathetic, but they moved on, because they couldn't reconcile their stance with the idea that the vile ACHA would kill her.

    1. Liz: Sympathy is worthless.
      And, you know, the Bible actually says the same thing.