We have all heard conservatives tell us how afraid they are of death panels, end of life care, rationing... etc, etc. They scream about how horrible the public option would be, how babies will be put down, and old people will be told to take their own lives. And we progressives sit here and question, "How the hell could anyone ever, ever, ever, ever possibly believe this horse crap?" They do not. Conservatives are not afraid that there will be death panels. They are not afraid of the government getting involved with health care. They simply are not afraid that the public option will fail. They are afraid that it will work.
They are afraid that a strong plan to reform our broken health care system will be my generation's social security. They are afraid of what that means politically. But, why, you ask? Let us take a look at the political landscape real quick. The Republicans are coming off of major electoral loses, on the back of what was possibly the greatest failure of leadership in our country's history. Conservative "solutions" (if you can call them that) have been tested and proven to be disastrous. A new President, a Democrat, and mixed race too, won by huge margins specifically running to change, chart a new direction away from the conservative principals that so failed us. This new President entered the White House with the blessings of a large majority of Americans, and has retained an above average approval rating. This new President has reversed major policy decisions, such as torture and stem cell research. This new President has taken action to address the conservative-caused economic disaster and managed to avoid a depression. This new President has helped the auto industry to avoid utter collapse. This new President instituted a cash for clunkers program that was a success, saving thousands of jobs. (But the number 1 bought car was a Toyota, you cry? Well, what is less talked about is that the number 2 bought car was the Ford Focus) This new President is succeeding, and all the while in direct response to the failures of conservative leadership.
What the conservatives fear most right now, is a health care victory. As I stated before (and I was nowhere close to the first to do so), health care has the potential to be our Social Security. Social Security is, not only a huge success, but a disaster of a campaign issue for conservatives. Running against Social Security is a sure fire way to win an early retirement. And health care takes us to a whole new level.
Millions of Americans, uninsured and under-insured, are relying on us to pass these reforms, and will remember it well if we do. Millions of Americans that run the gambit. Poor, rich, young, old, inner city, rural... etc. Millions of voters, and millions of disenfranchised or uninspired. Millions of people that, after directly benefiting from a drastically improved health care system, will likely vote to keep it that way. And that is what conservatives so deeply fear. They fear the building of a massive constituency that, for once, can say "My government helped me." They deeply fear that. There is one thing they do not fear: the last time the Democrats failed on health care reform, the party lost for a decade straight.