[Image from here.]
Monday, July 9, 2012
[Image from here.]
You'd think, as we read of astronomic and repetitive contributions to Rs by a small cadré of very wealthy men (in amounts that make George Soros, over whom the RWS™ were apoplectic, look like a piker*), that normal people would wonder what it is those guys think they're getting for their money. Wonder how likely it is that they have the good of regular people in mind. Wonder what it means for democracy if it's in the hands of the very few and the very rich. I'm pretty sure they're not in it to tighten controls on emissions, hire more teachers, or for rules to prevent banks from ruining us again. Yes, you'd think people would wonder...
But, it appears, you'd be wrong.
Meanwhile, I'm pondering a conversation I had the other day with a friend who happens to be a cop. He's concerned about health care because, in his forties, he's considering retiring and finding a new job. About to have an operation, he's also worried about future insurance coverage. I mentioned that, absent the ACA, he might have had trouble getting insurance again in a new job. When I referred to what I assumed was known to everyone, namely that the ACA is based on Romney's plan in Massachusetts, which, in turn, came from a powerful conservative think-tank, he said he hadn't heard that.
Being one, and hanging with people who are immersed in political news, it surprised me, and I've been wondering what it means. Is it a sign of how ill-informed people are; does it mean, like so many voters, he gets his news from a dishonest non-source like Fox? Or is it just that normal people aren't paying attention yet. If not, will they at some point?
What I'm thinking is maybe the situation isn't as irreversibly dire as it appears. A guy like that -- he's thoughtful, kind, a family guy, honest, does what's right, a good neighbor -- might indicate there's still an opportunity for Obama and Ds to educate people. In a sensible world, having truth on their side ought to be an advantage. So maybe it's just a matter of getting the message out, wider and deeper, more clear and concise.
Which comes back to rumination #1. That's what those plutocrats have in mind: drowning out the truth, blanketing the airwaves with misinformation so that guys like that cop will never know what's going on. Well, that, and buying economic, environmental, education, and energy policy for this and generations to come.
Based on history, there's not a lot of reason to believe that Ds are capable of coming anywhere near the unified and simplistic messaging behind which every R falls in, word for word, bumper-sticker ready. I've seen studies that show when people are actually informed what's in the ACA, for example, they like it. But the explanations take more breath than "socialism" and "government takeover;" and, whereas unlike those cute phrases those explanations happen to be true, they aren't nearly as catchy. Hard to get the message out from under the cash in which The Rominee will be rolling.
But it's not just about health care reform: it's about pretty much everything the right-wing scream machine and Mitt Romney say about President Obama -- he's a socialist Nazi Muslim America-hating anti-capitalist plant who's making things worse, sent to destroy us all. Even their strange-named party chairman has bought in; has been bought, paid to descend to the depths along with the worst of them. Can there be any doubt about today's Republican party and its mendacity?
Meanwhile, lingering above it all, there's the age-old question: if the truth falls in a forest, will a teabagger hear?
*Let's not forget that, unlike The Rominee's billionaire string-pullers, George Soros was giving his support to ideas that went against his singular interests. He was for regulations, for environmental protection, for universal health care. Stuff that would take money out of his pocket. For the -- what's it called again? -- oh yeah. The public good.