PR

Primordial Astroturf and Operation Coffeecup: Ronald Reagan waged AMA's war on 'socialized medicine' in the kitchen

Operation Coffeecup: Ronald Reagan’s Effort to Prevent the Enactment of Medicare

The bright lights that sweat the brows of posturing politicians usually avoid throwing shadows onto the curtains that obscure their campaign machines.  Recent elections have provided more than enough evidence for how ugly it can get behind the scenes.

But President Ronald Reagan was so effective in the emotional appeal of his persona that, no matter the legacy, the images of the Reagan era have inescapably haunted his followers ever since. 

As I've learned to peer behind the curtains to understand what is really intended by the holograph at the podium, more often, than not, it's another alumnus of the Reagan-Bush White House that I find piping messages about the shining city on the hill into the wireless microphone. 

The need for Reaganist appeal is apparently vast and marketable.  At least enough to create an entire industry and lifetime careers pitching policy dreams and nightmares through 'third-party' astroturfing and PR campaigns for moving just enough of public opinion to enable boots-on-the-ground lobbyists to convince elected officials to their objectives at thousand dollar a plate fundraisers.  Modern astroturfing includes forests of policy think tanks that launder the industry message through anti-tax or 'freedom' philosophical arguments and then push their expert opinion through cable news and Sunday talk shows to be picked up and carried on the banners of outraged 'non-partisan, non-profit' corporate-funded fronts of grassroots activists.

How fascinating it is to find that Ronald Reagan was a 'third-party' message-launderer of the American Medical Association's fight against the evil of socialized medicine, now known as Medicare.