24 Oranges first picked up the story, which one of my FB friends linked to: Rick Santorum, now a "serious contender" for the presidency (and I swear, I wish I could say that that was a typo), says that the Dutch practice euthanasia on the elderly.
Which is ridiculous, and Reddit has already done a thorough refutation of everything that Santorum said about the Dutch. Starting with "wearing special bracelets". Dude--the Holocaust is still within living memory, and Karel's parents still remember the Dutch famine of '44-45. We are so not going there.
There are a whole host of other things about Santorum's quote that rubs me the wrong way. "Elderly people in the Netherlands don't go the hospital, they go to another country", for starters. I live closer to the Germany than I do to Amsterdam. If I do need urgent medical care, it is actually pretty reasonable for me to seek it in Germany. Happily, we live in a city serviced by a major medical center, so I don't need to learn another language.
Now, to be fair, it is easy to point to the Netherlands, with all of the hash and hookers, and say, "What a degenerate country!" But if you look beyond that, to see how people who actually live here actually live, it's quite the opposite. You can point to the ridiculously long wait times for elective procedures (one month to get a wisdom tooth extracted, for instance) as evidence that socialized medical systems suck, but honestly--it's an elective procedure. It's not like it's going to kill me if I wait another month. It's like tossing out a Maserati because a bird crapped on the hood.
Right now, the US is embroiled in another "controversy" over mandatory birth control coverage for women who want it. Detractors have framed it as a question of religious freedom, which sort of begs the question: if a Catholic woman wants birth control, are they then suggesting that she can no longer be Catholic? Or to put it another way: what better way to celebrate religious freedom, than to let people decide how they want to practice it?
All of which gets lost on morons like the ones that are (God knows why, I've long given up trying to understand the Republican psyche) running for the highest office of one of the most powerful nations on the earth. Perhaps I didn't actually drop me brain. Probably it fled rather than confront the idiocy.