This is so self-evident it seems silly to point it out: that we are concerned mainly with what concerns us directly, everything that doesn’t touch us directly is an abstraction we are often too busy to ponder. I offer this example, just because it goads me not to, and there is nobody to express it to who can be expected to have much sympathy.
If we are in an existential, eternal war with violent enemies who are hell-bent on killing as many of us as possible, it is necessary to protect ourselves by any means we have. Wars that leave Americans dead and maimed are understandably unpopular, yet we are constantly reminded how important it is to world peace and our security to continue killing our terrorist enemies and their families. Luckily we have the technology to kill by remote control. This requires large, loud killing machines constantly circling in the skies our enemies live under. If you have never woken in the night, in terror, your children screaming and scarred for life, it’s probably hard to get too exercised about President Obama’s extensive killing by drone program. He was so eloquent in accepting his Nobel Peace Prize, you know?
Similarly, the president’s oft-expressed commitment to do what he can to slow Climate Change must be seen in context. The oil companies, which have made record profits under his watch, where off-shore drilling has been greatly increased, previously sacred lands have been opened to drilling, America finally producing more oil and gasoline than it imports, are rightfully concerned about these oft-expressed commitments to slow the carbon poisoning of the earth, directly at the expense of the non-renewable energy sector. With billions and billions of dollars hanging in the balance, it would be unwise for the president not to reassure the oil companies, which, after all, wield tremendous political power and influence. So he makes a speech touting how much more oil we are producing and how important it is that we continue to drill, baby, drill. Does that make him a hypocrite or a liar? Not necessarily, the world is complex.
But here’s one I can’t seem to get out of my head. I am one of thousands, or tens of thousands, or maybe hundreds of thousands, who has been directly effected by the president’s little white lie about his health insurance plan: “if you like the health care you currently have, you can keep it.” As I’ve previously reported, he apologized for lying, and as his lie statistically effects only a tiny proportion of the people he lied to, you know, small harm, tiny foul. De minimis non curat lex– the law does not concern itself with trifles.
And in the general scheme of things, not being able to keep my doctors, including the ones following me for cancers I’m likely to get, and the one who was monitoring my possible hypertension recently to decide on the best path to keep me from having a stroke, and shit like that, well… pretty much trifles. That my copays have tripled? Another trifle. I am a whiner and it behooves me to stop whining and find some new doctors, get my medical records transferred and shut the hell up, you know what I’m saying?