A typical post on Facebook for me gets five, maybe six likes. This one last night had 15:

“I hate to be overtly political all of the time, but the crowd at this debate just cheered “yes!” when Wolf Blitzer asked if a 30 year old man with no health insurance should be allowed to die because he can’t afford treatment. That is disgusting and fundamentally wrong and if you believe it, you should be ashamed. What’s wrong with America?”

The saying goes “obvious troll is obvious,” but I don’t think that was a troll. And though I’m terrified by it, I truly think that there are people out there who believe that someone who cannot afford health care, as a result of having not purchased health insurance, should be allowed to die.

I believe the question posed to Ron Paul —“If an uninsured 30-year-old man has an accident, under your health care plan, who would pay for it?” — was intended to tease out a reasonable response from the arguably moderate (if die-hard libertarian counts as moderate) statesman.

Here is the truly staggering part: While I hate false promises, the ethical principles that we as a developed democracy generally follow are important to me. All Ron Paul had to say to that question was something politically popular, something to the effect of “I, with the thousands of dollars I make as a doctor, would see that his bill won’t exceed a level beyond which he could pay.” That’s all Paul needed to say, and he didn’t. He said, “In a society that you accept ‘welfarism’ and socialism, [the hypothetical man in a coma] expects the government to take care of him.” He was cut short by Blitzer who reiterated that the question was meant to determine what Paul, as a presidential candidate, wanted to happen to hypothetical man, not what the man expected from the government. Paul responded, “Well, what he should do is whatever he wants to do and assume responsibility for himself and my advice to him would be to have a major medical policy …”

Wolf Blitzer, after that remark, corners Paul into answering the question. And the most frustrating thing is that the whole time I watched him fumble for words, I knew the “invisible hand” would dictate what he said. “Well, the man would die. He’s part of the demand curve that can’t pay for the quantity demanded at the market equilibrium.” Paul said instead that it’s all part of free choice, a remark to which Wolf Blitzer responded, “So should society allow him to die?” The crowd screamed “yes.” And I don’t mean a person in the crowd screamed “yes.” Multiple people actually screamed “yes.” That goes beyond pissing me off. That contests the entirety of basic human ethics and those people should be ashamed, if not mortified.

It brought to mind former Florida Rep. Alan Grayson’s bold remark that the Republican health care plan dictates that either you don’t get sick, or if you do, die quickly. Obviously Grayson meant it as a joke, but I never thought the joke would materialize into something that people actually support. I’m not stupid enough to believe that “don’t get sick, die quickly” is the Republican plan for health care and I truly don’t ever bash political parties, but I also don’t consider the Tea Party an actual political party. I consider it a largely misinformed, strangely populous movement that’s driven by falsified graphs which carry misspelled biblical verses on large signs and pictures of Obama with a bone through his nose, all while being led by people who never know which camera they should be looking at. And apparently, some of them believe that a man who has no health care should just be allowed to die. That’s not libertarian logic; that’s Somali, no-government, failed-state logic.

I was fortunate enough to grow up, as my mother put it, with “health care and chicken,” but certainly not naive enough to believe that everyone is as fortunate as I. I frequently heard people express the opinion “I don’t believe in free health care” when I would help with auctions for a southwestern Virginia free clinic. And I always had the snarky comment ready, but which I never said: “You only say that now because you don’t need it.” There are people in this country working three jobs to support the children whom their cheating spouses left them with, and yet you’ve got the balls to say that they “should have a major medical plan — it’s all part of free choice.” Not one candidate who’s ever been in a presidential debate could, if asked the same question posed to Paul, at that time not afford a major medical plan. What a crock of shit for anyone — Democrat or Republican — to suggest that a dying patient “should have just bought a major medical plan” or “should just pay for it and quit asking the government.”

Think before you speak, people. If you were watching that debate in the hospital knowing you were missing a minimum wage shift you needed to pay the bill, how would that make you feel?