Watch this Aasif Mandvi video from last Thursday’s Daily Show featuring an interview with Fox Business Commentator Todd Wilemon. At the 3:35 mark Aasif Mandvi sets up Wilemon with a report of an unhealthy population in a place with very limited access to quality healthcare. Wilemon thinks he is describing a situation in a third-world country. At the 4:12 mark watch Wilemon grapple with a severe case of cognitive dissonance when he learns the community Mandvi is describing is Knoxville, Tennessee.
What happens to Wilemon is what happens to all Republicans when facts about pretty much anything don’t match up with their unsubstantiated beliefs in American exceptionalism.
Wilemon froze as the contrary evidence delivered to his head by Mandvi ricocheted around his cranium. After some moments of uncomfortable contemplation, he responds with’ “you know people do fall through the cracks”. To respond otherwise would be to admit that America doesn’t have “The Best Healthcare System in the World“, and to admit that would cause his head to explode so, in an act of self preservation, he grabs hold of that inconvenient thought in his head and shoves up his ass where he thinks it belongs.
Wilemon recovers a bit and then argues that the healthcare-deprived people in Knoxville are unhealthy because they chose not to buy healthcare. At the 5:30 mark Mandvi delivers another bullet to the cranium with,”because they can’t afford it”, and “So if you’re poor, just stop being poor”. It is of course and absurd statement, unless you’re a Republican. Then it’s “a good idea”.
Republicans and their mouthpieces on Fox News cannot accept that America doesn’t have the best healthcare system in the world. They don’t believe the Number 37 ranking. They can’t believe it because they lack empathy for anyone not like themselves. Live in poverty? Your fault! Got sick? Your fault! Don’t have access to a healthcare network? Get a job! And stop being poor because you are ruining my fantasy.