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Ronald Reagan Quote

"If this program passes, one of these years we will tell our children and our children's children what it was like in American when men were free. One of the traditional methods of imposing statism, or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can't afford it."


-Regan speaking about Medicare, America's most successful single payer, government run alternative to private health insurance. This was almost 50 years ago.

(scooped from abillings)

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And what's changed in 50 years? That now a lot more people are perfectly happy to openly oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who can't afford it.

I already tell younger people about when people were free in America.

About how I used to be able to go to the airport, walk onto an airplane, and hand a stewardess some cash, my Swiss army knife in my pocket. About how Americans used to be able to go to over twenty countries without a passport. How my parents' drivers licenses used to not have pictures.

About how there used to be liquor stores that were known to not always ask for i.d., and if you went to a New Year's party in high school, my friends' parents served us alcoholic punch (but with my friends, made you recite your social security number backwards before they handed back your car keys). About how when I was 8 or 10 my babysitter would send me to the corner store to pick up a pack of smokes for her.

About how I brought a butterfly knife to high school show and tell exercise. About how prescriptions were handwritten and the federal government didn't keep a copy of every single prescription forever. About a world where you were allowed to smile on i.d. photos. About a world where guns didn't require background checks, and abortions didn't require parental permission, and people in prison could vote.

About a country where if you went broke, you weren't still on the hook for college loans and credit cards for the rest of your life. A world without random piss tests for non-safety related jobs. A world where every time you walked into work in an office building, the prox cards and photo ids and cameras didn't put it on your permanent record. A world without building codes and zoning laws so that if someone wanted a round house, they could damn well build it, or fix their own front porch, or keep a beater car in the driveway without getting a ticket for having an eyesore, or a doctor or accountant could have a home office without a hassle. Where if someone wanted to be off-grid, they could just put up a windmill.

Where it took an act of congress to make a drug illegal, and people in Alaska could grow a pot plant or two. Where people who left the country to avoid the draft were given amnesty.

Going back, I talk about how in the 60s, high school teachers would sometimes smoke up with their students, telling them he wanted to make sure their first experiences with drugs were in a responsible environment. About a world where people weren't trapped by so many decent jobs requiring a ruinously expensive college degree, and people went to public colleges for a few hundred dollars; my stepmother didn't even buy textbooks, the school loaned them out, four years of college cost her the equivalent of less than a grand. Where hallucinogens were legal. Where immigration between industrialized countries was less of a nightmare.

And, to be fair, I do also talk about Stonewall and gay marriage. About people being arrested for giving head to their spouse in their own home. About lynchings. About how the ADA kills small business but helps some of the disabled. About corporal punishment and school prayer and quotas for blacks and Jews at colleges. About the pros and cons of using eminent domain to build roads and railways.

Of course, Reagan was in favor of most of the above losses of freedom, and against what I consider the most important gains (gay rights; I'm not sure of his positions on race, but I doubt they were good). He seemed to somehow believe that freedom meant low taxes and no social programs, but all the money in the world for aircraft carriers and nukes (and of course the deficit). Fucker.

Reagan began his presidential campgain by going to the site of the murder of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner and talking about "state's rights." Whether he felt a personal racism or was happy to exploit institutional racism is a distinction without a difference.

My point in posting this was that Reagan was wrong about Medicare, and people are wrong to fear ObamaCare.

The freedoms that we've lost in the last 50 years are mostly due to fear (especially 9/11-related). The gains we've made (gay rights, etc.) are due to hope.

I stand with hope.

Tom

This or something very similar was from a promotional record that Reagan did while he was still an actor. The full recording is somewhere on youtube and was making its way among the blogs several months ago.

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