Imagine you’re a reporter. After a long day of work, you start having excruciating chest pains. You think this may be the end.
You call 911, and barely squeak out, “My chest is tight, I can’t breathe.” The minutes blur as you lie on the floor, bargaining and pleading with your maker to survive until the ambulance arrives.
At last, the EMT rushes in. He comes to your side and immediately kneels down to whisper something to you:
“I see you need my help. I can help you. But first, I want you to do us a favor, though. I want you to get on the news and say you’ve discovered incriminating details about my ex-wife. She’s done a lot of bad things, and it would really help everyone.”
Because you’re certain you’re going to die without immediate medical intervention—and this asshole has a crash cart—you agree.
Sure, man. Whatever you say, please, just save me!
If an EMT did this, that son of a bitch would be fired. He’d likely go to prison afterwards, too. We’d all cheer as he got locked up, and his fellow prisoners would pummel him.
Democrats, Communists, Nazis, Republicans, inmates…we’d ALL agree that any “conditions” on whether or not to give life saving help during an emergency would be wholly unacceptable.
Factor in that the EMT’s opportunity and authority to intervene, his ambulance, and the syringe full of adrenaline in his bag are all granted to him by the collective will and money of the people. Now, we’re not just upset. We’re rightly infuriated at this guy’s actions, taken on our behalf.
This mushroom-dick was entrusted by “we the people” to help others, using our authority and our equipment. And now, he conditioned doing his job—providing emergency medical care for the public—on gaining a personal favor.
“BUT EMTs DO THIS ALL THE TIME. I GOT NEWS FOR YA: GET OVER IT!”
No, they don’t, Mick.
But let me try to see your point…or make one for you, in the apparent absence of your ability to do so. Well, I should say your absence of ability to do so, on the spot, without stuttering out the Washington equivalent of “humina-humina-humina” on every Sunday show in succession.
I’m well versed in situational ethics, and I’m outstanding at finding daylight between unfavorable facts. If the Devil were ever looking for an advocate, I’d be at the top of his supernatural Bing search results. I assume the Devil uses Bing, given his heavy investments in Microsoft.
So, here’s my stab at it:
Okay, I tried. I feel dumber for having done so.
That argument is not going to hold up, though. Nice touch speaking in Comic Sans, by the way. It felt authentic. Throw in some random incorrect capitalizations and a few misspellings next time, and you’ll really nail it.
The problem is that the EMT receives his wages from a third party, e.g. “the government,” not the individual he’s “helping.” Further, the EMT’s wages were negotiated at arm’s length, before the issue at hand, and most importantly, in the absence of duress.
Someone other than the EMT—here, the representatives the populace at large—decided to help the victim. Now, the EMT is interjecting his desire for further personal gain (e.g. beyond his compensation for the role) into the delivery of the government’s aid to the victim.
And the coup de grâce: he’s doing so while the victim is actively dying, waiting for intervention.
Note: Coup de grâce [pronounced COO day GRAH, meaning, “a knockout,”] is different than a coup d’état [pronounced COO day TAH, meaning, “an overthrow of the government.”]. And each of those are different than a ’78 Coupe Deville, West Texas country rock band Cooder Graw, a Little Deuce Coupe, Former US Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop, and the sound a pigeon makes. I know, it can be tres difficile to keep all them got-dang French-sounding words straight when you’ve only ever heard any of them on AM Radio.
In a non-emergency, the government and the EMT (or, more likely, a union of EMTs) can negotiate salaries and job descriptions in good faith and arrive at a contractual agreement: we’ll pay each of you “x” in exchange for your oath to faithfully execute a list of emergency response duties.
During those negotiations, either party could disagree about the pay, the role, the temperature of the room, or anything else about which they wish to contend. Either party could walk away for any reason at all. The EMTs could all quit in unison and go work for a different municipality. The government could fire them all and hire new ones.
No one is going to die (at least not right this second) simply because the parties suspend their discussion and agree to resume talks tomorrow.
That is, there’s time to negotiate when the building isn’t on fire.
But once the government has decided what to pay each EMT and who the EMTs are obligated to serve, the EMTs’ options are thus: (1) do that exactly as prescribed, or (2) resign.
In our specific, eerily familiar situation (which almost seems as if it’s a super-freaking-obvious metaphor for current events) the publicly-obligated, publicly-funded EMT took advantage of the compromised position of the victim in order to achieve personal gain. The victim was in no position to negotiate. The EMT could have said, “you have to promise to kill the Queen of England,” or “you have to promise to dig up dirt on Joe Biden,” and the victim, at the EMT’s mercy in real time, would have readily agreed.
When the choice is “I need you to do us a favor, though” or “die while I stand here watching,” there’s no actual choice. It’s a demand. It’s merely disguised—poorly, at that—as a request.
And when the requestor has already been paid and under a sworn oath to do what the granter of aid has demanded, it makes any hesitation—especially for personal gain—that much more disgusting.
No one needs to read 1000 words on this to understand it. Everyone instinctively gets it. Democrats get it. Socialists get it.
And even Republicans get it. It’s just a really bad set of facts for them because the EMT is their guy.
So, they ignore it. They make excuses, like the crappy one I trotted out above. They pretend to not understand the obvious. They engage in whataboutism with diatribes that begin with, “yeah, but Obama….”
I fully expect a United States Senator to utter, “no hablo inglés” and scurry away any minute now.
The only people who literally wouldn’t understand it are actual narcissists and/or sociopaths – and they’d fake understanding it if doing so was in their interest.
You’d have to completely lack all ability to empathize with others to miss what’s obvious to 99% of humanity. In other words, you’d have to view everything—even the most disgusting examples—through the wraparound lens of “what’s in it for me?”
So here we are, all left with a stark choice to contemplate:
Either the people who are supporting the EMT here are narcissistic sociopaths, or they’re lying because the truth is inconvenient to their political stance.
That is, they either understand what the bad guy did and they’re totally okay with it because they’d do it themselves given the chance, or they’re merely pretending they don’t get it because pretending is politically expedient.
They’re either literally accepting a person taking advantage of his position and strength to extort a near-helpless victim for purely personal gain, or they’re knowingly turning a blind eye to evil because ignoring it benefits them personally.
Either way, they’re showing their stripes. As harsh as it sounds, their positions heretofore serve as confessions. These confessions require American voters to arrive at one of two conclusions: these Republican politicians are either abject idiots, or they’re self-serving liars. And I’m willing to bet, more than a few of them are both.
We’d all be wise to believe them and remember these confessions when these politicians come up for reelection.
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Need some more Hitting The Trifecta right now? Try this one: These Are The People In Your Neighborhood. Sorry. Or how about this one? King Donald. You’ll like this one, too: A Letter To My Younger Self.