Never has one man assumed such moral puritanism, and yet been so wrong about so many moral issues.
Of course, in the age of Trump, Vermont Sen. Sanders remains the savior of the American Left. He's angry, so un-cool that he's cool, and committed to a fairer society.
A society, for example, in which the rich (never defined) pay their "fair share" (also never defined). The U.S. income tax code might be one of the world's most progressive, but facts don't matter to Sanders. Like President Trump, Sanders' political popularity rests on the stirring of emotion.
And on Thursday, we got another illustration of Sanders' emotion versus rationality paradigm.
The United States is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Our people should not have to beg for their right to health care.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 6, 2017
Were it not such a serious issue, this tweet would be worth uncontrollable laughter.
But it is serious. After all, Sanders' contention exactly the opposite of reality.
The reality is that those who rely on socialized medical systems have to beg for their healthcare whenever they need it. I can attest to this personally. I was born with a heart condition and grew up in London, England. While the doctors and nurses who treated me as a child were exceptional (I would trust them as much as any American doctor), they were also overwhelmed and under-resourced. That meant long waiting lists for annual check ups.
Still, as children are rightly prioritized in the British system, I was one of the lucky ones. My grandmother was not. Her aortic aneurysm was repeatedly misdiagnosed as a stomach bug. And then she was dead.
But here's the weird thing. I don't really blame the doctors for my grandmother's premature passing. Ultimately, they had to balance a large number of patients with finite resources. And that's the way the system is. Britons accept it. Because my grandmother's experience is far from unique. As I've explained, speak to any Briton and you'll hear stories of struggling against the bureaucracy to get appropriate care. Google "NHS misdiagnosis cancer" and you'll find harrowing stories of the human cost that socialized medicine imposes.
This is a reality Sanders and his ignorant followers, like Ruth Marcus at the Washington Post, need to wake up to. Choosing the state to manage individual needs, they would necessarily require the state to define individual worth. Be under no illusions, that is exactly what the system does. Just ask the parents of Charlie Gard, as they fight the government to try and save their son's life.
Yes, America's for-profit health system is far from perfect. Our healthcare market is defined by cronyism, extraordinary costs, and insufficient personal responsibility. For all its flaws, however, our system allows patients to demand the timely supply of adequate services. It also fosters medical innovation: developing the new drugs and treatments that make our lives longer and happier. The moral dichotomy between our system and socialism is clear.
There is no morality in forcing the ill to beg their government to help them. But that, as Bernie would never admit, is the price of socialism.