Megan McArdle’s latest is on “Medicare for All”, the branding the Left seems to have settled upon to try once again to sell single payer. Her point is essentially that the fantasies of the Left are poorly thought-through, with lots of handwaving about the cost when they bother to think about it at all. Her streak of Irish skepticism never permits her to forget that, “people are why we can’t have nice things”. Bernie Sanders and his ilk can ignore reality in their desperation to reach the pie-in-the-sky Automat. Not her. She can’t forget that someone has to pay for all this, and it won’t be that “magic pot of money” (to borrow her phrase), The Rich. And most likely it’s not going to be the people who benefit most from the current scheme, like health care providers who won’t stand for any scheme cutting their incomes (as would have to happen) or the 70% of Americans who like the insurance they have. You’d think it would be a nonstarter, right?
Nope. Politics has become disconnected from facts or rationality. On both sides. I see three kinds of corruption: of language, of interpretation and of science.
The Left talks a lot about the supposed irrationality of everyone else, but the truth is that the Left contributed enormously to the killing of rationality as the basis for politics, by their corruption of language. Once, everyone spoke the same language, and so could actually argue. They might hate each other’s vision, but they actually understood it. Today’s Left have proven themselves to be incapable of sticking to any definition whatsoever, and regardless of how noble the intention, the corruption of language is actually the corruption of rationality. Democrats of the 1970s are practically alt-Right based on the definitions current among the Left on today’s college campuses.
Interpretation, too, has been corrupted. The conclusion reached is today all that matters. Activist morons lionize or apply the foulest of epithets to the interpreter based on quite literally nothing more than their own emotion about the conclusion being reached. Feelings displace rationality. Emotion is the primary consideration in politics today, with identity its child. What goes around, comes around; politics like that on one side quickly spreads everywhere.
Science has been corrupted too. Science didn’t save politics from irrationality, as certain eggheads must have thought must happen (sounds like the sort of thing Woodrow Wilson would have said). Science and politics met in the middle. Science improved politics somewhat, but politics corrupted science, as though Faust were a scientist being offered grant money for the finding of certain politically useful conclusions by a party National Committee chair named Mephistopheles.