The goal, right out of Alinsky's playbook, is to demonize dissent, stifle disagreement, and force those too stupid or evil to accept Progressives' glorified self-estimation into defending themselves against scurrilous nonsense.
This time, though, they have heartless conservatives dead to rights. Via Harry(page search on "heartless"), and provided by that bastion of unexamined ideas, ThinkProgress, comes this clip from a GOP presidential primary debate, entitled "Crowd Yells Let Him Die":
Yep, no doubt about it, conservatives are heartless.
Hmmm. Instead of indulging progressives in their leaping to self-congratulatory conclusions, perhaps it might be worth a few seconds to — and I know this sounds extreme — consider facts, context, and consequences.
Wolf Blitzer asks Ron Paul this question, slightly paraphrased:
A healthy 30 year old young man has a good job makes a good living, but decides not to spend 200 or 300 dollars per month for health insurance because he's healthy, decides he doesn't need it, but something terrible happens, who pays for that?
Ron Paul's response focused on freedom and personal responsibility.
To which Blitzer replies:
But Congressman, are you saying society should just let him die?
First, a couple trivial facts. As it happens, the crowd clearly did not yell "let him die" even once, never mind, pace Harry, chant it; instead, it was Blitzer himself. Oh, and Think Progress Instead of Accuracy cut off the bulk of Ron Paul's response. Dowdification is strong in progressives.
Where reality is allowed to rear its ugly head, several people in the crowd did in fact yell "yes" in response to Blitzer's prompting. Which really isn't the same, or even remotely like, the crowd chanting it. But never mind, in this case I'm happy to take progressive feelings as a stand-in for reality, and that heartless conservatives really want to let him die.
Which is precisely where progressive thinking, such as it is, stops, and reaching for the slime bucket starts.
Perhaps, though, there is rather more going on here than the instant offense brigade either understands, or acknowledges.
Remember the question's context: a healthy young man who could afford to purchase health insurance instead rolls the bones, and loses.
Now what? To Blitzer, who is so steeped in progressivism he, despite having a great deal of time to prepare still asked the wrong question, the answer he is trying to trap Ron Paul into giving is obvious: society must step in.
To non-progressives, though, this isn't the least bit apparent. For those who don't buy earthquake, fire, or flood insurance, should society be on the hook if their house is knocked down, burned to a crisp, or swept away? For those who neglect to pay for car insurance, should society pony up to replace for the unlucky their rides that ended up nose first in the jersey wall?
What those "heartless conservatives" are reacting to, and progressives can't spot, is a question that, shorn of its emotional baggage is asking precisely this: what do the rest of us owe parasites?
Progressives' reflexive accusation of conservative heartlessness, instead of even casting a glance at the underlying situation, proves they are unable to ascertain the moral hazard that is at the heart of socialism. It inevitably rewards vice, penalizes virtue, makes personal responsibility worse than futile, and positively encourages dependency.
In that light, "yes" isn't heartless, but rather an expression of the seemingly obvious. The best way to get more of something is to pay for it. If the goal is to make responsibility the inferior option to shirking, then by all means subsidize the parasite.
While at the individual level being compassionate with other people's money may be emotionally appealing, it isn't perhaps the acme in heartlessness to not be wild about an entire society like the feckless hypothetical.
So why do progressives keep trotting out these transparently fallacious instigations for two minutes hate? Only one reason I can think of: progressivism is a religion that worships the sanctity of progressivism. Because it is self-evidently correct, everything that at first glance confirms the wonderfulness of progressives to themselves is ipso facto true.
And just like unquestioning religionists throughout history, nothing, not even their own repeated failures (Robertson, Justine Sacco, Carlton, Walker staff emails, this video, to name but a few of the most recent examples), will either stop their drive to demonize, or start them thinking.