While memorializing Nelson Mandela, the former presidential candidate likened the “injustice” of racial oppression to the “injustice” of affordable health care.
Rick Santorum, the erstwhile Republican presidential candidate with a penchant for controversy, appeared on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor on Thursday night and memorialized the passing of South African leader and global visionary Nelson Mandela by equating Obamacare with apartheid.
Praising Mandela for standing up to a “great injustice,” the former Pennsylvania senator continued by ascribing his own conservative principles to the civil rights pioneer:
Nelson Mandela stood up against a great injustice and was willing to pay a huge price for that, and that’s the reason he is mourned today, because of that struggle that he performed…and I would make the argument that we have a great injustice going on right now in this country with an ever increasing size of government that is taking over and controlling people’s lives, and Obamacare is front and center in that.
Comparing apartheid — the systematic, institutionalized segregation of the black population of South Africa — to Obamacare — the signature legislative achievement of the United States’ first black president — is among the worst reactions by conservatives to the news of Mandela’s passing. And implying that Mandela would have opposed legislation like the Affordable Care Act is to ignore the reality of the health care system that Mandela himself fought for.
After bringing an end to apartheid rule, Mandela enshrined in the new South African constitution a fundamental right to health care for all citizens, and introduced a government-funded public health care system to help cover those who could not afford the private system already in place. That was the foundation for a new universal health care system the country unveiled two years ago, which is now expanding to cover the entire country by 2026.
This is not the first time conservatives have attempted to claim a fallen progressive icon as one of their own. Other figures like Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. have also been co-opted by the Republican Party in an attempt to re-write history.
O’Reilly, for his part, commemorated Mandela as a “great man” despite being “a communist.”
They began showing up at dusk last week, wandering the streets, slumped in wheelchairs and sitting on sidewalks, paper plates perched on their knees. By 6:30 p.m., more than 100 homeless people had lined up at a barren corner in Hollywood, drawn by free meals handed out from the back of a truck every night by volunteers.
But these days, 27 years after the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition began feeding people in a county that has one of the worst homeless problems in the nation, the charity is under fire, a flashpoint in the national debate over the homeless and the programs that serve them.
Facing an uproar from homeowners, two members of the Los Angeles City Council have called for the city to follow the lead of dozens of other communities and ban the feeding of homeless people in public spaces.
Should Los Angeles enact such an ordinance, it would join a roster of more than 30 cities, including Philadelphia, Raleigh, N.C., Seattle and Orlando, Fla., that have adopted or debated some form of legislation intended to restrict the public feeding of the homeless, according to the National Coalition of the Homeless.
There are now about 57,735 homeless people in Los Angeles County, according to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development last week, a 23.5 percent increase over last year. Only New York had a higher homeless population.
In similar news, the billionaire Mayor of New York City recently banned food donations to the homeless because the city cannot record the salt, fat and fiber content in the food.
Bloomberg, the 13th richest person in the world, also tried to implement a policy that require the homeless to prove they had no where else to go before being accepted into a shelter. Fortunately, a judge struck down the decision.
im so jaded lol
It would be cheaper to fly to Spain, get a hip replacement, live there for two years, get a second hip replacement, and fly home than it would be to get one hip replaced in the United States.
Howard Schatz’s intriguing Athletes series indulges the human fascination with the human body and physique by comparing the physiques of athletes from a wide range of different sports. These athletes are at the top of their respective games, so whether through genetics, hard work or both, their bodies are ideally suited for their sports.
first time ive had hiccups in like a year omg totally forgot what this feels like
The American government can’t praise Mandela’s steadfastness for sitting in prison, while ignoring our own political prisoners. -@zellieimani
I used to be quite a skinny guy, but my love for bears and cubs took over. I’m a life size teddy bear now! :D