Today, I find myself, as I often do on Sundays, in a reflective mood. Actually, for the past week, I've been ruminating on the issue of fault and trying to figure out how conservatives, generally speaking, really have their head up their collective asses when it comes to that age old question, "Who's to blame?" If someone is poor and struggling to make end's meet, it's their fault. As GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said recently, "People die in America because people die in America. And people make poor decisions with respect to their health and their healthcare. And they don’t go to the emergency room or they don’t go to the doctor when they need to."
So, when someone gets sick or simply can't pay bills, it's all their fault. They made stupid choices which led them to that point, so fuck 'em.
Or, it's somehow the fault of the government. The nanny state has led them to believe that they will be cared for or some federal program has been an impediment in their lives and they are forced into submission with the result being a negative outcome.
In sum, the fault is with the person or the government.
Yet the collection of individuals (family, friends, community) or the people that make up the various private concerns that have a direct relation to a person's life are NEVER EVER at fault. Even though health care firms, insurance companies, gas and electric companies, groceries, restaurants, and other organizations have a direct impact on our lives, they are never at fault. It's as if individuals operate in a vacuum. And, regardless of the evidence gathered thus far, climate change is not the fault of mankind. It's simply a natural part of the earth's cycle and we are not to blame whatsoever.
In sum, large collections of people are never at fault (unless it's the federal government) and should never take the blame for bad things that happen.
In looking at this ridiculous dichotomy, I'm wondering...why are conservatives/libertarians so pro-collective? They continually speak of the supporting individual rights and freedoms yet fervently shit all over them. Down on your luck? Tough shit. It was probably some dumb ass decision you made. No hand outs here, buster. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And don't go blamin' the rising cost of (insert organization here) for your problems. You are on your own...unless, of course, it's the federal government. Because they are forcing you at gunpoint to do their bidding.
But do not, under any circumstances, blame yourself as a part of the human race for climate change. They are all a bunch of liberals using a pseudo-science rooted in apocryphal religion to hoodwink you into government spending beyond their means. Even though the effects of greenhouse gases warming the earth can be shown in any 8th grade science class, it's not your fault.
Folks, I don't get it. As is usually the case, the right has the issue of fault completely FUBAR. While I do agree that people (especially in this country), have a great deal of control over their lives and do, in fact, make poor choices that lead to negative outcomes, they aren't entirely to blame on their own. This is especially true when it comes to the issue of health care. And if they get laid off from their job, that may also be the fault of the company in general and poor decision making by upper management-a collection of people. It's a combination of both individual fault and the impediments that arise as a result of the institutions (both public and private) that we have in our society.
So, shouldn't those same institutions, which likely helped to cause the problems in the first place, also be expected to to help people?