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Ask NRB: How Do You Oppose Obamacare To a Bankrupt Cancer Survivor?

Posted on May 2 2010 12:34 pm
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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“Anthony” has been a friend of mine since college when we were politicos on opposite sides of the spectrum who enjoyed debating one another over a cold beer. Now we’re still friends except we usually find ourselves on the same side ever since my right turn.

He emailed me yesterday:


How’s California amigo?

I had quite the experience today. My business hosted a meet and greet for one of the candidates running here in the 3rd district (Senate). His name is ————, he is a Democrat and will be running against —— (or —————- if there is an upset).

He had a few supporters show up and a some folks from around town who were interested in his political stances. I popped in and out at first, heard he’s pro-gun and pro-life (though he stipulated that there should be limits on what sorts of weapons should be owned in general) and somewhat moderate concerning the Israel-Palestine conflict.

I sat down towards the end as the discussion turned toward the health care debate. He supports Obama’s health care reform, as did everyone else who had shown up. Perhaps I should have kept my mouth shut, then one gentlemen said he would support single-payer health care, even if that meant he had to pay a little more in taxes. Almost everyone else echoed this sentiment. There was also a lady there (a friend of my family’s actually) who has battled cancer, twice actually. She declared bankruptcy a few years back and said she would have to again when her 5 year limit on doing it again was over (as a result of her mounting medical bills). My question is, how do I address this subject in a tasteful manner? I spoke up, don’t get me wrong, but the group was quite hostile to most of my arguments. Do you have any suggestions? Because I honestly do not know how to tell someone who has struggled with cancer (and who takes relatively good care of themselves) that someone else paying for (or helping pay for) their medical expenses is a bad idea.


I responded this morning:

Hey Anthony,
California is glorious. I’m sitting on the balcony of our apartment right now. Weather is wonderful and the area is very nice. Start work at the DHFC office tomorrow morning.

“My question is, how do I address this subject in a tasteful manner?”

Answer: You don’t.

Here’s a question for you: Is there any magical combination of words that you could utter that would convince any of these people to abandon their pursuit of social justice? No, there isn’t. What could you say that would make someone who’s had a lousy time in our health care system stop dreaming of that utopian hospital out there?

As an ex-leftist I can say with some certainty that YOU (as well as me and all other conservatives) are utterly incapable of converting a leftist into a conservative. David Horowitz did not change me into the “Neo-Con Warmonger” I am today. I changed myself. My life experiences changed me.

This all might seem a bit discouraging but it needn’t be. Because the next question I’d ask you is this: Why do you NEED to change their minds? Why do you NEED to correct their neo-communist world view? Answer: you don’t. Let them embrace their views just as you’d let them think the earth is flat or that demons cause them to get sick or that 9/11 was an inside job. There are plenty of minds out there that are open and reachable. There are vast swaths of the American populace who are apolitical, ignorant or some variety of squishy “centrist.” As someone who once tried to use the label I can tell you that all a “centrist” is is someone who is in denial (or lying) about being a leftist or a conservative — or a politician who has to sit on the fence to keep his job. These are the people who we can persuade with our positions.

Now all this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t occasionally debate with leftists. There’s plenty to be gained from dialogue but it’s mostly an exercise for yourself that will allow you to refine your positions and learn about the world more. I’ve given up on evangelizing to the world.

Hope the coffee business continues to go well,

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