October 17, 2012
Vol: 19 No: 42

Dr. Wes

Presidential hopeful MItt Romney has shown he’s barely acquainted with the country he hopes to lead

By Dr. Wes Browning

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Mitt Romney is unplugged from reality. He has proved it over and over again. He proved it when he said he didn’t know why you can’t roll windows down on a commercial airline. Or when he said u.s. middle income is not $100,000 per year, but more like $200,000 to $250,000. Or when he offered Rick Perry a casual $10,000 bet during a dispute in a debate.

Mitt Romney thought it was perfectly OK for him to impersonate a state trooper when he was in college, and all the evidence now is he still thinks it was a hoot. The fact that if anyone besides the rich son of a governor did it, it could easily land them in prison for a year or two seems to be irrelevant to Mitt. Issues of privilege are not on his radar. He even brags that no one demands to see his birth certificate. He’s the white, rich son of a former governor of Michigan. Why would they?

A major sign of Romney’s disconnect from reality is his assertion that no one dies in America for lack of health insurance, because we have emergency rooms to take care of the indigent.

That is such a mind-blowingly stupid, ignorant, imbecilic idea, I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I’m channeling Lewis Black on a bad day. I have veins preparing to explode in my fingers and toes. Get me to an er; I need a nurse to put me on an intravenous beta-blocker.

Let me start there. OK, I have high blood pressure. Could you tell? Has anything I’ve ever said in these columns ever given it away?

Let’s suppose I wasn’t on Medicare and I didn’t have health insurance. Mitt Romney says I can live — yippee — I have emergency rooms to handle it if my high blood pressure gets out of hand.

It doesn’t work that way. If I have to go to an er because of a symptom of high blood pressure, I’m probably going there with a heart attack or a stroke. They’ll fix that if I get there in time, but they can’t put me on long-term blood pressure treatment if I don’t have the insurance for it. They’re just going to send me out again with the same condition, and a shot at dying the next time

Or let’s consider diabetes. People die of diabetes all the time, especially among the homeless. I’ve seen it myself in the years I’ve been with Real Change. Those who get ongoing treatment have a chance. Those that don’t get ongoing treatment, which is too many of the people I see, get to go to emergency rooms every few months until they develop a condition that’s fatal because an ambulance took too long to get there. What’s the difference? Twenty years of added life?

I started by saying Romney was just disconnected from reality and implied that he was ignorant. But it’s important to understand that a wealthy man who has no observable learning impairment, who is otherwise as high functioning as Romney is, able to figure out how to make millions of dollars just by positioning himself to make money by firing people, can only get this ignorant by being an uncaring, unfeeling jerk.

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