Can we be done with beauty pageants? Please?

Since we aren’t yet, I want to address some of the comments that the new Miss USA made when answering questions. I’m not saying she shouldn’t have said them. I simply think she’s in error.

The one that’s making waves to me is her statement that healthcare is a privilege. You know what? She’s right. It is. Because healthcare has become so advanced it can also be incredibly expensive. I get that. Not all of us will always get the care we need or in a timely manner. That’s to be expected when we have so much need and a shortage of trained professionals. I get it. Ideally, everyone would always be covered.

Where I think she’s wrong is tying healthcare to jobs. To me, she’s being portrayed as conservative, but I think that is an incredibly short-sighted application of conservative ideals (note our current Congress for similar short-sightedness). The job market has changed to the point where full-time careers are less common. Tying healthcare to a specific type of job is nuts.

On top of that, that healthcare is actually a burden on corporations. Around the world, other countries with nationalized healthcare don’t have that added expense—and it’s a massive one. Business should be pushing for something sensible that takes some of the burden off of them.

Also, as a nation (and I hate thinking nationally—I am by definition a globalist, something I consider just being realistic based on the way economics works), what you want most, to be the most productive, is the ability to be productive. A healthy workforce with access to preventative healthcare is how you can help improve productivity. That, to me, should be a conservative ideal as well.

The bigger issue I had with her comments, though, was that she shuns the term feminist, using instead “equalism”. This is, frankly, bullshit: it shows that the strawperson version of feminism as portrayed by right-wing hacks is winning the battle of words. She hinted that feminism equates to hating men. That couldn’t be further from the truth: feminism is dedicated, in its broadest sense, to that radical notion that men and women should be treated equally. You know, what you’re trying to shoehorn into that made-up word of yours.

What disturbs me is that this kind of thinking is considered thinking. It’s shallow consideration of popular issues without any questioning of self or consistency of ethics. It’s the label of conservatism like a uniform rather than the philosophy of it. And, even though I’m center-left, I believe a healthy, not-insane conservatism is something our nation desperately needs.

We don’t seem to be moving in that direction.