November 30, 2012
The recent Times Argus commentary concerning the future of the Vermont Republican Party by Rep. Heidi Scheuermann, of Stowe, is interesting but only partly accurate. Her candid observation that many Republicans often sound “angry,” “idiotic” and “petty” concerning legislation they disagree with is spot on. However, another problem still exists.
Until many Republicans stop using clichés such as “non-invasive government,” “personal responsibility” and “individual liberty” to thwart any progressive legislation to remedy shortcomings in the private sector, such as health care, they will continue to be a party of less and less significance. It’s as if they have exclusive ownership of those terms, and that in itself is arrogance personified.
There also is a good amount of hypocrisy involved in such language. One example is the cliché “non-invasive government.” On one hand it’s apparently OK to have the government tell you whom to marry, or control reproductive decisions of women, or for the government to be pro-active and bail out corporate giants such as AIG, the owner of Stowe Mountain Resort, with $170 billion of public funds, but not OK to provide universal health care.
Unfortunately, the addiction to such meaningless political slogans continues. Now in Vermont there is an attempt by Republicans to derail Act 48 and the goal of a single-payer universal health care plan, with a new cliché and oxymoron, “patient-centered/free-market” health care whose terms are obviously mutually exclusive of one another.