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We tend to think of conservatism as being an ideology in the conventional sense, in the same way that liberalism, communism, socialism, and centrism are ideologies. But is this really true? This diary will argue that modern conservatism is no longer an ideology with concrete policy goals so much as it is a psychological state of mind. This is true of all ideologies to some extent, but I will argue that it is especially true of today's conservatives and the major political party they have captured (the GOP).

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This diary is an expansion of some comments I've made on the Ryan plan to kill Medicare and Medicaid, and why I think it's really important that we not fall into the trap of merely defending the status quo on Medicare and Medicaid.

First things first: we need to be clear that we DO have a problem with the long-term affordability of Medicare. We really cannot afford to allow continued spending growth on these programs, if we don't want them to eat the entire budget and more. The kind of growth in Medicare costs that we've seen is unsustainable, and needs to be pulled back. The Republicans want to do this by simply throwing the elderly and poor to the wolves by having the government wash its hands of the problem instead of working to fix it. Their plan is heartless, cruel, and amounts to a massive theft from all the people who have been paying into Medicare for decades and will continue to do so. And it's obvious that they don't really care about the budget and are just using it as a bludgeon against a program they don't like. But we need to offer the voters a comprehensive, credible alternative.

That alternative is getting our overall healthcare costs under control.

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Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 02:25 PM PDT

Talking to Republicans About Healthcare

by johnva

This is my first diary here, and it's an expansion of some points I first made in comments. Bear with me!

I'm one of those people who isn't just interested in talking healthcare policy with people who already agree with me. So I frequently post various places (under a variety of pseudonyms) and argue healthcare issues with people like Libertarians and Republicans. I've collected some points from my experience that are obstacles in making headway on this issue. I'm sure most of us have had the frustrating experience of trying to convince a conservative family member about the need for reform.

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