Late last month, in the run up to the the health-care exchanges going live, MSNBC producer Stefanie Cargill and I went to Belmont, N.C., to ask folks what they knew and thought about the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. Whether they were for it or against it, they were all confused by it. But three weeks after that trip, the conversation I had with David Jackson at the Belmont General Store still rings in my ears.
Ben Carson’s succinct remarks about Obamacare at the Values Voters summit last week were slightly more incendiary than anything Jackson said. “You know, Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” Carson said Friday. “And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.” The man who felt comfortable unfurling the Confederate flag in front of the White House on Sunday took more action to protest President Obama than Jackson probably ever will.
But Jackson’s forceful denunciation of Obamacare and the fact-challenged conspiracy theories he harbors show that he shares with the Confederate flag waver and Carson a troubling view of President Obama that goes far beyond quarrels over the health care law. They don’t like him. They don’t trust him. And they think he’s destroying America.