Great Reads 7/6/17

A daily roundup of great reads from around the web as selected by our editors.

—Ben Boychuk—

Believe it or not, #CNNBlackmail wasn’t the only (or the most interesting or important) story worth following on Wednesday. (Though you’d never know it if you actually watched CNN.)

Jon Cassidy at The American Spectator is writing some really interesting stuff on the health care reform debate. Last week, recall, he published a hard-hitting essay arguing that Obamacare is killing people. He’s back again this week, taking on claims by writers at Vox and other Obamacare partisans that the opposite is true.

Cassidy writes:

They are almost all arguing from theory about what ought to happen when Medicaid is expanded, rather than actual data about what’s going on. In reduced form, their argument is that because one thing happened in New York 15 years ago after a Medicaid policy change (mortality fell), we should ignore what is happening around the country now following a Medicaid policy change (mortality is on the rise).

He then brings to bear a whole host of facts and figures. Read the whole thing.

Meantime, a big fight is brewing on the Left over single-payer health care (the preferred euphemism for socialized medicine). Just because the overwhelmingly liberal California legislature couldn’t get a $400 billion plan funded and passed this session doesn’t mean they won’t be back with something worse soon. Paul Waldman at The American Prospect has a succinct take on some of the questions left-wingers will need to confront in order to achieve their long-desired political and policy wish.

“But let’s be clear about something,” Waldman writes. “The reason liberals favor a stronger government role for health care isn’t because we think that government control is an end in itself. It’s because in certain areas, government is the only vehicle, or the best one, to accomplish important goals.”

If you want to understand the Left’s use (and, I would say, misuse) of language in the health insurance reform debate, Waldman would be a good place to start.

Finally, this is really embarrassing. We posted some patriotic readings in honor of Independence Day, but not the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps we should have. But would it have made any difference to some of the people who reacted the way they did to NPR on Twitter? I get the sense those folks aren’t reading this site anyway. Pity. And shame.

—Julie Ponzi—

Picking up on Ben’s last point, I confess to finding it more than a little irritating to see outlets like NPR and Huffington Post making noises about the abysmal state of civic education in American only when doing so provides yet another opportunity for them to poke fun at some Trump supporters on Twitter. Please. We could play tit for tat all day like this comparing the civic ignorance of voters from all sides. The point is that Leftism and their infiltration of the education establishment is the proximate cause of this ignorance. Their policy has been to destroy the core curriculum, first in colleges, and then to dumb it down in high school and the lower grades. In recent decades it has been papered over by political correctness and identity politics of every imaginable stripe. Is it any wonder that ignorance about our common heritage is so widespread?  

Indeed, civic ignorance is just as likely to be on display in such temples of the elite as the headquarters of CNN. As Mollie Hemingway exposes over at the Federalist, CNN got caught tweeting some pretty dubious stuff yesterday, too.

But, really, we ought not to be surprised by any of this. Education, not just civic education, has been in a downward spiral at least since the 1950s. Conservatives since the time of William F. Buckley have been exposing and complaining about the rot. But to what end?  

Robert Oscar Lopez writes a strong post over at Dissident Prof arguing that the efforts of conservatives haven’t accomplished much of anything. It’s hard to argue against him. Diagnosis, correct. Prescription . . . either it’s been administered too late or it’s the wrong prescription.  

Lopez writes:

Right-wingers pioneered new solutions: homeschooling, for-profit colleges, think-tanks, independent book clubs, and conservative accredited universities. But there’s a problem: everything conservatives did failed. The problem got worse, and worse, and worse, until now the whole country feels imperiled by the possibility that colleges have destroyed the minds of so many tens of millions of people, there may simply be no way to correct course . . .

Conservatives have to be the ones to save America from this—but they are incurably hooked on their diet of impotent caterwauling. They do not like being forced to consider the drastic but necessary measures that could plausibly turn the situation around.

What are these “drastic measures”? In this essay we mainly get a list of things that have not worked. It’s a good list. But I hope to see another piece soon from this author detailing the positive steps smart rightists might take in the new political climate. The opportunity seems ripe.


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