The Republican Brain

I’m sure readers can point out the irony in this Facebook post:


Yup, nowhere better to escape the horrors of government medicine than merry ol’ England :). The “Keep Government Off My Medicare” stereotype of Republicans is well warranted.

And the icing on this is that the high-school friend who posted this has been unfortunately cursed with very poor health (stemming from obesity). In fact, last year he posted a health-care bill which, if I recall correctly, was $35,000!!!

But, for election day (or erection day if you’re in Japan) I’ll share my favorite story, this one  from my mom. Being from the white underclass in the Rust Belt, and being over fifty, most of her friends and acquaintances are rabid Republicans. One of her former co-workers/friends is a woman in her thirties, very much the stereotype in my eyes (uneducated, overweight, dumpy, lower-middle class income, etc.). She is a fanatical Republican. One day, my mom, tired of her political trash talking, decided to ask her point blank, “[Person’s name], why are you a Republican?” Would you like to know what her exact response was?

“I don’t know, I just am.”

I don’t know, I just am.

Happy election day, folks. This is the first one in my voting life I’ll be watching from the sidelines, making me part of the largest party in America (the nonvoters). In the end, I just got tired of caring

P.S. Sorry for the radio silence, but I’ve yet again bit off more than I can chew. I’ve written before about the evolution of inequality and states before, most notably in The Rise of States, Inequality and Economics. I’ve also covered the work of Marvin Harris and Brian Hayden before. But lately I’ve been enmeshed in Hayden’s work, particularly his Feasting Theory. What I find fascinating is how much it describes about how inequality works today – workaholic productivist monomaniacal individuals claiming to work harder than everybody else and gaining status by getting everyone else into debt to them. Despite what Max Weber said, the Protestant Work Ethic actually dates back to the Stone Age. And it was apparently the ongoing need to generate surpluses to keep up with these feasts which led us to stumble into agriculture in the first place (if the theory is accurate), with all of the problems that entailed. So, rather than than the need to pay off future debts leading to overproduction leading to intensification being a new thing, it may have been the original thing that led to our downfall!

In any case, I’ve been debating whether to put up a longer version with extensive quotes and detail, or a shorter, “punchier” Medium-friendly version. I’ll probably do both at some point; I’ve got the former mostly written.

6 thoughts on “The Republican Brain

  1. Heh. As far as I can tell from my own distant sideline, Obamacare appears to be the government mandating a particular kind of private health insurance. Which seems like the worst of all possible worlds. But honestly, what do I know. I do know that this side of the pond, what we call National Insurance is actually enshrined as the nearest thing to a tithe I can think of in this modern age: a tenth of my salary paid straight to the Treasury, in exchange for no-questions-asked service. The enduring level of support for this system has been a thorn in the side of several recent governments. đŸ™‚

    As for ‘I just am’, I’ll leave you with Gilbert & Sullivan:

    I often think it’s comical
    How Nature always does contrive
    That every boy and every gal
    That’s born into the world alive
    Is either a little Liberal
    Or else a little Conservative!

    1. It’s either that or face down the rest of your life in debt. I’ve not had health care for most of this year. I had an ear infection back in August. I went to clinic for 10 minutes (being generous here) and a scrip for antibiotics. The bill? $242.00. I was expecting worse, but by my calcs, that’s still about $1,450.00 an hour. And I’m sure my unfortunate friend above will be heavily in debt for the rest of his life even he never sees the inside of another emergency room (doubtful-he’s been near death several times and he’s my age–literally, as our birthday is 2 days apart). But rather than blame the extortionate health care industry, he can blame the Democrats, I guess.

  2. I am like you, HipCrime-I didn’t vote either. I really didn’t see the difference between a Clinton fascist state and a Trump one. But, what really gets me angry about this election is how the average American talks from both sides of their mouth. On the one hand they are disgusted with the political system but on the other hand they participate in the system with a gusto that is mind-blowing. Both congress and the senate had an approval rating in the single-digits, and neither Trump nor Clinton were liked very much by the public-and yet they voted in large numbers anyway. I would have been heartened if the voter turnout was low and what little votes there were would have gone to the third-party candidates. That would have been a true stunner. Trump winning the way that he did is not a stunner-it’s typical of a country of sheeple.
    The one good thing that came out this election is that Trump is a climate-change denier. The human race worldwide has held on to their willful ignorance for too damn long. Humankind’s stupidity is locked in and irreversible. Scientist Dr. Guy McPherson says that the 6th Mass Extinction is well underway and that we will all be gone by 2030. What has proven to be useless time and time again must be discarded…

    And that is the human races’ fate.

    A well-deserved one.

    1. On the one hand they are disgusted with the political system but on the other hand they participate in the system with a gusto that is mind-blowing.

      Maybe, but I’ve read that turnout was quite low, which is what I expected given the unpopularity of the candidates.

      I don’t know if I buy McFearson’s analysis, which is a distinctly minority view, but it’s a moot point–I really don’t care if extinction happens in 2030. I doubt I’ll be around, and I have no relatives or descendants. I just don’t understand how people who are so intent on breeding seem to care the least about our future environment, though. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  3. Keep up the good work I’ll read whatever version you put up and love it. I did vote because there were some interesting choices on the ballot and I actually knew people running for state office. But I simply despise both of the presidential candidates and don’t think the bureaucracy that actually runs most of the federal system will change that much either way.

    1. I actually wanted to vote just to help Russ Feingold, but I reasoned he wouldn’t lose by one vote. That’s one result that I am very disappointed in.

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