I come from a zany, imaginary place called Oklahoma. It's Texas' hat, if that helps you place it on the map. And while I'm atypical for Green Country [in that I bailed on it], I like to keep up with it's ever-developing oddness. I'm still fond of it in many ways.
This is native Oklahoman, Biker Fox.
I'm tellin' ya, this place is seriously, truly strange.
One of the things I care less for that my state of origin and adolescence produces is its politics. Oklahoma, being so make-believe, has a tendency to elect some whimsical, silly jackasses for its officials. Sadly, I'm not talking about Biker Fox - no one's elected him yet. Who I mean is, for one, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, the little and loudest among the many conservatives who claim that the U.S. has the best health care in the world [we don't, even the CIA says so]. A new poll from the PEW research center demonstrates well the partisan divide regarding accurate health care assessment:
The stark political divisions evident in the current debate over health care are mirrored in opinions about how the health care system compares with those in other industrialized countries. Most Republicans say U.S. health care is either the best in the world (28%) or above average (29%). Democrats largely take the opposite view, with nearly seven-in-ten saying U.S. health care is either average (35%) or below average (34%). Independents have more in common with Democrats than with Republicans in their evaluation of America's health care. Roughly six-in-ten say health care in this country is average (32%) or below average (29%) compared with other industrialized countries.
Conservative Republicans stand out in their positive assessments of U.S. health care. Two-thirds (66%) say America's health care is either the best in the world or above average. Just 39% of moderate and liberal Republicans agree. There is a smaller ideological divide within the Democratic Party -- with 75% of liberals rating U.S. health care as average or below average compared with 67% of moderates and conservatives." [source]This is despite the fact that the poll also says most Americans disagree, correctly recognizing it as comparatively average or worse.
Big shocker that nationalist pride in a 2nd or 3rd rate health care system plagued with equal access, delivery, and funding problems is correlated to income bracket, in addition to political affiliation.
There are plenty of weird, wonderful, and outrageous things about both Oklahoma and the U.S. that are worth keeping around - state fairs, noodling, Gary Busey. These things are our shared heritage. But what ain't worth writing home about are the politicians, bureaucrats, and, if you're not among the rich elite, the doctors.