Opinion: What is wrong with the Republican Party?

Opinion: College for dummies

Robert Thomas Young

Robert Thomas Young

Robert Thomas Young is a senior philosophy and psychology major and weekly columnist. Contact him at [email protected].

If CNN’s ridiculous setup and sports-like introduction to the Republican debate last Monday didn’t make it a complete circus, the rhetoric, talking points and eerily callous “Tea Party Express” audience did.

The debate’s exaggerated antics and special effects really showed CNN’s desperate attempt to get ratings.

Congressman Ron Paul was asked what would happen if a 30-year-old man without insurance fell into a coma and needed intensive medical care for six months.

“That’s what freedom is all about, taking your own risks,” said Paul, a self-proclaimed Libertarian.

“Congressman, are you saying society should just let him die?” said Wolf Blitzer, host of the debate.

Paul responded “no,” but not before some audience members cheered Blitzer’s question in what appeared to be support for letting the man die.

Paul believes in a free-market system. His answer to the question of the uninsured was churches, implying that charity, and not forced taxation or medical insurance, should take care of the problem.

There are a lot of ethical issues within the debate, including the fact that people cheered the death of a hypothetical man in a coma and the delusion that the more than 40-million people in this country without medical insurance could get the care they need through churches.

Preventative care and regular checkups can often keep people healthier in general, effectively offsetting some the costs of insuring everyone — not to mention the moral benefit of allowing everyone equal access to medical care.

My argument is not necessarily bent on cost effectiveness; however, I do think there is an element of cost reduction tied to the notion that regular maintenance allows costly problems and procedures to be avoided through early detection.

Systematic maintenance on my car extends its life and saves me in the long term, even though it may seem more expensive when I’m at the mechanic.

I think Paul skirted the question by alluding to churches filling the gap of uninsured but at least his views are somewhat consistent, which is more than I can say for nearly all of his counterparts on stage.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney spends a lot of his energy backpedaling from his successful universal medical plan because it resembles President Obama’s plan.

Texas Governor Rick Perry drew applause when Blitzer announced that he has approved more prisoner executions than any governor in recent history. Perry is incredibly proud of his religion and his tough cowboy attitude. Doesn’t this seem all too familiar?

Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachman condemned Perry’s policy on mandatory HPV vaccines to young girls in Texas, which is intended to prevent cervical cancer.

Bachman has been criticized for saying that she met a woman whose daughter “suffered mental retardation as a result” of the vaccine, a comment that doesn’t appear to have any factual backing.

Lowering taxes and removing social programs seem to have been the constants from these politicians who have reduced themselves to hyperbolized characters in an attempt to get elected.

It is strange to think that the lesser evil of the Republican candidates is the guy who admits that dying in a coma without medical care or “taking chances” is “what freedom is all about.”