The irrational fear of President Obama By Jonathan Capehart, Updated: October 16 at 11:37 am
Late last month, in the run up to the the health-care exchanges going live, MSNBC producer Stefanie Cargill and I went to Belmont, N.C., to ask folks what they knew and thought about the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Whether they were for it or against it, they were all confused by it. But three weeks after that trip, the conversation I had with David Jackson at the Belmont General Store still rings in my ears.
Ben Carson’s succinct remarks about Obamacare at the Values Voters summit last week were slightly more incendiary than anything Jackson said. “You know, Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said Friday. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.” The man who felt comfortable unfurling the Confederate flag in front of the White House on Sunday took more action to protest President Obama than Jackson probably ever will.
But Jackson’s forceful denunciation of Obamacare and the fact-challenged conspiracy theories he harbors show that he shares with the Confederate flag waver and Carson a troubling view of President Obama that goes far beyond quarrels over the health care law. They don’t like him. They don’t trust him. And they think he’s destroying America.
Below are portions of the transcript of my conversation with Jackson at the Belmont General Store. From illegal immigrants taking advantage of Obamacare (which they can’t) to the Muslim Brotherhood having prayer services “on the East Lawn of the White House” (which never happened), Jackson believes the president doesn’t love this country, “not one bit, not one breath that comes out of his body.” As a result, Jackson fears Obama as “the most dangerous person that’s ever walked in these United States.”
Capehart: What do you think about Obamacare?
Jackson: I think it is the biggest travesty in American history. It is forcing people to pay for other people’s health care, because they’re either too lazy or they know they can get the money from someone other than themselves….
It should be thrown in the trash and be taken off the books as a giant mistake. And if they want to help poor people in this country, that’s what they should do.
On parents being able to keep their children on their health insurance policies until they are 26 years old
Jackson: Twenty-six years old, you should be out on your own supporting yourself.
Capehart: Well, it’s up until you’re 26, then after 26 — they’re no longer on their parent’s insurance.
Jackson: When I was 18, my father showed me the door – good luck. Have a good life. It wasn’t all this, keep you on your parents insurance until you’re 26. Most people are out of college with either a bachelor’s or a master’s or working on a master’s that really want to move forward. Twenty-six years old and still living off your parents? That’s lazy.
Capehart: Given the way the economy has been since the implosion of 2008, we know that lots of young people have graduated from college. They’re mired in student debt. They can’t find work. And the notion that they can stay on their parent’s health care coverage until they’re 26 has been the one bright spot in, you know, dark economic clouds that they face. You know — too bad for them?
Jackson: Yeah. Suck it up. That’s the way I look at it. Why should your parents have to pay your way? You’re an adult. Be responsible for yourself.
On Obamacare and illegal immigration
Capehart: The president and the Obama administration say the whole reason he did this is to get the 50 million Americans without health insurance to have health insurance.
Jackson: They figured out a way to get money out of the American people’s pockets. It won’t benefit — it’ll benefit a very small amount of people, and it’ll be the ones that are too lazy or unwilling to work, along with the millions and millions of illegal aliens