This week, Governor Snyder introduced a series of common sense measures that would help Michiganders live a healthier life: Eat better foods, exercise, lose weight, quit smoking, the usual. The state would track childhood obesity like they track immunizations. Nothing controversial at all, really - unless you're an anti-government Republican.
But Mr. Snyder’s message was also filled with items that theoretically make Republicans gag: more controls on smoking by banning it from state beaches, for example; having the state track body mass indexes of children to fight fat; and then the big gut wrencher, required insurance coverage for autism care.
And, and, and, Mr. Snyder called for working much of this through the health care exchanges each state is required to enact under — take your pick as to what it is called — the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. The exchanges, mind you, that a fair number of Republicans in the legislature want the state to refuse to enact.
One Republican moaned sarcastically on a social media site after Mr. Snyder issued his statement: “It’s a great time to be a Republican in Michigan.”
A reaction to what they consider "big government" intrusion into your life, right? Well, if so, then why would one Republican advocate this:
And one GOP legislator, like a school’s lice fairy picking nits off the kids, ticked off a long list of objections to a colleague following a presentation on the proposal by Community Health Director Olga Dazzo. Focusing largely on the BMI measurement issue, the legislator sputtered: “If the kid is obese then his parents are probably obese and the kid isn’t going to do anything his parents won’t, so why don’t we just take the kids away from the family?”
Because there is nothing that screams "big government" about a state that would forcefully remove your children from your home if it deems you've been a bad role model. Nope, no problem there.
It should be obvious by now that Michigan Republicans are more than happy use to the power of the law to shape the world that they want to see. They are using legislation to take away worker's rights and the ability to organize, they are cutting funding to schools and cities in an attempt to force more tax dollars into the hands of big business, they are persecuting "unmarried domestic partners" by trying to take away the benefit of health care, and they are punishing the less fortunate with removal of the minimal support structures such as cash assistance for families, food assistance for college students, and cutting weeks of benefits from the unemployed at a time when it takes longer than ever to find a job. And we haven't even started yet on the war on women's reproductive choices, but that one is coming up next.
By now you have heard the story of the Tea Party extremists cheering for the death of a hypothetical uninsured patient during the debate the other night. It was a revealing, blood-chilling moment that said a lot about the state of "conservatives" in America today; they are not a party of "less government" libertarians, they are all for using the law to judge and punish those they don't like, or represent a threat to their power. And it's getting worse.
Paul Krugman sums it up very well.
Now, however, compassion is out of fashion — indeed, lack of compassion has become a matter of principle, at least among the G.O.P.’s base.
And what this means is that modern conservatism is actually a deeply radical movement, one that is hostile to the kind of society we’ve had for the past three generations — that is, a society that, acting through the government, tries to mitigate some of the “common hazards of life” through such programs as Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.
Are voters ready to embrace such a radical rejection of the kind of America we’ve all grown up in? I guess we’ll find out next year.
I wasn't kidding when I described this as the "GOP Declares War on America". They want to dismantle anything that protects and/or improves the lives of our citizens, and at the same time they are suggesting that we use the law as a threat to institute their ideas on how citizens should conduct their lives. If that's not a scary, dystopian form of "big government", I don't know what is.
America needs to wake up to what is going on here, and we need enlightened elected officials to speak up and speak out against this trend before it's too late. If it's not already.