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Republican Triage

March 19, 2017

Imagine you are Napoleon, after a battle, figuring out how to maximize your effective fighting force. His solution: “triage,” a sorting of the wounded for chance of survival. Or maybe you’re the captain of a slave ship with a typhoon on the horizon (like Turner imagined). Who gets thrown overboard? Or maybe you’re in Germany during the ‘30s and into the war. Or you’re a doctor in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina (from that experience, here is an excellent Radiolab podcast about triage:  “Who gets to Play God?”).

Who is worthy of attention, treatment, expenditure of resources? By what criterion? Who decides? What can you do with those Others?

With their entire budget, including its special feature of rationed health care, the Republicans are organizing their triage. They will administer it like vampires, first lulling their victims into a moral comma, then sucking out all of their money and their democratic power. Many will die, thereby lowering expenses, while a great many will become zombie laborers, at very low maintenance cost and sticker price.

In that vision, an individual life has no inherent value.

The Republican Party has become a “Death Panel” performing triage on everyone whom they don’t value as highly as they value themselves. (As usual with them, that’s why they were able to come up with that verbal ploy, like calling the inheritance tax a “death tax.” They didn’t just “dream that up,” death is their dream of life. They are like extremist jihadis, death-obsessed, except that only Others die (we are all Others now), and instead of dreaming of a paradisaical after-life, they are heretical Marxists who dream of abolishing the state and having their own personal paradise in this world. They are so unconscious of themselves that they believe that their luxurious life-style is a dream come true.

So imagine you’re not the general, or the captain, or Der Führer, or even the doctor (or his assistant, who does the selecting). You’re the wounded soldier, the slave, the enemy of the state, the ugly patient with little means, the Trump voter in the Rust Belt or coal country. You’re weak. You’re a loser. Or a resister.

Or maybe you consider yourself fairly well off, financially safe-enough. How do you know your worth, as a potential survivor? A chosen one? Inquire of the foxes who are running the hen house, deciding which chickens will live. You guessed it: the only survivor will be the goose that lays gold (and you know they’ll screw that up too).

Btw we’re going to defeat those fukkers.  We’ve got justness, community, and humor.  And in the end, they’ll have only them solipsistic selfs.

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