We Are So Damned Stupid

2009 August 19

by Wesley M. Brown

These words have been ringing in my ears for the last week or so. No matter what network I watch, the news is the same: nationalized health care is going to fail. We are so damned stupid.

Only in America could a 75 year old Medicare recipient stand up shakily at a town hall meeting and yell at her Congressman that she didn’t want any government bureaucrat interfering in her health care matters. She is misinformed, and an idiot to boot.

I think the reasons for this failure are surprisingly simple.

1.Spin – At least since the late 1970’s, Republicans have outgunned the Democrats on spin on almost every national issue. Thirty years of poison have convinced the “average” voter that a prototypical Democrat is a gay, handicapped, multiracial, unionized abortionist just waiting to take his subsidized public bus ride into the minds of all decent Americans. Physicians, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies all believe that they stand to lose the most from nationalized health care, so our citizens have taken to yelling at government. As you can see, our logic is both clear and unassailable.

2.Disingenuousness – Obama seems to be a more or less honest guy, like most of us. But, his spin over the last 6 months about government health care was disingenuous on one major point. He said from the very beginning that if people were happy with their insurance they could stay with it. Those who were unhappy or uninsured could buy in to a government plan. However, of those who are not sufficiently entitled to current government health care (i.e. Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), many are typically receiving coverage from their employers in some form. Since one of the reasons General Motors went into Chapter 11 bankruptcy is the continuing “legacy” health care costs of retirees and the current health care costs of current employees, name one employer nationwide who wouldn’t push employees into the government plan as soon as possible? Even if employers still had to contribute to government health care, much like social security, the savings to them would be tremendous(Imagine the difference between paying $1200.00 monthly for a family policy on a $100,000.00 employee currently and paying 7.65% of his/her salary to a government plan instead. The savings are nearly half). Obama failed miserably in not educating employers how incredibly advantageous this would be to stop private coverage and push all employees into a government plan, even if that plan required employer and employee contributions to pay the premiums.

3.Simplicity – Obama also failed by allowing congressmen and senators back to their districts with only a 10,000 page bill of legalese to explain. Since no one actually read the bill, most representatives just stood at podiums nationwide while their constituents heaped fear and abuse upon them.   We are not a terribly bright country in most respects. Hard working, generous, hopeful, friendly; all describe us well. But not high-brow. We need a short catch phrase to remember in any debate. FDR’s people knew this well: “Chicken in Every Pot”, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”, “The New Deal”. All evoked a specific feeling about a matter even though no one, least of all FDR, likely knew what these phrases actually meant. Obama’s people failed to deliver him a simple catch phrase to repeat endlessly about the health care crisis. “Knick Knack Paddywhack, We will fix your aching back”, “Hey Diddle Diddle, Your Prostate makes you Piddle.” “Jack and Jill went up the Hill to argue with their HMO about fertility treatments” “There was an Old Woman Who lived in a Shoe because her Health Care Premiums were Too High”

If I can think of several phrases off the top of my head, why the hell couldn’t three layers of ivy-league lawyers and policy wonks at the White House likewise create a competent and consistent message and explanation that could fit on the back of a cereal box?

Like I said, we are so damned stupid.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Sebastian Melmouth permalink
    August 25, 2009

    I am following this “debate” closely but probably cannot (easily) explain what the “public option” is.
    Because I am dumb. Or, more specifically, because I have been dumbed down. All I know is that Dems are for something, Repubs are against it. I am a liberal, which means usually I am for the side that Dems are on (even though they are not often liberal.) For and against. Polarization leading to bi-polar is nation.
    That said, on a related note, I’m so thrilled that Michelle “Bat-shit crazy” Bachmann has finally seen the light and joined our pro-choice movement with her comments earlier this week: “That’s why people need to continue to go to the town halls, continue to melt the phone lines of their liberal members of Congress, and let them know, under no certain circumstances will I give the government control over my body and my health care decisions.”

  2. renae permalink
    September 21, 2009

    anyone who democrat in this last election is stupid . you are so stupid you just can’t see what is happening to your country . i hope to heck you are satisfied. you will be paying for all the illegal cockroaches healthcare while you yourselves will do without. you’re stupid. just plain stupid.

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