15 October 2009

An example of Right Wing Propaganda designed to fool progressive sense of fairness

I got this from a progressive correspondent who in turn had received it from another at least moderately progressive person. It's stealth propaganda, designed to appeal to a populist sense of fairness:

    Send it everyone you know.

    Please pass this on!!

    On Tuesday, the Senate health committee voted 12-11 in favor of a two-page amendment courtesy of Republican Tom Coburn that would require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan. It took me less than a minute to sign up to require our congressmen and senators to drink at the same trough!

    Three cheers for Congressman John Fleming of Louisiana !
    Congressman John Fleming ( Louisiana physician) has proposed an amendment that would require congressmen and senators to take the same healthcare plan they force on us (under proposed legislation they are curiously exempt).

    Congressman Fleming is encouraging people to go on his Website and sign his petition (very simple - just first, last and email). I have immediately done just that at: . Please urge as many people as you can to do the same!

    If Congress forces this on the American people, the Congressmen should have to accept the same level of health care for themselves and their families. 

It bugs me that clever propagandists can twist everything so effectively, and fool people who are a little too busy to really think things through. I'm sure the original author of this e-mail was some kind of Sickness Profiteering Company or Republican Party operative (I refuse to call them "health insurers"). It's not overt; it's insinuative, but if you read this carefully you'll realize that what it's really saying is, if you wanna "force" health care reform on us, you Congresscritters should have to take the same public option as you're proposing for the uninsured (not the options available to the 4/5 of Americans who are insured, including most likely me, never mind about that)....so, [implicitly], don't pass health care reform!

(Fleming and Coburn are particularly nasty Right-Wing Republicans, so that should be a clue). 

I'm quite sure that a tallyer at the Congressional office would tick off "another anti-reform e-mail". But it's cleverly worded and appeals to a sense of injustice, so it can easily fool people who are actually pro-reform. This kind of duplicity is typical Rovian tactics nowadays, and I just deplore it.

I've heard Democrats with a populist streak harping on this point (that Congress has good insurance, so they should have to take the worst option that health care reform will be making available to the currently uninsured (even though that's not what most employed people will get). There's no logic to this at all, and the reality is that it's hardly surprising that Congresspeople have good insurance. So do corporate executives. Of course it isn't totally fair (what is), but the insurance that 535 people, who are undeniably well off and privileged have
is really pretty irrelevant to what we as a nation should be doing about health care reimbursement and regulation. After all, they are so privileged, in part, by reason of their having been elected by the people to hold important office. 

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