Conservatives: Stop whining

I’m sorry. I just can’t listen to them anymore.

Mark Levin. Or Rush Limbaugh. Or Laura Ingraham, who, thankfully, is off the air for a while. Conservatives are right to be concerned about the leftward tilt America has taken in the last eight years. But their pathetic whining and trembling hissy fits have often made them like liberals — immune to reason. Keep it up and Republicans will lose the House.

Let me give you a very concrete personal example. It involves Obamacare. In 2008 I was diagnosed with a form of cancer, one that is serious but treatable. I had insurance, partly because I’m a conservative. I’m a journalist, book author and filmmaker, the kind of career that can bring in a sudden pile of money even as you later have something not work out and watch it disappear. But through it all I made sure I had insurance. This sometimes meant doing odd jobs or forgoing a new lens for my camera. For 48 years, including decades and decades of good health, I made sure that if, God forbid, something happened, I would not be a papoose on the back of the state.

Well, something happened. And now that it has, I have watched as my insurance company keeps raising my premiums to the point where I can barely afford them. They recently sent me a letter informing me that when I reach 50 they can “reevaluate” the entire policy and raise my rate as damned much as they please. In short, they have made it their mission, now that I actually got sick, to make sure that I cannot afford my insurance.

I don’t want health insurance for free, or any other “free stuff.” If Obamacare prevents someone like me from going bankrupt, that doesn’t make me a free rider. In fact, it may ensure that I can at long last make my documentary about conservative giant Whittaker Chambers. (And I would argue that such a project can win our side more converts than 10,000 hours of talk radio.)

I understand that liberals love to use personal anecdotes to elicit sympathy for questionable causes, but I think I represent a lot of people in this country. Of course there are those who want socialism and free stuff (and it is a dangerously high number). But there may be a lot more who just want simple fairness. This is why, to most people, Mark Levin or Rush Limbaugh sound like tools when they scream about socialism and health care. As the cliché goes, I work hard and play by the rules. Many insurance companies do not.

What makes this all doubly tragic is that in Mitt Romney we had a man who had not only true empathy for those in need — though he didn’t announce it at every stop like Bill Clinton — but an actual plan and desire to help them help themselves. Liberals treat everyone as a victim, but Romney understands the dignity of helping yourself. At the same time, Romney seems to get that, as U2 once sang, sometimes you can’t make it on your own. This doesn’t mean lifelong handouts. It means that not everyone is born with the talent to be a top 10 talk show host with a multimillion-dollar contract, and sometimes these people need a little help.