Friday, September 01, 2006

Forbear that Wicked Cant

In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol Ebenezer Scrooge comments that those who will not go to Government proscribed charities should "die then, and decrease the surplus population." His famous line indicates to the reader (or watcher, George C. Scott tosses off this line with remarkable, gruff callousness) that Scrooge has lost all sense of common decency. It illustrated that Scrooge no longer saw people only obstacles. The Ghost of Christmas Present later rebukes Scrooge:
``If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, none other of my race,'' returned the Ghost, ``will find him here. What then? If he be like to die, he had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.''

Scrooge hung his head to hear his own words quoted by the Spirit, and was overcome with penitence and grief.

``Man,'' said the Ghost, ``if man you be in heart, not adamant, forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered What the surplus is, and Where it is. Will you decide what men shall live, what men shall die? It may be, that in the sight of Heaven, you are more worthless and less fit to live than millions like this poor man's child. Oh God! to hear the Insect on the leaf pronouncing on the too much life among his hungry brothers in the dust!''

Imagine my surprise when Scrooge's wicked cant is used approvingly by Garrison Keillor as a means to increase largesse of charity. Of course he was not talking about the poor but another group of folks he doesn't consider people but obstacles: Christian Republicans.
Hard choices need to be made, and given the situation we're in, I think we must bite the bullet and say no more healthcare for card-carrying Republicans. It just doesn't make sense to invest in longevity for people who don't believe in the future. Let them try faith-based medicine, let them pray for their arteries to be reamed and their hips to be restored, and leave science to the rest of us.

Cutting out healthcare for one-third of the population -- the folks with Bush-Cheney bumper stickers, who still believe the man is doing a heckuva job -- will save enough money to pay off the national debt, not a bad legacy for Republicans. As Scrooge said, let them die and reduce the surplus population.
Read the full article to get the context of the quote. He rips on the administration and conservatives in general for failing schools and large class numbers. I believe schools fail because most of the money given goes to grease the wheels of beauracracy rather than actual education. Blame whomever you wish, Mr. Keillor but forbear that wicked cant until you have discovered what the surplus is.

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