During CNN’s Tea Party Republican Debate Monday night, Libertarian Ron Paul was given a hypothetical scenario regarding a man who didn’t have health care yet found himself in a coma and in need of intensive care.
“That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks, this whole idea that you have to prepare to take care of everybody … ” Paul clumsily began.
“Congressman,” CNN correspondent Wolf Blitzer broke in, “are you saying that society should just let him die?”
When given a perfect opportunity to defend the true Christ impulse—that is to come to the aid of those in need, especially the sick and defenseless—the crowd cheered. By cheering for death, this group of self-proclaimed God-fearing “Christians” might as well have yelled out, “Give us Barabbas!”
The hypothetical “healthy 30-year-old man who has a good job and makes a good living,” was shown to be a shaky premise on its face the very next day as the Census Bureau reported record level poverty in America.
Blitzer’s straw man who says, “You know what, I’m not going to spend 200 or 300 dollars a month for heath insurance because I’m healthy, I don’t need it,” discounts the 46.2 million of us, and by us, I mean fellow American citizens, who don’t have the opportunity to make that cavalier lifestyle choice.
As a doctor, Paul should have known better. His own Hippocratic Oath points out the hollowness of the Libertarian worldview. Lest Paul need a refresher, the creed taken by all in the medical profession says, “I will remember that I remain a member of society with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.”
Coming the day after the tenth anniversary of the one time in common memory that all Americans could proudly say, “we are one people,” it is sickening to hear that a short decade later, we are cheering for our neighbor’s painful death. They are not Christians. They are not Americans. We don’t act that way.