Commentators love when someone – anyone – responds to an article. Mind you, those responses are few and far between. Some are supportive, some are not, and others are quite hostile. I tend to laugh at the hostile responses, usually from the radical side of their political positions, right and left, because of atrocious spelling (spell check people!), lack of logic and vague citations for their information.
Persuasion is defined as the attempt (successful or not) to change an audience’s or individual’s point of view or opinion, or it is a call to specific action, using reason, proofs and passion.
Propaganda is persuasion. It can be “good,” like commercials for your favorite soap. It can be “bad,” like a call for immoral and despicable acts. Propaganda uses fear and danger as its tools, emotion as its proofs, anger as its passion and mass media as its communication. Some extremists have learned to use propaganda very well.
Extreme conservatives’ newest sweetheart, Sarah Palin, has mastered propaganda well. As have Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and many other far-right pundits. All have become experts in using fear and danger as their sole tools to extinguish anything that may be slightly left of their extreme right-wing positions. They are excellent at name-calling, making allegations without proof and distorting the “truth” to anger their listeners and readers.
The attacks include calling the proposed health care panel a “death panel.” That HR 3200 will encourage (I heard “demand” on a talk show this week) euthanasia. That rationing of medical treatments and drugs is inevitable. That those who support any form of universal health care are socialists, communists, fascists and Nazis (sometimes all at the same time), and it will cost more in the end than health insurance does now.
There is an irony here. The insurance and drug industries are supporting the health care initiative. They understand that things must change if they are to remain in business. They understand that the public is more upset with them than the government. They see savings and profits from health care reform. And, like my 11-year-old grandson, they want someone else to do the work. The only hesitation they have is the “Public Option.” It will create a new level of competition that insurers and drug companies are not use to.
The right-wing talking heads misrepresent foreign universal health care systems with horror stories of people waiting for treatment, treatment rationing and denials. For every Canadian, French or English health care horror story one hears, I can give you 10 concerning the horrors of private health insurance in the states.
In 1996 while visiting Canada, I became ill. I waited about an hour to see a doctor, was examined for almost 40 minutes and was released with medication for an infection paid for by the Canada Health Act, “Medicare.” The majority of my Canadian friends, liberal and conservatives alike, would not give up their “Medicare” for a U.S.-style system.
If you are concerned about who is monitoring and controlling your health care, demand the removal of the current HMO laws. Today, nonmedical “professionals,” who are reading from manuals designed in part by actuaries, are determining your treatment, care and pharmaceuticals. HMOs have a chokehold on you, and some want more. Masochists!
“Health care reform is vital for all uninsured patients living in the U.S., particularly the hard-working Americans who don’t have access to the health care they need. In fact, 8 in 10 uninsured… are in working families,” said Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, of the American Medical Association.
Our Constitution says, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union… promote the general Welfare…” In 1789, welfare was defined as “health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being.” Our Founding Fathers knew that if the country is not healthy, prosperity cannot be achieved.
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. He welcomes your comments at ProfDave1011@netscape.net.