Well, that’s it.
In a moment of pure euphoria for America’s Great Satan known as the Grand Old Party, this cadre of old rich white men finally began to cash in on their eternal pledge of repealing the Affordable Care Act. Because this group of supposed humans is devoid of any real ideas outside whatever the fuck “freedom” and “liberty” mean on any given day, this was one of the few concrete political positions where one could actually hold their feet to the fire. After failing to deliver a literal concrete policy when no funding for a border wall was included in the latest budget, the Republicans knew that they had to knock this political football through the uprights—lest they be forced to go get a real job that doesn’t entail murdering poor people.
This cult masquerading as a deliberative body has created an unreality so powerful that only they can inject the physical world into these pockets of America where the daily regimen is determined by the anger at whatever perceived “liberal” sleight one has fallen victim to on any given day. And so the Republicans said yea, and descended from Mount Olympus with a simple message: we have succeeded in our promise, consequences be damned.
This bill is bad for sick people. For old people. For pregnant women. For post-pregnant women. For rape victims. For special-education children. For people with preexisting conditions. For people who will be sick one day. For people who don't have the GDP of a small nation sitting in the bank. For people.
The AHCA is an insult to humanity that can only come from the unexplored depths of cynicism. Optics Trump consequences in today's GOP. As I write this, these cowards in men's clothes are trudging up to the White House to kiss the ring of the orange madman who holds them hostage. He coopted the anger they spent decades cultivating, and so they have no choice but to do the bidding of a Boy King controlled by the whims of talk radio and cable news.
These people are sick. They knew they were selling a farce, because Congress exempted themselves from the pile of manure they just shoved down our throats. But it doesn't matter, because they get to retreat to their gated communities and place a checkmark next to one of the only promises they could be held accountable for, ensuring their “men of the people” theme for the next campaign. In the minds of many Republican voters, giving one last middle finger to America's first black president supersedes any other priority on health care—even if it comes at the expense of their own lives. And it will. People will die.
Ironically, many who will perish will be those who wanted this. Scared, ignorant, “everyday” folks whom the Republicans have spent decades convincing to self-immolate in the name of tax breaks for the ultra-rich, so that one day their own money may be trickled back down to them. But they will not be the only ones who perish in the service of political nomenclature. Disabled children will die. Rape victims will die. This suicide pact comprised mostly of desperate old white people just accelerated their descent into the grave, and they’re trying to bring as many others with them as possible.
The natural instinct is to say that we’re better than this. But we’re not.
America’s defining quality throughout our history is punishing the poor for being poor. This is just another horrible act in a long line of crimes against humanity committed in order to provide more to those who have more than they will ever need. What the Republican Party just passed is a tax cut for the 1% paid for by the blood of the impoverished. People will die. Cash will flow into the coffers of their donors. Which will then be paid to more Republicans as a down payment on the murder of more downtrodden. All in the name of the Almighty Dollar. Americans have become the Israelites worshipping the golden calf at the base of Mount Sinai.
We are a lost people. We have no defining ethos outside our subjective interpretation of whatever American Exceptionalism means on any given day. The liberal internet will #resist. Profile pictures will be changed. Diatribes will dot the landscape of social media. Anger will be broadcast. And if history is any indication, when it comes time to enforce this rage upon our elected representatives, many of the #resisters will forget to vote. And so the cycle begins anew.
I hope I’m wrong. But Donald Trump works from the Oval Office, and the GOP felt comfortable passing a bill with an approval rating lower than our historically unpopular president, so it’s likely that I’m not. Republicans deserve ubiquitous scorn for creating an echo chamber that allows this monstrosity to fester, but liberals are complicit through their absence. Data shows that if you’re under the age of 30 or make less than $30,000 per year, you’re probably not showing up in the 2018 midterms to punish these cretins for their crimes.
We are at a breaking point in American history—both literally and figuratively—and unless we divert from our apathetic course, we will surrender our future to those all too happy to rip it away from us.
Jacob Weindling is a staff writer for Paste politics. Follow him on Twitter at @Jakeweindling.