Yesterday, I had a discussion with my neighbor about Obamacare. He is conservative and opposed to it on the grounds that it restricts his personal freedom not to have insurance. He is about my age (late 70's).  I pointed out that he is on Medicare with a good secondary insurance from his former employer and is therefore unaffected by ACA, his reply was that he would be if he didn't have insurance and that was enough to make him mad.

The argument that the uninsured use emergency rooms for which he pays indirectly through increased hospital costs did not make any difference to him since he never sees those costs explicitly. The man is a retired software engineer and might be expected to understand things better, but his rightwing mindset prevents it. He said he preferred the country he grew up in where you still had choices. In that country—before Medicare—one third of people our age lived below the poverty line.

This illustrates the difficulty in getting people to understand public issues. Once the issues have been framed in an emotional setting, reason departs.

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What of those, like my sister, who are born with diabetes? That certainly wasn't self inflected. What should they do??

Since my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 10, and my mom got Type 2 diabetes in her late 60's, I have learned a lot about both types k.h..  Of course Type 1 is an auto-immune disease, and Type 2 is very different, but a lot of people get Type 2 due to no fault of their own.  My grandpa was thin, was a very healthy eater, and exercised.  It runs in the family, and he got it anyway.  My mom could exercise more, but I still think she'd have it.  She is a vegetarian, but mostly eats vegan, not obese, etc.  People don't understand about a lot of diseases or conditions.  We've had people tell my thin, active son that if he ate better and exercised, his Type 1 diabetes would go away. HA!  REALLY?  The cells will just regenerate and start producing insulin?  That used to make me furious when he was only 10 and had to hear such ignorance. 

You have to take things people say with a grain of salt I've found.  I'm sorry your sister was born with it!

Oh yes, there is the rub. When reason begins, emotions step in. Isn't that true of all things religious?

Ask if they really believe god created all that is in six days and the mysticism begins.

Ask if god created man to have dominion over all and somehow the devil comes into play.

If I ask if they really believe in the devil, the voice of authority begins to declare how they know the devil exists.

If I ask if such terrible things can happen without a devil supplying the motivation, or

if I ask if mutilating little boys is of the devil or because of belief, or

if a person can do good things without the influence of god, or i

f man is to have dominion over woman, or

if they have the power to think and reason and make decisions without god, 

the conversation is over. 

Responsible health care seems to be part of that reality/wishful thinking divide. If one is to have an impact, the emotions must be involved. Thinking things through to a logical conclusion just does not influence believers in magical thinking. My intelligent family and friends who believe in god have a different way of approaching problems. Preventive health is just one example. Pray away any symptoms. Conflicts don't seem to get solved using that method. 

Fairness, schmairness!

I own property that's taxed to pay for schools, yet my wife and I chose to have no children. This too was, and is now, unfair but educating other people's children has a benefit: less crime.

If you want tax fairness you can buy an island and live there alone.

I like your reply Tom!

Tom, one of the reasons I respect the ancient traditions of Athabascan Indians was the notion that a child belongs to the clan, not to the parents. All members of a clan need the youth to know how to participate and contribute to the larger body. Sadly, Russians and Europeans intruded on tribal ways, exploiting them for profit, manipulating them to be submissive to the invaders. Helplessness, hopelessness, depression, anxiety and ultimately alcohol decimated the community. 

So many people "blame" the Indian for alcoholism and Indian ways, not realizing they had things of value that invaders trampled upon. 

That's it Tom.  People want to choose what they pay taxes or fines on.  I use the public library a lot.  Most people I know don't use it at all but it's still available to everyone.

Dr. Clark,I have neighbors like that. I try and stay on neutral topics, but she starts coming at me about "Obama the Socialist." Next time I'm just going to turn around and walk away. She doesn't have the ability to comprehend anything but what she is ranting about.

If she thinks that Obama is a Socialist then i don't think she comprehends what SHE is ranting about.

You're right Susan, she doesn't know what she's ranting about.  I tried explaining Socialism to her, and she talks right over me.  She's been brainwashed since birth, plus the fact that she really isn't a very bright person.  I'm not being mean, she's just really not very bright.

Mindy, that "turn around and walk away" takes a great deal of remaining calm, knowing what battles can or should be fought, and knowing when your efforts would be wasted

It took me a very long time to learn how to do that.   I don't know if that is learning from experience, or just growing older.  Maturity?

Daniel, I am NOT always mature, lol.  I got into it with someone here on AN yesterday and I was very immature! lol.

I think with this neighbor who is a born-again, super conservative, not the sharpest tool in the shed person, I have learned to not waste my efforts.  She is still dumbfounded that a heathen like I am, lol, could raise such nice young adults.  She's as much as said so without actually calling me a heathen. Well, I did raise nice young adults.  What she doesn't know is that THEY are Atheist, super- liberal, and smart. :)

I also don't just turn and walk away from everyone.  If I think they can understand what I'm talking about regarding Atheism, etc. I will explain.  If I think they're a bigot, I will call them out on it.

I guess it depends on my mood, the situation, and if I'm feeling like an adult that day. Ha ha.


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