Sunday, September 02, 2007

John Edwards: Embracing Fascism

It is good to know that in John Edwards world you live only for the well-being of the state: Edwards backs mandatory preventive care

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said on Sunday that his universal health care proposal would require that Americans go to the doctor for preventive care.

"It requires that everybody be covered. It requires that everybody get preventive care," he told a crowd sitting in lawn chairs in front of the Cedar County Courthouse. "If you are going to be in the system, you can't choose not to go to the doctor for 20 years. You have to go in and be checked and make sure that you are OK."

Well, that is just f@#%!$-ing spiffy.

So, Edwards wants to use the coercive power of the state to stamp a Grade A brand on my ass? He's got another thing coming.

What's next? A "Strength Through Joy" program?

12 comments:

Tom said...

Deep breath Rich.

Yeah, it's intrusive and I wouldn't care for it. But preventive health care does help reduce costs and improve health. It's thought that the better health of the English is because of their focus on primary and preventive care, even if they don't have as much high-tech medicine as the US.

So he does have a point, even if his means seem coercive. That hardly means he's a fascist.

So don't expect him to write Mein Kampf Y'all any time soon. ;)

Tully said...

Translation: It's not fascism if it saves money! Or if it's for your own good. Or the state's good. Or something.

Seem coercive? Non serviam. IS coercive, forced by law. The three key words there are "you can't choose". Instead, you are forced by law into accepting medical treatment. Edwards is a torts attorney. He's well aware that forced treatment is highly unethical. Indeed, at best it amounts to battery in the case of a non-consenting adult. Toss in kidnapping and unlawful restraint to get the true flavor of what "forced treatment" means.

Unless, of course, it's for your own good. Or the state's own good. Or something.

Fascism is an authoritarian political ideology that considers individual and other societal interests subordinate to the needs of the state. One can quibble about whether Edwards is really arguing for fascism per se but he's certainly arguing that individual rights be subordinated to the needs of the state.

It's thought that the better health of the English is because of their focus on primary and preventive care, even if they don't have as much high-tech medicine as the US.

Last I looked health care in the UK was NOT mandatory and coerced. And cross-national comparisons of health-care outcomes, while widely touted by those who don't understand them, are generally flawed by not using the same methods of measurement. When adjusted for differences in measurement technique and reporting, mortality and health figures are remarkably similar in developed countries, with most major discrepancies due to lifestyle factors, not the health care system.

Tom said...

Ok ok, it doesn't seem coercive, it is coercive. And I didn't mean to imply that the UK required preventive health care.

But I think it's excessive to say:

"He's well aware that forced treatment is highly unethical. Indeed, at best it amounts to battery in the case of a non-consenting adult. Toss in kidnapping and unlawful restraint to get the true flavor of what "forced treatment" means."

I don't know how you interpret it, but I interpret "preventive care" as more educational than clinical...ie I go to my doctor for a yearly physical and she praises by BP and complains about my weight and I'm free to follow or ignore her advice. I'm not forced to go on a liquid diet or to run on a treadmill at gunpoint, and I don't think Edwards is suggesting anything like that.

Tully said...

I'm sorry. There must be some part of "you can't choose to not go to the doctor" that I missed.

That's not just mandatory coverage. That's mandatory appearance and examination, at minimum.

I also note that "mental health care" is part of the Edwards plan. Wow. Is that gonna be mandatory? Mental health exams? Sounds familiar, somehow.

Pardon my sarcasm--fascism is just a label, and one can certainly quibble about its application here. But it sure sounds like "Do it or else" to me. What penalties would he apply to those who failed to show up for their physical? Because no matter how you slice it, that's putting the state over the rights of the individual.

I have no doubt he's backtracking as I type, but after his other calls for mandatory national service and such, the benefit of the doubt is vanishingly small in his case.

Absolutely no argument that an increased emphasis on primary and preventative care is a big part of any workable reforms in this country. Our system is badly skewed to producing $peciali$t phy$ician$ to the major major detriment of more cost-effective primary and preventative care. We have the best for-profit health care system in the world. It's absolutely unequalled at producing profits.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

Tom,

I'm not a nut. Encouraging preventative care is a good thing. Hell, requiring (within reason) immunizations against communicable diseases is a good thing.

But having the state come in and mandate (i.e. order) health care on the premise that the "well-being" of the state must come before presonal liberty IS fascist. It isn't "sorta like fascism" or "in the same ballpark as fascism" it absolutely is fascism, with a capital "F". (I disagree with Tuly here..it's not just a label.) Our system of government is not predicated upon the belief that you are free to live your life unless the state has a really good reason for running it for you. Someone should remind Mr. Edwards of that.

Tom said...

I'm not a nut That's debatable. ;)

I don't like this either, I just think that you two are overreacting. For some theories as to why, check out my post at the Gazette.

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I see you are cross referring people back here as well. That'll keep some people busy! :-)

And Tom, when does "interpretation in order to keep Edwards from looking damn foolish" end and "pure political spin" begin?

The more I read about it the more it seems like Edwards means it EXACTLY the way it sounds.

Tom said...

when does "interpretation in order to keep Edwards from looking damn foolish" end and "pure political spin" begin? You're asking me? You're the PoliSci person here! :)

Tully said...

Facism becomes just a label when it's so extensively misused as a reflexive pejorative.

Of course, it's a lot easier to say "FACIST!" instead of "Authoritarian statist!" The latter just has people giving you puzzled looks.

I don't think this meets the definition of facism, not until Edwards starts tagging out the scapegoat faction of the populace, and defining the "natural leaders" who are exempt from everything he proposes. Not that he hasn't evidenced it, but he hasn't SAID it in this context.

I am, of course, quibbling. :-)

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

I guess it is the difference between the charge of fascism as historical analogy (which I'm not making in this case) and the embracing of an ideology identical with the fascist in the political philosophy sense (which I am using.) If I felt it was mere statist authoritarianism at play I'd have invoked Stalinism.

In the one (statist authoritarianism) you do not enjoy rights (of any kind) because the interests of the state are deemed paramount...actually they are considered the ONLY thing, by defintion anything "private" or personal is merely the imposition of the capitalistic vision. IN the other, you may enjoy rights only so long as they are always subserviant to the "good" of the state. Therefore, a society such as ours always has more to fear from fascism since fascists can (and do) attempt to co-opt the very language of rights and in the process destroy the private sphere our rights are supposed to preserve.

The historical examples of scapegoating and the like are the sorts of things that can happen as a result of the state destroying the notion of rights as holding to the individual no matter what. They are a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself.

Mark Linham said...

This is an obvious outrage. I don't need to be kept healthy - nor do any of you - if we lose the most basic of rights to human dignity.

Forced examinations?! Goddamnit, I'm a human being!

This Edwards son-of-a-bitch MUST be defeated.

Say NO! to mandatory insurance coverage (what I do with my hard-earned moey is none of your damn business).

And say NO! to anything that violates our rights to our lives and bodies - such as mandatory physical exams!

I AM NOT A SLAVE!!

EVERYONE:
Call Edwards' Washington DC office and tell him to GO TO HELL! ..And tell them WHY!

The Iconic Midwesterner said...

The voters of New Hampshire did their job to defet Edwards.

But, Mark, don't get your blood pressure too elevated. Edwards might want to have you "checked out".