I am writing to you regarding the November 11 cover of National Review. The allusion to Canto Three of Dante Alighieri’s Inferno of the Divine Comedy featured on the cover is much appreciated and rather appropriate given the ongoing health-care disaster that our country is currently having to endure. As a college Italian instructor and a great admirer of medieval Italian literature and poetry, I was, for lack of a better term, ecstatic to see such a superb literary reference grace the cover of my favorite periodical.
National Review’s cover echoes the final line on a sign that Dante and his guide Virgil encounter upon their entrance and subsequent descent into Hell: “Abandon all hope, you who enter here” — “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate.” It is important to note that there is a rather striking dichotomy between Dante’s journey through the Inferno and our having to endure the ill-conceived and pernicious Affordable Care Act. While Dante’s trek through the Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise resulted ultimately in enlightenment, understanding, and personal growth, Obamacare will afford us none of this. It will, most unfortunately, merely serve as a perdurable punishment from which we cannot be extricated. Unlike the misfortunes of many of Dante’s sinners, though, this misfortune is not due to any sin of our own, but results from the inherent destructive nature of the Machiavellian regime to which we are subjected.