… and fit Ambulance Driver for a swastika and a pair of jackboots while he sleeps.
Seems like my high school guidance counselor was right when she said that "fascist tool of the totalitarian state" was the perfect career choice for me. And all this time, I figured I was just a simple paramedic.
In response to Tamara's link to my Lines In The Sand post, a couple of people
went into a bug-eyed, slobbering, incoherent rage took umbrage at my assertion that you don't have the right to refuse care if you have expressed, by word or deed, a desire to kill yourself.
Actually, that's pretty much the law in my state and a bunch of others, but let's take a moment to delve into how, by the convoluted reasoning of some, my following that law is the moral equivalent of herding Jews on the train to Auschwitz.
And yes, people actually said that.
Like TJIC, for example:
How does this differ from "OK, Jew, I understand that you want to leave this prison camp, and that would be OK by me, EXCEPT for the fact that I'd get written up and get three demerits if I let you, therefore I won't let you – your actions have consequences for other people, and you have to realize this!"
Wow. Just… wow.
I guess I shouldn't have taken my "I am TJIC" badge down off my blog, huh? While I appreciate that Travis might have a sore spot or three about having his rights trampled over words he said, that statement is a perfect example of why many don't take libertarianism seriously.
I mean, you get a bunch of individualists who are passionate about personal freedom and smaller government, people who are legitimately concerned about the encroachment of government on our personal freedoms, whose general approach to life is "You leave me along and I'll leave you alone," and invariably there is one in the bunch who says something so far out in friggin' left field that the rest of them want to sidle away, eyeing him nervously all the while.
And in so doing, alienate about 75% of the fence-sitters who might be sympathetic to their cause.
But hey, more power to you, Travis. You stay militant, brother!
If you really equate me transporting someone whose words or deeds demonstrate that they may not – at least in the eyes of the law – be in full possession of their mental faculties, with a Nazi trooper herding Jews onto a train to a concentration camp, then we really have nothing else to discuss.
Have a big libertarian "Go fuck yourself!" and have a nice day.
A fellow with the handle of ILTim also opines:
"Who the fuck are you to decide that a person should be dragged against their will to gitmo/ fluffy bunny land/ wherever you please? That type of personal violence could and should be resisted in every way available and necessary including lethal force."
Well, here's the thing, Tim. If you were that willing to use lethal force, you damned sure should have used it on yourself before the cops and EMT's got called to the scene. If you're that slow, or you're running your mouth about it, you're going to the hospital. And if you try to resist by lethal force, I'm gonna go hide behind the engine block of my ambulance while the cops ventilate you thoroughly with .40 caliber holes.
And after my shift is over, we'll go hit the local jackbooted thug bar, I'll buy them all a beer for saving my life, and we'll do a few Nazi salutes and read selected passages of Mein Kampf together.
First of all, I don't get to decide. I just get to transport them to the place where someone with more training than me in psychiatric care decides. I didn't make that law, I'm just subject to it. I suppose I could just shrug my shoulders and say, "Your life, your choice," and walk away, but when I get sued – and I will get sued – the only way I'll get away with it is if I have a jury full of people like you and TJIC.
Except, guys like you would never make it onto that jury. You'd be outside the courthouse wearing a sandwich board, screaming "SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!" for the television cameras, while everybody watching mentally relegates you to the same niche as the disheveled guy on the next street corner, wearing the sandwich board that says, "REPENT, THE END IS NIGH."
If that makes me a moral coward in your eyes, then so be it. Your opinion of me doesn't cost me much sleep. Grab yourself a picket sign and hang out in Moral Absoluteville with TJIC, while the rest of society does its best to ignore you. Me, I'll still be here, trying to convince people of the rightness of libertarian ideals, and likely making more headway because I'm not spouting off crazy shit like comparing EMT's to Nazi death camp guards.
The whole point of that post is that words have consequences. Travis discovered that very thing, and apparently hasn't learned anything from it. In a way, I find that admirable…
.. from afar.
I say "from afar," because while it's nice to hold people up as heroes, heads bloody but unbowed and all that, up close and in person they often turn out to be unreasonable assholes. In any case, I imagine Travis will lose as little sleep over my opinion of him as I will over his opinion of me. I just wish he realized that people with his attitude make far better symbols than effective advocates.
On the brighter side, there were some reasonable voices in the crowd. Roberta X: