Demagogues

Healthcare: Why Can't We Get the Congressional Option?

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

There's at least one thing that Republicans do much better than Democrats, and that's marketing their initiatives. It doesn't matter how regressive the idea, Republicans manage to frame it in a way that if you oppose it you look like you're either degenerate, or at the very least, un-American. For example, instead of accurately calling themselves "The Order of Religious Bigots Dedicated to Shoving Our Version of God Down America's Throat," they market their insanity as "The Moral Majority," and instead of being honest and calling themselves "The Public Vagina Brigade," they call themselves "The Right to Life" proponents (even though they're willing to let that very same life starve to death after it's born). Conservatives get a lot of milage out of their creativity in this area, and progressives would do well to follow suit.

The initiative to legalize same-sex marriage would have been much more marketable, for example, if it had been dubbed "The Right to Love."  And the same is true of healthcare reform. Proponents of a public option for healthcare could make life a lot more difficult for opponents in congress if instead of calling it "The Public Option" they simply dubbed it "The Congressional Option" - that way the issue would be self-explanatory. It would force every member of congress who placed the interest of the insurance industry over the welfare of his or her constituents to explain why they want to deny the American people the opportunity to opt into the exact same plan that congress and their families enjoy.

But I only bring this issue up as an introduction to a much more serious problem - demagoguery. All of the public manipulation above is symptomatic of a system that's out of control. It's a clear example of how politicians who are suppose to represent the people, are using marketing and public manipulation to feather their own nests.

The Moral Strangulation of America

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

The Moral Strangulation of America 

In my last article I pointed out that the character of America is being fundamentally changed. In less than two generations we've gone from citizens who were politically engaged and socially aware, to zombies who simply accept what we're being told by our favorite demagogues. We've gone from citizens who held our politicians' feet to the fire, to a group of cattle who allow our politicians to dictate what is, and what isn't, off the table - in spite of our instinctive clamor for the simple adherence to the law. We've allowed politicians to go from representatives with the single mandate of do our biding, to so-called leaders who dictate to us what's in our best interest. As a direct result, the script has been flipped - we now define what's in the people's best interest, by what's in the best interest of the politicians who are supposed to defer us.

GOP Underestimates Conservative America

 

Promoted. Originally posted 2009-04-10 18:28:19 -0500. -- GH

 

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

 

GOP Underestimates Conservative America

While President Obama is going about his valiant and statesman-like attempt to rescue America and restore our image at home and abroad, the GOP politics as usual, diehard operatives are acting like spoiled brats determined to undermine the president–and America's–effort. But in their blind attempt to regain power they seem to have forgotten one important fact–the vast majority of true conservatives are fiercely loyal Americans, and don't share their view of power at any cost.

While "true conservatives" have a vastly different view from "true liberals" regarding the policies that make America great, the two groups have one very important thing in common–both groups understand that even as we indulge in our sibling rivalry, we are all Americans--family–which means the viability of our nation and proud American traditions must come first.