In watching an interview the other day with Craig T. Nelson, I couldn't help but be struck by how dramatically the role of government is both taken for granted, and ignored. It is precisely this level of misunderstanding that has given rise to the hysterical nature of the dialog about health care.
"They should be allowed to go bankrupt. What happened...? We are a capitalistic society. OK. I go into business. I don't make it. I go bankrupt. They're not gonna bail me out.
I've been on food stamps and welfare. Anybody help me out? No. No. They gave me hope and they gave me encouragement and they gave me a vision. And that came from my education. "
Craig T. Nelson on Glenn Beck's show
Here we have an individual that fails to recognize that bankruptcy laws are there to protect businesses from creditors (provided by the federal government). Food stamps and welfare are clearly government programs to help individuals that need economic assistance. No doubt the "education" being referred to was also publicly provided.
It's hard to imagine an individual could be so oblivious that in a few sentences he can clearly illustrate an unequivocal and absolute dependence on government assistance and simultaneously blast such attitudes.
Perhaps a bit less indignant posturing and a bit more reasoned responses would promote the kind of discussion that is needed in this country.