Personal responsibility out of style

September 16, 2011


In the Republican presidential candidates debate Monday night in Tampa, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer posed a hypothetical question. Normally, a hypothetical question should not be answered, but in this case it revealed something about the questioner and sparked a controversial, but necessary answer from Rep. Ron Paul.

For those watching the two Monday Night Football games, the question was: “A healthy 30-year-old young man has a good job, makes a good living, but decides, you know what? I’m not going to spend $200 or $300 a month for health insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it. But something terrible happens, all of a sudden he needs it. Who’s going to pay if he goes into a coma, for example? Who pays for that?”

The question was designed to appeal to the status quo with the federal government picking up the tab, but Paul cut through the question to give a powerful answer: “...what he should do is whatever he wants to do, and assume responsibility for himself. ... That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks. This whole idea that you have to prepare and take care of everybody...”

Blitzer interrupted: “...are you saying society should just let him die?”

Some in the audience shouted “yes.” They must have come from the previous debate where Gov. Rick Perry’s pride in executing convicted murderers was wildly applauded.

Responded Paul: “...We’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that’s the reason the cost is so high. ... We have lack of competition. There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing.”

What first needs to be said is that federal law prohibits anyone from being turned away from a hospital emergency room, whether in a coma or not. But Paul’s larger point should not be missed. He is old enough to remember a time when families, neighbors and churches cared for each other. Now, in our two-income households when we buy so much stuff we must rent public storage units for the overflow, we hardly have time for our own families, much less the concerns of others. How many of us know our neighbors?

I was intrigued by a story I read last month in London’s Sunday Times. The story followed street rioting that shocked Britons and caused Prime Minister David Cameron to lament the loss of moral teaching in British schools and society. The headline read “Tory Ministers to ‘Adopt’ Jobless Families.”

Some of the jobless have been without work for several generations. A recent survey found that in many homes, no one had ever worked and had no desire or expectation of employment.

The ministers have pledged to set an example for others to follow by volunteering to become “family champions” to the unemployed. Emma Harrison, who is described by the newspaper as a “social entrepreneur whose company has a 300-million pound contract to help people into meaningful work,” wants the middle classes to follow the ministers’ example.

Why couldn’t this work in the U.S. government? Why can’t President Obama and his family, his cabinet members and agency heads each “adopt” an unemployed family and help them find meaningful employment? What about the Republican presidential candidates? Michele Bachmann and her husband are experienced in adoptions. How about all of those rich congressmen and senators? Warren Buffett and Bill Gates think we should pay more taxes. Can’t they be asked to personally do more to help others? They would be a fine example.

If we want smaller government, we will have to pick up the slack. Helping change another life for the better may be the most satisfying work we do on Earth. It is part of my own ethic and I can testify to the satisfaction it has given me. Make it a fad and it could become a trend. Ron Paul’s answer, which to some sounded crass, might prove itself to be the ultimate in compassion.

— Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email is tmseditors@tribune.com.


mickeyrat 6 years, 8 months ago

Cal writes: "Ron Paul’s answer, [...We’ve given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that’s the reason the cost is so high. ... We have lack of competition. There’s no competition in medicine. Everybody is protected by licensing,] might prove itself to be the ultimate in compassion."

The question Ron Paul was asked was whether or not we should let this hypothetical person die.

What Cal should have said (were he interested in the truth, instead of dodging & deflecting) was that Ron Paul's (non)-answer is Cal's definition of compassion.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

Suppose April 15th. comes around. Tax day. I'm supposed to file my taxes on that date. But suppose I do not file. I do nothing instead. Well, actually, I have done something. I've made a decision to defy the law and accept responsibility for the consequences. What I can't do is say "but I didn't do anything". I had a affirmative obligation to do something and by not doing that, I must accept the consequences. So, too, with our 30 year old Mr. Hypothetical. By not purchasing insurance, even though he could clearly afford it, he made a decision. The decision he made was to defer judgement to others, in this case to society as a whole. Maybe he thinks society will pick up the tab and maybe he thinks society should pick up the tab. Maybe he's correct in his thinking. But maybe he's wrong. He made a decision to let others decide. I have no problem if we as a society then make choices that may or may not be in his best interests. If the costs of his health care runs into the millions and we decide that we really need to build another school, then that's fine with me. And precisely because he gave us the power to choose, it's fine with him as well.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

But the fact is that the majority of those who have no health insurance don't have it because they can't afford it.

hedshrinker 6 years, 8 months ago

Why do you always assume people don't buy it b/c they're engaging in stupid, superfluous or illegal activities? Maybe they're just trying to keep a roof over their heads, eat frugally at home (as opposed to the local "cheeseburger" fast food emporium), keep their kids in generic but functional clothing and activities. Insurance, especially for a FAMILY is prohibitively expensive for many.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

As you say, that's a completely different example. Now we're talking about a person without a choice. And precisely because it's a different example, I for one would give a completely different answer.

chootspa 6 years, 8 months ago

Alas, libertarians do not. That's the whole reason there should never be the first example. I don't feel comfortable sentencing people to death for the crime of bad financial planning.

fancy80 6 years, 8 months ago

Why are we using the term "sentencing people to death"? I know some who had a heart attack, did not have insurance, but went to the hospital and was treated. He paid his hospital bill by having his payroll check garnished. It's called personal responsibility people.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

What you're doing with Obamacare of course is taking away the option for the 30 year old man. Maybe that's good, I don't have the option of driving without a seat belt. But some might argue that the 30 year old should have the option. After all, I see all those motorcyclists driving down the road with no helmet and I think they're crazy. Should we compel them to wear one because our healthcare costs will go up if they receive a traumatic brain injury. And if we can do that, what about smokers, drinkers, druggies, the obese, the out of shape, and on and on. Why should I be compelled to contribute to that system? Why not let me take my chances?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm playing devil's advocate here, so just indulge me a little. But in your car insurance scenario, a person could lose their insurance if they behave in ways that are overly irresponsible. That in turn keeps the costs down for those who do act in a responsible way. Am I right so far? Would anyone choose to enter into a insurance group where many drivers had a long history of bad behavior and the costs were then spread amongst everyone in the group. The costs for even the safest drivers would be needlessly be higher. In your liability case, would there be limits placed on the level of care? And would my limits be different than someone else's, depending on who had a healthier lifestyle? Or better genes?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes, life is a risk. But if you had the option, would you share health costs with a hundred smokers or a hundred non-smokers? Would you share car insurance with a hundred 16 year olds or a hundred 40 year olds? I'm not necessarily opposed to universal health care. I'm just saying that I can see a reasonable argument against it. And along with that, the person assumes the risks involved, including the risk that as a society, we may choose inferior care for those who opt out.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

"But if you had the option, would you share health costs with a hundred smokers or a hundred non-smokers?"

One of the ways that universal healthcare could be financed would be to use the taxes collected on tobacco to fund the expenses smoking creates in the healthcare system. Same for lots of other vices that create health problems.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

Then that 30 year old Mr. Hypothetical might respond then would be "fine, when you do that, I'll join your collective health care system. Until then, I choose not to". As I said, I'm playing a little devil's advocate here. It's not a position I feel all that strong about. But I do see how someone else might.

chootspa 6 years, 8 months ago

Just as car insurance companies offer incentives for good driving records or straight As, they can offer incentives for healthy behavior like smoking cessation, weight loss, etc.

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

"The way the system is now insurance companies would allow both to die."

No, the insurance companies would have nothing to do with either example since they're not engaged in either example. It wouldn't be their decision to "allow both to die."

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Doesn't have to end with the last premium as there's always Cobra to fall back on. Or if aged enough, Medicare. The problems we're running into is the unsustainable existence of an ever aging populace that lives longer and longer with the most expensive periods of care coming in those late years. Keeping everyone alive as long as possible costs an extraordinary amount, and even if one's paid an insurance company for 40 years chances are that one catastrophic illness could surpass in cost that person's lifetime premium total.
I'm definitely no genius either and have no idea how to fix the problem. I'm highly skeptical of 'Obamacare' because things like it, like Medicare, are pushing the limits of quality care and forcing doctors out of the game. Then again, something has to be done.

jaywalker 6 years, 8 months ago

Status quo gotta go, no doubt. As for cost containment, I don't know. Malpractice insurance is dictating so much right now I'd like to think there's a way to cut there. I think people are expecting God in the OR or the ER or anywhere in medicine, and it's not that precise a science. That aspect is ludicrous. The only conclusion that seems most plausible at this point is = we're screwed one way or the other.

BTW, last time I had Cobra it was 210 for everything. The horror stories don't apply that often.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

About personal responsibility .......

Scores Charged In Massive HealthCare Fraud http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/07/us-usa-health-fraud-idUSTRE78669920110907

Billions in HCA Medicare,Medicaid and Tricare Fraud http://www.laweekly.com/2003-01-16/news/the-bad-doctor/

Paying More Getting Less How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you? http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2008/0508harrison.html

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

Medical Insurance Industry Revolving Door http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

Let's Make Health Insurance Affordable instead of allowing the massive corporate theft operation to continue! Hands OFF Our Medicare http://www.healthcare-now.org/

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

And how is this anything to do with personal responsibility? And the exact same links just minutes apart on another thread. Do you even read what others write or just copy/paste, copy/paste, copy/paste?

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

That's a great idea.

How would we get there from here?

independent_rebel 6 years, 8 months ago

Next time, just speak Spanish and give false info. Whamo! It's all given to you for free!

fancy80 6 years, 8 months ago

I agree with you. I think they only addressed one third of the problem with obamacare. When some prescription drugs cost several hundred dollars for a thirty day supply and aspirin costs $15 at the hospital, lower monthly premiums aren't the problem. They should have forced the big pharma and hospitals to make serious changes too.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

"And how is this anything to do with personal responsibility?"

Shouldn't white collar executives also be expected to honor personal responsibility instead of stealing from consumers and the USA government?

If you take time to read there might be a clue ....

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

If white collar executives are stealing from consumers and the government then they should be prosecuted and sent to jail. The problem is, they are not stealing, a crime. They are engaging in legal business practices that you happen to disagree with. It's your right to disagree with them, it's another to accuse people of crimes when they have not been charged, brought to trial and convicted by a jury. And it's because you don't make distinctions like that, I choose not to read your links, over and over again. Make credible statements and people might take you seriously. Until then, I along with many others, will simply scroll past your links and wonder why you waste your time and ours.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

You're the one who thinks many people who have been acquitted are guilty, and few people are incorrectly convicted.

And that many people are getting away with crimes entirely.

Merrill's suggestions fit quite nicely with that view, I'd think.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

I think it's clear that Merrill is disturbed by business practices that he doesn't agree with. Simply saying that those practices are criminal doesn't make it so.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

But, given your general view, it's extremely likely that many are getting away with a variety of crimes, and so Merrill's view is reasonable.

Why do you dismiss the possibility when it involves companies, but not individuals?

jhawkinsf 6 years, 8 months ago

I'm sure they are getting away with a wide variety of crimes. They probably break the speed limit when driving home and jaywalk when walking down the street. But again, Merrill was specifically referring to their business practices (or at least that's what I took from it). And as I said, if they are committing crimes, they should be prosecuted and sent to jail. I specifically said that. What Merrill is saying (again, how i interpreted his comment) is that their business practices should be criminal. All I said was that they are not and he should therefore not make that accusation.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago


I'm pretty sure that many companies are using business practices that aren't legal, and aren't getting caught and prosecuted for it, just as you are sure many individuals are doing the same.

For example, rating agencies knowingly gave high ratings to risky securities, and the issuers of those securities marketed them as good ones - I'd call that fraud.

We'll see whether the government investigation into the matter winds up charging anyone - my cynical prediction is that it won't.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

Nope - no hard numbers.

As the right likes to say about voter fraud, it's hard to get actual numbers if we're not putting a system in place to detect it.

It's just my opinion.

Any comment on the example I mentioned?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

people getting tired of forum spamming by merrill? Hmmmmmm

Getaroom 6 years, 8 months ago

No, some us want more of it so as not to notice your one liners everyday ding dang dong day! The assumptions and conclusions made by Cal are as usual, off base. The reason BIG Pharma and BIG Corporations in general are allowed to do what they do, legally or illegally, or immorally, or unethically is because they have created that business culture through lobbyists and are able to get away with it in the Government they have created in their own image. And you apparently like that culture since you daily support it with your negativity surrounding anything remotely humanitarian in concept.

usnsnp 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes everybody should buy health insurance. But in many instances people cannot afford health insurance unless their employer furnishes it. It is easy for people like Ron Paul to have the attitude he has, he has most of his health care payed for by the tax payer, he talks about being independent but he has been on the government payrole for over 20 years and when he leaves congress he will have a better retirement than 90% of the people in the United States will ever have. I find it interesting that all the people you see talking and giving advice on TV and radio will probably never have to rely on Social Security or Medicare. When you do not have to rely on something, it is easy to say it is not necessary.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

"They are engaging in legal business practices that you happen to disagree with."

Since when is fraud legal?

fancy80 6 years, 8 months ago

Hmmm, no response....surprising. The reality is that many of the goofballs on here haven't heard much about solyndra because bsnbc hasn't been reporting on it until very recently. I'm sure this too is some how gwb's fault.

Mike Ford 6 years, 8 months ago

why snap no crackle are you tired of merrill....all he does is pile on the antidote to much of the garbage spoken on here.....hmmm....personal responsibility... word distraction creation by wingnuts with creative language to fool their own into thinking others are lazy even though they're lazy enough to follow the misleading dimwit politicians and columnists that they do....hmmmm

MarcoPogo 6 years, 8 months ago

No, what he "piles on" is a parade of links and copy/pasted material that usually leads way outside of what is actually being discussed at the time. If it were an occasional event, people would simply ignore it, but alas, this is not the case.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 8 months ago

Let's give some credibility to Ron Paul for this one:

The Iraq,Pakistan and Afghanistan wars are bogus and draining this economy. Neither should have gotten off the ground. The 9/11/01 group represented no one but themselves. They were PO'd that the USA planted military bases on their holy ground and rightfully so. They are not alone. Only a few decided to do whatever to force the change. They represented no country or government.

Isn't it odd they got by the Bush/Cheney national security team after living in Maryland for two years?

He also does not support the idea that the USA should have over 900 military bases abroad. I'm sure we could discover natives of these countries who would agree and would love for the USA military to get the hell out.

Paul is no antiwar freak. He bases his thinking that the USA should mind its' own business and on pure economics. As a result of these wars taxpayers will be paying out trillions upon trillions to disabled vets...... all disabled vets deserve the best of care which too many do not.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 8 months ago

You're getting farther and farther away from the topic of this thread, bub.

beatrice 6 years, 8 months ago

Sorry. We didn't know stalking merrill was the topic of this thread, um, bub.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 8 months ago

"If we want smaller government, we will have to pick up the slack."

So what unemployed family have you adopted, Cal? Will you be writing about the fabulous new jobs you got them in your next column?

salad 6 years, 8 months ago

When conservatives talk about "personal responsibility", what they really mean is, "personal responsibility for everyone, except ME." It goes perfectly with their other favorite rehtorical question, "What would Jesus do?", when what they really wanna know, is "Who would Jesus stick it to?". Remember, conservatives believe in the individual.....and corporations are individuals. Welfare is BAD (except for corporations and super-rich people). The hypocrisy goes on and on and on...... It was truely sickening to watch the blood-lust in the conservatard audience at that debate as they cheered for executing people, even if they might be innocent, and letting people w/o insurance die. Nero's Rome lives.....

beatrice 6 years, 8 months ago

I loved it in the debate at the Reagan library when Paul said he liked what Reagan said, just not what Reagan actually did. That was a classic example of a politician trying to cover all his bases and speak out of both sides of his mouth. It was terrific.

It is true that hospitals can't turn people away ... yet. Give the tea party their way, and that may not be true in the future. Certainly for those in the audience who yelled that the person should be allowed to die for not having insurance, that is the case.

Great bit in the article about generations of people (in England) who have never worked. That seems like so much Cadillac driving welfare moms b.s. to be laughable. Oh, and Bill Gates and Warren Buffett have given billions to help the poor. Why is Cal pretending he doesn't know this?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 8 months ago

Whats the difference if people die because of no insurance, vs the death panels and end of life services that are being set up to curb the costs of the old folks?

There is not a good answer other than, if you are able to work, then you should not demand more from the system than you put into it.

hedshrinker 6 years, 8 months ago

This whole death panels, end of life svcs tactic has been shown to be completely BOGUS for so long by so many non-partisan truth-meters I can't believe you're still espousing it. You're probably a birther, too, huh?

hedshrinker 6 years, 8 months ago

Hospital EMERGENCY ROOMS cannot turn patients with dire health challenges away ONLY as long as they are in an unstable condition and cannot be safely transported to a more financially appropriate facility. As soon as they are stable and can tolerate transport and some other place that provides" charity "care is willing to accept them ,they will be out of there.

bevy 6 years, 8 months ago

Bea, I'm not sure the bit about British families, some of whom have never worked, is BS. I remember a few years ago it was all over the news that we had third-generation welfare families here in the States. Folks who have been on handouts so long that they don't have any concept of going to work every day.

NPR has been running some interesting reports this week about the disparities in income by race, and how poverty is a self-perpetuating cycle.

verity 6 years, 8 months ago

Yes, poverty is often a self-perpetuating cycle---and we need to craft our policies to try to break that cycle. However, how are you going to "'adopt' an unemployed family and help them find meaningful employment?" when there are so few jobs to be had?

voevoda 6 years, 8 months ago

There is no way that Ron Paul remembers a time when family, neighbors, and churches took care of everyone who was ill and indigent. That's because governments (in civilized countries, anyway) have been doing this for centuries. In Western Europe, this was an innovation spurred by the Protestant Reformation. When the Catholic Church was disestablished in Protestant countries and could no longer require everyone to pay a tithe to be used to support the poor, governments stepped in. The governments, unlike the Roman Catholic Church, were extremely interested in separating the "deserving poor" from the "undeserving poor"--often meaning women whose chastity was suspect and men who were able-bodied but who could not find employment. That's where the ungenerous attitudes of Ron Paul and his Tea Party supporters originate: in the rejection of Christ's open-armed message. (Christ never checked anybody's ability to pay before giving them the alms and healing they asked for.) I'm surprised that Cal Thomas, who claims to be such a staunch Catholic, doesn't realize this and change his opinion.

verity 6 years, 8 months ago

"I'm surprised that Cal Thomas, who claims to be such a staunch Catholic, doesn't realize this and change his opinion."

as she picks herself off the floor and wipes off her computer screen.

kugrad 6 years, 8 months ago

If one is so into personal responsibility, and it is so clearly irresponsible not to have your own health insurance (which causes everyone who is responsible to pay for you), then it seems that one would also be in favor of a requirement that everyone take personal responsibility and buy health insurance.

kugrad 6 years, 8 months ago

I disagree. You are, of course, welcome to your opinion, but it is clearly irresponsible not to have health insurance in the United States in my opinion. You may have valid reasons for being unable to fulfill your responsibility, but not having insurance is still requires others to be responsible for paying your way in the event that you need medical care. I guess you could be truly rich, but those people not only tend to be insured, they are a very small number of people.

true_patriot 6 years, 8 months ago

One thing that is curiously absent from every conversation or essay I come across from ideologues like Cal Thomas who make their living by stirring up division and emotion without offering any real solutions is this: Since with every passing year and every next judicial decision corporations are treated more and more as persons (and in some areas now have more rights than individual American citizens), shouldn't there be a huge concern with responsible corporate behavior?

We cherry-pick extreme but statistically unrepresentative examples of individual people (the welfare queen is the ultimate classic) and hold them to a sterling standard for "personal responsibility" including for circumstances beyond their control and then inexplicably turn right around and give a free pass to the most egregious corporate irresponsibility that harms American citizens (and people around the world) on a scale that is orders of magnitude greater in comparison.

I can't take anyone seriously who tries to score easy points with the worn out "personal responsibility" meme until I hear corporate responsibility mentioned in the same breath and the standard is fairly and equally applied across the spectrum with an earnest intent to think through to real potential solutions in these complex and challenging times.

true_patriot 6 years, 8 months ago

Exactly my point - they are not responsible. Thank you.

Why would you hold an individual to a platinum standard for responsibility (often for circumstances beyond their control) while not holding corporate behavior with far more damaging consequences to the health and security of our nation to any standard at all, despite the fact that they increasingly enjoy the same or more rights than a person?

Why don't ideologues get that?

jayhawxrok 6 years, 8 months ago

I guess by Republican logic if a motorcycle rider is in an accident and not wearing a helmet when the EMTs arrive they should treat everything but the head injury.

Armored_One 6 years, 8 months ago

I've got an oddball question.

Why do we have to pay for insurance all the time, but whenever we are forced to use it, especially for a serious issue, say cancer, the 'coverage' tends to run out, regardless of how long you have been paying the premiums?

Better way to make insurance easily accessible to the gneral populace would be to somehow find a way to leverage the insurance companies into providing it at an AFFORDABLE rate, and one that is consistant from the time you start paying the premiums to the time you stop paying them.

I speak from experience. I watched as my grandmother, who was dying from pancreatic cancer, had her insurance "run out", as it was put, and was forced to leave the hospital, where she was receiving top notch care, to a nursing home, where the care was acceptable, but far from top notch.

These leeches consign too many to a lingering death not because of the extreme prices of insurance, but because you can pay for 50 years on the policy, but it will only last 3 months, if that long. My grandmother's policy ran out in under 45 days. I found payment stubs from her paying the premiums in the late 60s. She died in 2000. 40 years of premiums, for unneeded medical needs, and less than 45 days of actual use caused the policy to run out of funding?

Of course things stink when it comes to insurance. When you buy a cart of manure, it's going to smell like manure, not Chanel No. 5.

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

That's a good point.

Also, if they can just cancel the insurance, or raise your rates drastically whenever you use it, ...

But, part of that problem is the high costs of medical care - if they weren't so high, the insurance wouldn't "run out" so quickly, don't you think?

Armored_One 6 years, 8 months ago

As my grandfather used to say when he talked about politicians:

"One's as deep in the muck as the other is in the mire."

Renovating the billing structure of health care will alleviate a reasonably large part of the total issue, but insurance reforms need to occur as well, because it will leverage the medical industry into making changes.

Jimo 6 years, 8 months ago

Ron Paul: letting someone die a slow and painful death just because they don't have health insurance is "freedom."

There you have it: Freedom = Death.

From the rest of these GOP clowns: silence.

Friedrich A. Hayek, patron saint of libertarianism: "There is no reason why, in a society which has reached the general level of wealth ours has, (the certainty of a given minimum of sustenance) should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom; that is: some minimum of food, shelter and clothing, sufficient to preserve health. Nor is there any reason why the state should not help to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance in providing for those common hazards of life against which few can make adequate provision." The Road to Serfdom, 1944 (a Tea Party best seller - that apparently none of them bothered to read).

parco814 6 years, 8 months ago

I gotta admit it--Cal's right.

It's definitely in style for millions of Americans to take no responsibility for the rotten condition of their country and this world. It's always the fault of some other person or group, or better yet, some impersonal force that one can condemn in sweeping general terms.

Big government. The media. Illegal aliens. Political correctness. Multiculturalism. The cultural elite. These are the demons. The American citizen is a paragon of virtue, a well-informed model of civic engagement.

Wouldn't want to hold the average US citizen responsible for any problems. After all, he or she votes once in a while, always works hard and stays honest and never gets a break from Uncle Sam, and pays exorbitant income taxes, well, exorbitant so long as you don't compare those tax rates to the rates in other nations. No one has a right to ask anything more of anyone.

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