Thursday, August 13, 2009

Reassurance

I have for the last couple of days been wondering how so many American citizens have been so ignorant about things. Has it always been this way? Maybe. How can they fall for the Limbaughs and Becks of the world? How can they work against their own self interests in such a potentially catastrophic way? Why are they this ignorant? My friend Rodger says that it is because of the instant media reaction that occurs everyday on a 24 hour basis. Couple that with the internet and blogs (count me as a blog) and you have people who don't think very hard. They just react.

But then Bobbi and I went to see the movie "Julie and Julia" on Wednesday evening and I felt a little more assured that just maybe many of the misled(and lazy) people might figure out the truth. I say this because in this cute movie about Julia Child and a modern day blogger who cooks all her recipes there was some mention of the effects of the McCarthy era in the 1950s. That guy did a lot of damage and hurt a lot of American people. Probably aided and abetted by a timid and lazy media. But, in the end he was discredited by Edward R. Murrow and CBS news, and a few other courageous journalists who managed to push the truth out through all the garbage. I hope some like them will pop out soon. Real soon.

In the meantime I marvel at the mostly white middle class folks who are turning out at these health insurance town halls. Why are they so angry? They are just mostly ignorant and the Congress and Obama trying to rush through a health insurance program in just a few months didn't help.

3 comments:

Bosque Bill said...

Seems to me that the health care reform lies are simply a focus point for deep seated insecurities (racism among them) exacerbated by the last election.

These folks who believed they had a friend in bush and cheney now feel helpless and betrayed. So they act out, encouraged by the extreme right-wing commentators who parade lies and opinion as fact.

Ignorant? I may have misremembered the number slightly, but in a recent poll 11% of conservatives in North Carolina didn't even know Hawaii is a state.

They listen all day only to those who reinforce their distorted view of the world - nuts like Limbaugh, Beck, and now Dobbs. (CNN how far you have fallen.) These folks would never see a reasoned opinion or statement of the facts by the mainstream media - even assuming the major networks would provide such.

The mob mentality is disturbing. Shouting down someone who might, possibly disagree with you in a public forum is not democracy-in-action, yet they will wave the flag and accuse the American President of being a Nazi (maybe because even they realize they cannot get away with that other 'N' word in public - I guess we have made some progress since the 1950s.)

Even more scary is the ready adoption of tactics clearly intended to terrorize our duly elected officials by those calling themselves "patriots." I doubt that most of the "mostly white middle class folks who are turning out at these health insurance town halls" are planning violence, but their actions (gleefully supported by the Republican Party) encourage those who would commit mayhem and assault on politicians and fellow citizens.

It is a sad, sad day for America.

Stark Raving Zen said...

I'm a better person for having found this blog. Thank you for contributing. It helps restore my faith in America, at least a little bit. I'll be a resident of NM in less than 6 weeks. (We're moving to Raton.) I look forward to keeping up with your entries here. Thanks again.

Hank Lacey said...

Jim, I agree to some extent with what you write, but I have to argue when you say President Obama and Congress are hurrying too much.

Health insurance reform has been on the national political agenda since the Truman administration. For at least fifty years we have been arguing about how to get all Americans access to affordable and quality health care. And it was no surprise that Obama would push reform; he said during the campaign that he would. The Democratic platform has had it as a plank since, well, Truman's time.

The real question, I think, is why the Democrats, especially in the Senate, are so timid. They don't need 60 votes to pass health care reform. They can use reconciliation for at least part of what's necessary. Does anyone doubt the GOP would do it that way? I mean, that's how they got Bush's tax cuts through.

There are lots of people out there who placed faith in the Democrats. I've been one basically all my adult life, and this is a defining moment. The party must be true to its ideals and commitments, or it has no hope of keeping the momentum it generated in 2006 and 2008.

I don't necessarily think that a public option is indispensable, and am willing to consider Kent Conrad's cooperative idea, but it is essential to end discriminatory insurer practices and incentives leading to the denial of care.

And, yes, the White House needs to be reaching out in all forms of media to get its story out. Obama should not fear confronting a guy like Dobbs. And I think we really do need to reinstate the fairness doctrine, btw, which would prevent the sort of deterioration that has so obviously begun to ruin CNN.