Monday 24 Oct 2016

Playing an MD
AJ Robinson

Recently, I recalled an old commercial where a man says he’s not a doctor, but he played one on television. Then there was good old Dr McCoy in “Star Trek,” who complained about being a doctor not a [fill in the blank]. I thought of both of these things because it seems republican politicians want to play doctor, and on two very different subjects.

First, there’s women’s health. For some reason, the GOP thinks they know better, than do trained physicians, as to what’s best for women. They like the idea of forcing unnecessary tests and procedures on women seeking an abortion.

I find that kind of odd, given that conservatives so often talk about personal freedom, keeping the government’s big nose out of our affairs, and saving money. After all, all those tests cost money. It’s not about all those things, is it? It’s about control, control of women.

The GOP wonders why it has a problem with women! If it was only about abortion, I might actually understand their view. For myself, I’m personally opposed to abortion, but I follow the old axiom: If you don’t believe in abortion, then don’t have one. When it comes to the GOP, it’s not about that at all.

It’s about control.

The men of the GOP hate the idea of women getting to control their bodies, to make decisions about reproduction. In a way, something my dad once said sort of echoes this sentiment. When one of my brothers and his wife announced that they were not going to have any more children, my dad became quite upset. His attitude was that you don’t plan such things; you just have as many kids as you have.

That seems to be the thing with the GOP. They don’t like the idea of women having the power to decide when they have children and how many. They find that offensive.

Then there are guns. This is the flipside to abortion. In the case of abortion, conservatives claim they merely want women informed, as to choices. That’s why they pass laws forcing all those tests, the famous “vaginal ultrasound,” on them.

Ah, but when it comes to guns, they want just the opposite. In Florida, where I live, they passed a law saying that doctors could not talk to families about the dangers of guns in the home. In addition, the CDC can’t collect data on gun deaths; this is courtesy of the NRA, which pushed through the legislation.

It seems they don’t want people informed about some things. That seems a bit of a contradiction, but then the GOP has become experts at that lately. They talk jobs, but do nothing about it. They talk about not waging a war on women, and then do so. They want to help the middle class, and yet still push economic plans that do the opposite.

I remember something else my dad always talked about, when it came to the GOP of his era. They had so many smart people in the party. There were powerful intellectuals that engaged in open and honest debate about the issues. Well, those days seem to be gone.

They keep on pushing lower taxes with the mantra that doing so will reduce the debt and improve the economy. The long-known fact is such policy does the opposite. Smart people, in Congress or the White House, don’t necessarily lead to smart policies.

When countless scientists, from a myriad of disciplines, tell you humans are causing Global Climate Change, and you reject it, this doesn’t suggest smart people are leading. I heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome.

It seems to me that the GOP could use some trained physicians.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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