The Sniff Test: Smelling the BS on Obamacare, Gun-Control and Benghazi

smellMany of us in medicine are adamantly opposed to Obamacare.  Of course, when it was being discussed and then passed (so we could find out what was in it, thank you Ms. Pelosi), the media didn’t go to average physicians in community practices. They went to that bastion of medical opinion, the AMA.  For your information, the membership of the AMA is about 20-30% of American physicians, with a heavy dose of retirees and medical students.  That’s hardly a majority.  But it was enough for the media, for political organizers and for the uninformed public.

Meanwhile, dissenting docs like myself tried our best to write, discuss, cajole and politic it out of existence. All to no avail. After all, if we were opposed, we could only be simple yahoos; wall-eyed morons in Hickville with no idea about how things really were, or should be in the eyes of our enlightened leaders.

Fast forward. Even prominent Democratic politicians are worried about Obamacare, and they’re sweating, wringing their hands and wishing for a government-run time-machine (as if NASA were still well funded!) so they could go back, register their uncertainty and boost their political fortunes.

Most estimates now suggest that Obamacare is going to hurt the economy and drive up the cost of health-care, rather than lower it.  And to make matters worse for the lovers of nationalized health-care, a large study out of Oregon was just released, which showed that increased access to Medicaid, a big part of Obamacare, failed to improve outcomes in diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol.

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Funny how that goes.  When the political class is out of touch with reality, odd things happen.  For instance, gun-control was the favorite talking point for months following the tragedy in Newton.  ‘Positively everyone’ wanted more gun control.  The media just knew that gun-crimes were exploding and the time was right to disarm the unwashed, backward masses with their ‘assault-guns’ and ‘rifles that spray bullets,’ their ‘high capacity clips’ and their arsenals purchased at gun-shows.

Turns out, the President’s couldn’t get an assault weapons ban passed, and the push for expanded background checks died a gasping, wheezing breath.  Why was that?  Well the media and your liberal friends will blame the vast power of the NRA.  But mainly it was people, aka voters.  Voters who said, ‘I have guns, and I’ve never hurt anyone!  And all my friends have guns, and we don’t have murders around here!  And what about that Constitution of ours?’

It was voters who bought firearms and ammunition by the truckload, joined advocacy groups, donated money and said to their local representatives ‘if you like your job, I wouldn’t…’ Then came the recent news that the rate of deaths and crimes involving firearms has been falling for years.  This despite the fact that firearms and ammunition are indeed everywhere, but most of them are safely tucked in the safes and closets of private, non-violent citizens.  Narrative fail once more!

There’s more, of course.  Many of us thought the events in Benghazi were suspicious. We were disturbed when a low-budget, low-talent videographer was arrested for making a barely noticed film about Islam which, we were told, caused an ambassador to be murdered, along with his security team.

This event, which in ages past would have caused open war, was minimized and brushed away.  We were told ‘it was nothing.’  And our Secretary of State, with arms gesticulating, asked ‘what does it matter?’  Turns out, it did matter, it does matter and there’s a lot more to learn in the impending ‘come to Jesus meetings.’  Heads may roll, as they say in the Islamic world. (Where they actually mean it, of course.)

My point is this.  As conservatives and libertarians, we may be rural, urban or suburban. We may come from community colleges or high-dollar universities.  We may be single, married, gay or straight.  We may be theistic or atheistic.  But we aren’t stupid.  And we have good instincts.

We used our brains to question Obamacare, to resist gun-control, to have our representatives ask hard questions about Benghazi.  And it appears, we were right!  That’s encouraging.  No, that’s awesome!  It means that the manipulative leftist mainstream media, popular culture icons, academics and entertainers have been wrong.  It means they are the uninformed, the superstitious, the poorly informed, the ‘fundamentalists,’ the ones willing to do anything to cover up the truth and control the ‘Red-staters’ they view with such disdain.  And it’s just beginning, as the President’s second term unravels with remarkable speed.

What we need in America today is a well developed ‘sniff test.’  That is, we need to be able to say, ‘this story, this fact, this idea, just doesn’t smell right.  It doesn’t make sense.’  And then to hold onto that belief with a bulldog’s tenacity.

In my practice, I sometimes have a patient who says ‘there I was, minding my own business, when some dude came up and stole all my drugs, and all my money and hit me with a ball-bat.  Can I get some Oxycontin?’  I’ll treat his injuries and be professional.  But my sniff-test says, ‘I doubt it.’

Likewise, we should hope for our government to be honest, but simultaneously distrust it.  And in the end, ‘we the patriots’ should trust ourselves, and our own insights.  Because my friends, we’re usually right.

 

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