Two weeks ago, Bernie Sanders introduced a ‘Medicare for all’ bill in the Senate. As usual, he was rational yet flamboyant, compassionate yet crotchety.
According to a recent study by Pew Research, 60% of Americans believe “the federal government is responsible for ensuring health care coverage for all Americans.”
It seems as though the government is moving from the already unpopular Obamacare further away from public will.
Of course, the government doing the opposite of the desire of a large majority of the public is not even a recurring theme at this point, it is just the system as it is. Most reading this will be aware by now of the study which deemed the U.S. political system not a democracy but an oligarchy; when the 99% disagree with the 1%, their opinions have a “minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”
But, this week I was thinking about the reverse; not a situation where the elites and the unwashed proletariat disagree, but one in which they agree.
Earlier this week, President Trump suggested during a speech that NFL players who protest during the national anthem, as many have been doing by kneeling or raising a fist or otherwise, should be “fired.”
It is not unfair to ask what act of military provocation, Constitution-busting, or other geopolitical grotesqueries Trump’s overt buffoonery was covering up this time.
Beyond that though, Trump was speaking in Huntsville, Alabama, at a Senate campaign rally to replace the seat of current Attorney General (and noted unfrozen 19th-century relic) Jeff Sessions. As Trump spoke, calling his rhetorical NFL protester a “son of a bitch,” the crowd cheered vigorously.
It is part of the ideology of many Trump supporters — that the right to free speech and to peacefully protest should be restricted. But I suppose many of these people have been fighting against the Constitution at least since they voted for George W. Bush.
From preemptive war, the surveillance state, and Guantanamo, to a Muslim ban, emoluments, and so on, a fundamental tenet of Dubya-ism seems to be the belief that the Constitution is “just a goddamn piece of paper.”
Combine this with the fact that many on the so-called “left” are insisting they be protected from ideas and opinions they find offensive, uncomfortable, or, increasingly, that they disagree with, and the demands of large portions of the 99% become somewhat clear — The restriction of free speech, and the devaluation of the Constitution.
I assure you the 1% will have no problem acquiescing to these demands.