3: to fail or desert especially in time of need
Today an American friend and I are having a Facebook discussion about a socialised medical health system -- to ensure basic health to all citizens of a society. As shocking as it is for me to imagine living in a modern democratic country that doesn't provide basic medical care for its citizenry, it appears even more baffling to my friend:
“The right-wing propaganda machine has done a good job of painting disaster if the government takes over health care. Of course, they don't talk about what private for-profit health care does to people. The most frustrating part is those who firmly believe that a fair, government-administrated healthcare system with access for everyone is some commie plot that will bring them down and give them poor medicine. They have been thoroughly propagandized into working against their own interests.”
She goes further: “I also suspect people never see themselves in the picture ... as needy or the underdog. They don't see that while they may identify with the privileged, they are in fact the serfs to the privileged.”
It got me to thinking about how fiercely so many people in both Canada and the United States are defending the right to make money over all other rights, even if that particular right protects the people stripping everyone else of basic human rights: shelter, potable water, nourishment and a decent education. I know these members of our societies have accepted the right of the (rare) individual to unbridled wealth over all other rights because a majority continue to cast their votes in this direction.
I believe such people betray their own children by voting into power those who protect only the wealthiest and most powerful of the country.
This conversation has led me to consider history and better understand the blindness of those Germans in the rise of the Nazi regime who, rather than protect their friends and neighbours from madness, looked the other way and slipped into accepting an unthinkable aberration as status quo.