Republican gaslighting

Few circumstances make telling lies easier than the ignorance of the hearer. Back when President Obama was trying to get the Affordable Care Act off the ground it was a bit of common wisdom among low information Republicans that inside the United Kingdom the British National Health Service was universally despised. “Just ask any Brit,” the conservative refrain went, as the speaker desperately hoped the listener didn’t actually know any Brits to ask.

The myth they were trying to sell back then was that the average Briton lived in a state of perpetual envy of the American healthcare system, a claim so palpably, hilariously false that I cannot think of its equal. Every time I go to the doctor I leave my bank cards at home and bless the NHS — and I get first rate healthcare and free meds for my type II diabetes besides.

Of course Brits do grumble about the NHS anyway because that’s what they do. Nobody grumbles like a Briton. You wouldn’t be British if you didn’t grumble about something. But try taking their healthcare away from them and replace it with American-style healthcare for profit and get ready for the fight of your life. Nobody marches to the sound of gunfire quite like a Brit either.

The truth is that Britons feel sorry for their American cousins, those without healthcare coverage, those that must pay extortionate prices for a doctor visit and medication. It’s an international scandal and an outrage that Republican politicians in the hip pockets of lobbyists perpetuate this economic injustice, an injustice that continues despite the Obamacare inroads.

Which brings me to the price of gas, or what we call petrol over here. In America it’s gone up to a whopping four dollars a gallon! That is scandalous! Whatever are you going to do? I don’t blame you for being angry, nor can I altogether blame Republicans for blaming Joe Biden. I hope it brings you comfort to know that you have the world’s sympathy.

Except in France, of course, where they pay the equivalent of $7.93 for a gallon of gas. But heck, what do the French know, right? Oh, and don’t forget about the Netherlands, where they pay an extortionate $8.64 for a gallon of gas. No wonder those guys ride around on bicycles all the time!

Then there’s Sweden. In Sweden they pay a staggering $8.68 per gallon. But then they get taxed to death in Sweden, right? At least that’s what I hear. But then, how do you account for the price in Norway? It’s $10.19 there! I kid you not. Then there’s Hong Kong, where the price of a gallon of gas is $10.71?

Maybe I was wrong about Biden. In fact, maybe I’ve got it backwards. I know that the President of the United States doesn’t usually have much to do with gas prices, but he’s doing something right by releasing all those reserves and keeping the prices from going through the roof, like they are everywhere else, thanks to the runaway greed of the oil companies.

So what of Britain where I live, you ask? I’m glad you asked. I’ll tell you what. We’d give anything to pay what you pay in the good old US of A. We pay twice as much as you do, the equivalent of exactly 8 bucks a gallon. It’s somewhat disguised because it’s sold in litres and paid for with pounds Sterling, but that’s what it translates to.

So the next time a Republican tries to tell you that the price of gas is all Biden’s fault, tell them to stop gas gaslighting you. Tell them about what we in the rest of the world must pay, and thank your lucky stars that, in the United States, Republicans haven’t managed to do to the price of gas what they’ve done to the price of healthcare. Yet. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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