Our Republican representatives in Congress are participating in a real-life Milgram experiment. This one will affect well over 20 million of our fellow Americans, causing real pain, suffering and, in some instances, death. The Senate will vote on their Obamacare repeal at some point in the near future, and the House has already voted on – and approved – their own version.
In Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram’s well-known experiments in the 1960’s, a volunteer “teacher” was put in a room with an authority figure in a white coat who told the volunteer to administer shocks to a “student” in the next room (actually an experiment accomplice) every time they got a wrong answer in a test. It’s chilling that 65% of the volunteers continued to administer increasingly severe shocks up to an astounding 450 volts, while hearing the cries of agony from the “student” in the next room. The test subject volunteers were convinced the person in the next room was really receiving the shocks. They continued because an authority figure exhorted them to keep going.
For Senators and Representatives, the cries of agony are real, heard from many of their constituents. But even after being told the real-life effect of repealing Obamacare by their constituents, and later, the Congressional Budget Office, a whopping 92% of Republican members of Congress still voted to repeal healthcare for millions to give tax cuts to the rich. This in spite of the fact that the majority of Americans want the Affordable Care Act to continue and be improved.
In this real-life experiment, the authority figures are Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, rich donors like the Koch brothers, and President Trump.
Milgram performed the studies to measure obedience to authority figures, even when that obedience meant going against one’s own conscience.
Assuming that inflicting real pain, suffering and hardship on millions of their fellow Americans goes against the conscience of most members of Congress, only time will tell how obedient they are.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7