dilemmanade
Thursday, November 19, 2009
 


Americatown: A Teabagger Bedtime Story


Once upon a time there was a town. It was a prosperous little town with a bank, a factory, a store, and a health insurance company. It was called Americatown. And everyone in Americatown wore white.

And when I say Americatown was prosperous, of course that doesn't mean that everyone was prosperous. In fact, a lot of people were dirt poor, and most people lived paycheck to paycheck, and it was only a very few-- the folks who happened to own the bank, the factory, the store, and the health insurance company-- who were rich. And they were very rich, indeed, and had the best of everything. They were so rich that they couldn't spend all their money, while lots of other people couldn't afford one thing or another, like to see a doctor when they got sick.

But those who were rich, well, they deserved to be rich. This is because they were the best and the brightest. (Or at least their parents or grandparents or great-grandparents, and so on, were the best and the brightest. Or, if not the best and the brightest, then they were at least the most avaricious and ruthless. Or else extraordinarily wiley and smooth talking. Or in the right place at the right time. That kind of thing. But let's just say the rich were rich because they deserved to be by virtue of being the best and the brightest, lest the story become bogged down, and because that's the theory, and what everybody believed.)

Well, everyone agreed that Americatown was the best of all possible towns. Why? Because it was a town where everyone was free-- free to think and say and do whatever they wanted, within reasonable limits, but most importantly of all, free to make themselves rich.

And there was, in fact, no law in Americatown that said people could not become rich. And as long as everyone was free under the law to become rich, then anyone could in fact become rich. And if anyone could become rich, then the best and the brightest would always be the ones to do so, which would be to the great good fortune of Americatown in general.

And truly, everyone in Americatown had heard of at least one story where someone had become rich without being born rich, even if they'd never personally met anyone like that. And if it could happen once, then it could happen again. And if it could happen once and then again, then it could be happening all around us all of the time, and probably was.

And thus Americatown was not just free, but fair. And because it was free and fair, most everyone in Americatown who was not rich figured that one day they personally would become rich. And because they would one day be rich in it, Americatown was the best of all possible towns. And it follows logically that since Americatown was the best of all possible towns, then each and every particular thing about Americatown must be the best possible, too.

And so everyone believed, and so everyone told everyone else. And it was all good.

Then one day, a stranger came to town. The people of Americatown knew there was something wrong with him right away because he didn't wear white. He was dressed in black.

People gathered around to meet him, and hear what he had to say. And what he had to say was outlandish in the extreme.

The man in black said that Americatown needed to reform health care. He said that things weren't fair, and that Americatown could do better. He said too many people lost everything just because someone in the family got sick. He said that the factory in Americatown was at a disadvantage when competing with factories in other towns because health care was cheaper there. He said that some people didn't switch jobs or start new companies because they couldn't get health insurance. He said that a healthy population that could afford health care was better for Americatown, better even for those who already could afford health care. He said that Americatown was looking at serious trouble down the road if it didn't do something about health care costs very soon.

Well, the people of Americatown were outraged at this crazy talk.

The banker said Americatown was fair just the way it was. Free and fair. Free and fair, and the best of all possible towns, and that each and every particular thing about Americatown, including health care, must be the best possible, too. And that one day they'd all be rich.

The factory owner said that the very fact that there were a very few people who were so rich they couldn't spend all their money while many others were so poor that they couldn't afford a doctor when they got sick was proof positive that Americatown was free and fair and rewarded the best and the brightest and was the best of all possible towns.

The store owner said that he agreed with the banker and the factory owner, and that even if a lot of people couldn't afford a doctor if they got sick, well, they certainly could afford fancy new tennis shoes and big screen TVs, which were on sale all that week.

The owner of the insurance company said that Americatown couldn't afford to have health care for everyone because it would surely take a bite out of his profits, and that if the rich were ever even the tiniest bit less rich than they are right now, well, then they just couldn't bear it, and they would leave Americatown, and boy the people would be sorry then, because the rich were the best and the brightest and probably nobody else could run a bank, a factory, a store, or a health insurance company.

And if that wasn't convincing enough, then a waitress they called Caribou Barbie because she liked to shoot moose from a helicopter, perfectly articulated their feelings by shouting "Death panels! He wants to kill grandma! He's a terrorist! He's a socialist! He's Hitler!"

And so the people of Americatown sent the stranger packing, and told him in no uncertain terms never to come back.

They elected Caribou Barbie President, and Americatown lived happily ever after.
 
When life gives you dilemmas, make dilemmanade.

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