Sergei Ivanovich tells an Ohio Medicaid employee: “sisters need little pep talk for abortion” (Check out Mr. O’Keefe’s very solid and entertaining as hell work here at theprojectveritas.org)
James O’Keefe, you magnificent bastard. The stuff he comes up with — the random details (e.g. the sports car, the gold engine, etc.) — really adds a flavor and absurdity to his stories. Delicious stuff. (Like when you let the syrup from your pancakes mix into your eggs. Nasty, but awesome…)
As much as he exposes the corruption within this institution, O’Keefe also highlights the cultural disconnect between the moral relativism of progressive social policies and the black and white moral values of yesteryear where right was right and wrong was wrong. For example, when a walk-in client says I’m trying to game the system to get Medicaid money and help out my underage prostitute sisters, can you help me? — it’s NOT ethical or moral to aid this person. You’re justified to call the cops, people! You’re justified to tell this person he’s a sick S.O.B. I’d be disappointed if you didn’t.
It’s one thing to say that we want to live a life where we’re tolerant of others and their quirky mannerisms and belief systems, and as long as people aren’t doing anything illegal, immoral, or fattening, it’s all good. I subscribe to that. I don’t care how people live their private lives. I’m not curious and the less I know the better. I don’t want to know about anyone else’s life. But then you see the Medicaid lady in this first clip who tells the Russians that in order to get Medicaid they shouldn’t volunteer that they’re drug dealers or own an expensive car, and should just say they’re ‘babysitters’ because that’s the most expedient way of screwing the system without attracting attention. When confronted with one preposterous and shady scenario after another presented by the Russians, the Medicaid employee has no qualms whatsoever and acts like she’s seen it all before and has helped people do worse.
The Russians are telling her that they have two underage sisters who are working as prostitutes, and there’s no impulse on the woman’s part to say, “What??” And why does she not respond with a furrowed brow? Why does she not rush to a coworker and say, Help me out, these Russian weirdos are up to no good! Would that instinct be too Christian conservative? Would that seem too on my high horse and preaching?
The undermining of religion as an institution, it seems, has served to also undermine the our instincts about living a just and moral life. People no longer ask about ethics and morality. They merely find ways to justify whatever crazy behavior they desire to pursue. You can be an atheist libertarian, and still seek to live a moral life. There’s no conflict there (except for the Bill Maher “liberaltine-uh-tarryians”. In short, where have we gone as a society and culture when we’re too afraid to make a moral judgment about something out of fear that we might be judging ? (Alternatively, and more frightening, the employees shown in O’Keefe’s exposes don’t care about ethics, and even consider the Russians to be fine, upstanding citizens).