I recently spoke to a right wing person who, of course, was a big Trump fan. Let’s call the person FW. After a succession of mild abuse, we got onto the subject of health care. FW asked that “why should the top 1% pay higher taxes for your bullshit needs like healthcare and education”. I told FW to get a passport and actually visit other western democracies, and that the only freedoms Americans have that we don’t (he hadn’t twigged I was Australian this early; he was a trumpette1 after all), is to die in a hail of bullets and to go bankrupt with medical bills. I then explained how the American Health care system was expensive (two to three times as expensive, actually), but that the outcomes are not as good as other western democracies.
US life expectancy is about 2 or 3 years less (at 78.84 years) than most western democracies, like Australia, where it is 82.2 years. US child mortality is about 6.5 per 1,000, while Australia’s is 3.8 per 1,000. In addition, maternal mortality is greater in the US, at 14 per 100,000 live births, while in Australia the maternal mortality rate is 6 per 100,0002.
FW then asked ‘if someone is dying from the lack of healthcare, then why is it any of my concern? Why should I pay higher taxes for their sake?’ I explained that if FW doesn’t give a shit about anyone else, then they won’t give a shit about him. I then explained altruism to him and I used Kennedy’s quote at him “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. This went completely over his head, and he didn’t respond, except to quote Kennedy at me about taxes. When I tried to explain that Kennedy did cut taxes, but for everybody, not just the wealthy, it seemed to make no impression. Some time during this, um, discussion, he stated that Bernie Sanders was a Bolshevik; a statement that made me laugh so hard my sides started to hurt. FW also sent lots of links to me, but all I had to do to see they were rubbish was to look at the domain name. I didn’t open any of them; life is too short.
We then got onto the cost of US healthcare again, and I asked why US healthcare was so expensive, FW stated that it was because the government was involved in it, seemingly completely oblivious to the fact, which I stated, that in all other countries where healthcare is vastly cheaper, the government is heavily involved in it. There was no reply of substance. FW stated that everywhere socialism has been tried it has failed miserably and listed Greece, Cuba, Venezuela, China, USSR, North Korea, Vietnam. Like most trumpettes, FW is unaware of the difference between socialism and communism, a common feature of the uneducated right in the US1.
At some time in the various tirades, FW stated that he needed nothing from anyone; he looks after himself. So, I asked him the question: If you were lying bleeding in a gutter with two broken legs would you cry out for help? He basically refused to answer except to say that he would look after it himself. Then I happened to mention that FW was so gullible that he probably thinks climate change is a big conspiracy, and asked if he thought the moon landing was a conspiracy too. He actually said the moon landing was real, which surprised me. However he then said that climate change was a ‘religion of the left’. Again, I laughed hard. He then stated all the usual straw man arguments favoured by the denialist industry, doing the usual conflating of what he probably read in ‘denial weekly’ with actual science. I then asked him why the US, Canadian and Australian military all considered that climate change was a big problem. He hilariously then said that the ‘Pentagon has been bureaucratised by left wing loons’. Again my sides ached.
Then I asked him if he believed in evolution. He said that he did, but volunteered that he didn’t believe in my ‘climate change religion’. I then asked him why he believed in evolution. He didn’t answer, but said ‘climate change is a left wing issue’. More laughter on my part. I then told him that I thought he would be afraid to answer such a question. He then retorted regarding evolution, ‘because it’s real’. I then asked how he knew it was real? He then stated because ‘there is scientific evidence’. I asked him where the scientific evidence came from. He said he didn’t know. So, I asked ‘well, why do you believe it?’ he then said ‘because it is accepted by nearly everyone’. I told him he was wrong, as lots of Christians don’t accept evolution, and asked him why he believed it. He replied that most conservatives accept it. I told him that the religious Pence (US Vice President) doesn’t, and asked him why he did. Then he replied hilariously ‘Just because he doesn’t doesn’t mean I don’t have to either’. My sides ached again.
I then asked him if he believed in evolution because scientists told him so, and as there was no reply, I gave him both barrels: ‘You are a gutless, inconsistent fool. Scientists tell you that evolution, natural selection, spheroidal earth, heliocentricity, quantum physics, relativity, magnetism are all real and you believe them because you know they know what they are talking about. Yet when huge numbers of scientists tell you that climate change is happening, you don’t [believe them]. See what I mean about consistency? The good thing about science is that it is true whether you believe it or not. Climate change is a clear danger, but you deny it because it leads to unpleasant truths that you cannot face. Google denialism’. The ‘discussion’ petered out very soon thereafter.