He thinks George W. was wonderful. He eagerly supported, and voted for, everything George wanted, and eagerly opposed and voted against, anything George didn't. He also thinks that sending out mass recorded phone calls during which his voice drones on and on about his "concerns" and why he isn't supporting health care and spouts a lot of misinformation designed to panic the ignorant, is going to get me to cooperate in spreading said panic to my neighbors.
As you can probably tell, I am not impressed, other than negatively, by this tactic and I consider him to be as venal and as willfully ignorant and stupid as the rest of the Elephant herd. Though the phone calls claim he desperately wants my opinions, I can tell you from having emailed and snail-mailed and called his office repeatedly on various issues that he does not, in fact, want my opinion. Like his hero, he wants no opinions that vary from his own, and he is capable of the same incredible leaps of illogic and refusal to look at the facts. Periodically I bother his aides with another email, phone call, or letter, but it's pouring sand down a rathole and both his aides and I know it. He has never, not once, actually engaged the issues and facts I've brought up in his replies--which are instead full of self-congratulatory hogwash.
One of his contacts insisted that we in the US had "the best health care in the world." Well, uh, no. No we don't. The most expensive health care, yes. Lots of the shiny!, yes. But health care that actually improved the health of the majority of the population (which is how one measures health care, though he didn't know that or chose to ignore it), no. From the 1950s--when we did have the best health care in the world for white people (even white females in poverty could get useful health care--was one, so I know) until now, our health statistics have slipped badly compared to the rest of the world.
He claims to be a great patriot (they all do that) and regularly wraps himself in the bloody flag of other people's sacrifice, but actually voting sufficient money to the V.A. to provide better care for wounded veterans....? No. Actually considering the cost to the families of veterans who've suffered traumatic brain injury so they can get the very long term (and sometimes lifelong) supportive care they need without sending the family into bankruptcy and long-term poverty? No. Because the Founding Fathers didn't specifically tap him on the shoulder and tell him in nice simple one-syllable words he could understand that it was not only OK, but a good thing, to care for those who had given their cognitive capacity to the nation, he's against it. (Of course, in the 18th century, nobody survived wounds like that. If people didn't die, they lived still healthy enough to do some useful work, with a pegleg or a hook or a patched eye. And maybe Carter wishes wounded soldiers would just die, so he could stand by the grave and make another asinine speech, rather than having to listen to the complaints of their families who are now saddled with the 24/7/365 care of a fine young man or woman who can no longer walk, talk clearly, or wipe his/her own butt. He is not, of course, a veteran himself, not even the fakey kind of veteran status his hero claims. He has no dogs in this hunt...his kids aren't in uniform. Like so many other Elephants, he felt himself destined for higher things than slogging around in the mud or the sand getting body parts shot off. He will insist he has given his life to public service (oh, how the man has suffered for his country...not)
What he calls "fiscal responsibility" means lowering taxes for corporations, and deregulating anything that's regulated, and eliminating "waste" (by which he means anything the government doesor might do that's actually of use to individuals...like health care, education, housing, safeguards on air, water supply, food supply, etc.) He does not mean (for instance) that if his hero wants to start a war (and wars are known to be expensive) and grease the palms of rich corporate buddies at the same time (which lowers the government's income) that he will say "You know, boss, if a poor man goes out and buys some fancy electronics at the same time he quits his second job...you'd call that fiscal irresponsibility, so...um....maybe you should think twice about either the war or the tax cut or maybe both..."
During the eight years of the Bush Administration, when the national debt soared beyond past bounds, Carter never grumbled about that fiscal irresponsibility. Never made any demands on the corporations who benefitted from the tax cuts (such as...oh...tying the tax cuts to their providing more--or at least not cutting--jobs for US citizens in the US.) Willingly bailed out the banks when eight years of fiscal irresponsibility and regulatory laxness led to the collapse...which he and others still tried to blame on the Democrats. So now, when he's wailing about the fiscal irresponsibility of starting up a health care system that might actually (though badly crippled by the insurance industry lobby) provide some health care to everyone, he manages to ignore the fiscal irresponsibility of his hero--in which he participated so eagerly--that produced only more unemployment, more homelessness, more poverty, and a lot of people permanently disabled. The Elephants managed to get out of town with their sacks of loot intact, and now can blame the robbery on those who arrived to find the vault unlocked and the money missing.
It is impossible to actually corner the man and make him interact with someone whom he knows disagrees with him...he uses these recorded phone calls, and mass emailings and letters--but you can't get to him. I'm not sure it would do any good anyway. I'm sure he'd have to run off to a banquet or a fundraiser or a back room meeting with Elephant "strategists" in two minutes or less, during which time he'd have the "la-la-la-la" machine running full blast in his head.
But I have a suggestion, just no legal way to implement it. Put the John Carters--whether actually in office or not--in the house with someone on the sharp end of life in the US for a month at the least, with no resources other than those available six months ago (he should not benefit from any resources he voted against.) One month doing the day-by-day care of a traumatic brain-injured vet. Hands on. Wiping that backside, lifting that body in and out of the bed and wheelchair. Doing the therapy exercises families are taught. Himself. Oh, maybe him and his wife. One of them trying to make some money because three people can't really live on one disabled vet's pension. Then a month staying home with a couple of children, both disabled, by himself (because marriages dissolve in the face of a disabled child and the stresses of dealing with the child, the medical bills, the insurance company, etc.) Let him try being a "welfare mother" in a crappy apartment, whose disabled children aren't getting the care they need because that state (like Texas) doesn't fund a "CHIPS" program large enough, or the medicine the child needs is deemed "too expensive." Then a month caring for an elderly patient with Alzheimer's at home, again alone, again with no more resources than that family had to start with. Let's see if the John Carters perform as well as the original family members...and who deserves the paycheck. And let's see if they learned anything. (Meanwhile, the families involved get a month's vacation in Carter's (and the other Carter-types') houses, driving their cars, utilizing their staffs, and one lucky one (Carter's exact replacement) gets to vote his seat in Congress.
I want to see on the faces of those who think it's OK to lower taxes to the rich and spend more on war and bailing out the rich the kind of exhaustion and desperation so commonly seen on the faces of the disabled, the poor, the families that care for our veterans, the volunteers in the food banks of the country who begin to mirror what those who come for help show. I want that well-fed-and-liquored gloss over the jowls, that blow-dried hair, that smile full of perfect white teeth created by expensive dentistry, those perfectly tailored suits, pretty silk ties, and well-shined comfortable shoes, that confidence that comes from being a VIP to be diluted by some experience with real life--real struggle, real hardship, real anguish, real exhaustion. I want Carter and his ilk off their milk-white steeds, down on the ground, walking the walk instead of talking the talk.
Carter also claims to be a Christian. And yet, in the season of Lent, just before Holy Week, he sent me a recorded phone call to complain that helping the sick cost too much.
For those who claim to be Christians, that's just not a tenable position.
(You will notice comments have been disabled. As it is Holy Week, I'm not inclined to discuss this further, or let trolls use my space to spout their venom.)