… the dominant view within the modern Republican party is one that in essence denies the existence of society. In the Tea Party view — the one shaping the entire party’s vision — the US is and must be a nation of individuals, atoms; there is no concept that we might act in concert to ends other than those we can address one by one.
From that perspective deciding we don’t need food safety inspectors makes sense. It’s my job or yours to make sure we cook that chicken breast all the way through, that we sterilize our cutting boards, that we never forget to soap off our knives between cuts, that we never eat with friends less cautious than ourselves. (I’m following Maryn’s argument here, btw.)
One could choose to live that way. Kids would die, from time to time, and maybe grandpa too, before he needed to go. Such deaths would be the price of my freedom, a definition of liberty renders every other person around me a kind of ghost: there, but not so much so that I need act as if they are just as real as me.
That’s what’s at stake in the current impasse in Washington. I don’t want to live with ghosts. I want friends, I want colleagues, I want a society — civilization. Hell! I want chicken inspectors, and it’s a privilege, not a burden, to live within a system that’s figured out how to have them.
Yup. Much as the Teatards and Norquists of the world want to deny it, we’re in this together, and we are because, if we want certain nice things, we have to be.