Europe Surprised by America’s “Mean Streak”

I read an interesting oped today in The Independent, a British Newspaper, where the author talked about some of the differences between America and Europe.  More specifically, the author talked about how “a universal health system is so basic to a civilized society that only the loony right could possibly oppose it”.  I completely agree with this.  It amazes me that there is even a debate over health care in this country.  All the European countries as well as Canda have some form of health care system where everyone is covered, and they are not bankrupt.  Nor have they become communist or fascist as some right wing leaders would have you believe.

For whatever reason, Americans are simply more tolerant of social inequality and intolerance than their European counterparts.  We are a country that worships wealth, and people are willing to let others suffer in order to increase their material worth.  As long as this attitude persists, the uneven wealth distribution will continue to increase.  Conservatives are always bagging on Europe because its secular and talk about how they have lost their faith.  They see this as a threat to society.  Yet America, the supposedly pious and religious country that fears God, refuse to share, denying people one of the most basic rights – their health.

Interestingly, Republicans – the supposed party of Jesus – are the most opposed to helath care reform.  By just opening the New Testament and reading the first dozen or so pages of Mathew, one can pretty clearly see what Jesus probably would have favored.  Maybe conservatives can learn a little about compassion and sharing from some of these “secular progressives” after all.  I mean, isn’t that what Jesus would do?

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