I found a post at The Blarg complaining about ER a few days ago. I started commenting on it, but there’s a lot to say, so I’m moving here. Now, I’ve only seen ER a few times, and like all TV shows it’s unrealistic, but the parts he labels “liberal nonsense” are not especially fantastic.
1) Huge numbers of people are gay, and they don’t act anything like gay people do in real life. Gaydar need not apply, because you could never guess, because the show wants you to think gay people are just like straight people, but gay. Oh wait, that’s not all, gay people are actually more with it than the straight people. The gay relationships are always great, and the straight people are screwed up.
There are a lot of GLBT people in the real world. And being queer does not mean you act a certain way. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need to come out. Everyone would already know. Sure, a lot of queer people have rejected gender norms, but a lot haven’t and that isn’t necessarily visible. And straight people reject gender normas too.
There doesn’t need to be a breakdown between straight and queer relationships. Relationships are the same pretty much everywhere. And after being accused of rape, pedophilia, bestiality, mental disorders, etc., it’s really nice that ER does portray good queer relationships.
2) Everyone is dying in Iraq. Last year a main character got killed in Iraq, and this year there was a family whose father had died in Iraq. They wouldn’t want to have a character that came back from Iraq alive and emphasize the good they were doing. No, Iraq is the devil and everyone is dying.
I’m sure some people do come back from Iraq and feel they’ve done something good. Most of the people I know either died or came back wishing they’d never had to kill anyone. Veterans of other wars are the same. My grandfather was proud that he helped in WWII. But he had a lot of terrible memories he didn’t want. People forget that no matter how good the cause of the war people die horrible deaths and see horrible things. Being reminded of that isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe we’ll try harder diplomatically.
3) National healthcare mumbo jumbo! The ER is always full and nobody has health insurance on the show. The characters are always screaming about how we need a national healthcare plan. What BS. Where are the illegal aliens in the ER? Oh that’s right, they never show any.
National healthcare isn’t mumbo jumbo. In a rich country like ours, it’s ridiculous that so many people who work so hard can’t afford decent healthcare. And yes, illegal immigrants do show up in the ER.
When I suggested that treating them was the right thing to do the author pulled out the teach a man to fish analogy. But many illegal immigrants do know how to take care of themselves. They’re doctors, teachers, farmers. As I mentioned a few days ago, our agricultural subsidies have done terrible things to the Mexican economy. These people come to the US looking for work so their families could eat. They are not looking for a handout.
They are accused of taking American jobs. But the only reason employers hire them is because they don’t get in trouble for paying them far far below minimum wage and the workers don’t complain about poor working conditions for fear of being deported. Illegal immigrants are rarely paid enough to eat well, let alone get a decent place to live or buy health insurance.
People say that illegal immigrants don’t pay taxes, so why should they get health care? How can they pay taxes? Despite the long long hours they work, they usually don’t make enough to have to pay taxes.
Fixing this system should be a priority. But until then, taking care of these exploited people who pick our food and clean our businesses cannot be compared to giving away something for free. We should be ashamed of how we’ve treated illegal immigrants.