In a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 46 percent of Americans “say it would be better to pass the president’s plan and make changes to the nation’s health care system, versus 45 percent who would prefer not to pass it and keep the system as it is now.” “Americans are also split” on whether a vote for the overhaul bill would be better or worse for their congressional representative’s re-election chances.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve become increasingly disgusted and disillusioned with the debate over health care reform. If it was a simple matter of disagreement, I could understand and get behind that. After all, disagreement and debate are part and parcel of a healthy democracy. Where we are now, though, is at a place where rational, dispassionate discussion and debate have long since left the building. Those who oppose health care reform have gone far beyond debate to a place ruled by fear, ignorance, propaganda, and disinformation. The endgame is no longer what’s best for Americans, but what’s best for those will to fill the empty minds of those who don’t know (and don’t care to know) with the vilest, most egregious propaganda imaginable. Those on the Right who oppose health care reform understand that most Americans have neither the time nor the inclination to fully wrap their head around the concept…which, if you think about it, is something that’s really in the interest of most Americans. Since most Americans can’t be bothered to inform themselves, they’re empty vessels liable to be filled with whatever outrageous lies and propaganda that speaks to their ignorance and prejudice.
We’ve become a nation of fools, a collection on boobs who will buy anything, no matter how outrageous or dishonest, if it appeals to our prejudice and/or fear. A Republican congressman can advocate for revolution against the current government, and a significant portion of the population will take the call seriously. Tea partiers can descend on Washington carrying signs that put forth the most ignorant and offensive propaganda imaginable, and the Mainstream Media treats them as if they have a legitimate argument. Republicans in Congress act in ways that speak to their lack of shame, no one calls them on it.
This may officially be a representative democracy, but in reality we’re ruled by those skilled at manipulating the fear and ignorance of those who simply can’t be bothered to pay attention and make an informed decision. Our government is in the hands of propagandists and manipulators who know that the Big Lie and the right talking points will carry the day if employed skillfully.
In general, Americans are simply too stupid and lazy to pay attention to important things, things that will impact them directly and daily. Ultimately, we will get what we deserve, which is far less than what we could be getting. If we’re going to leave the heavy lifting to the propagandists, the manipulators, and the liars, we can’t claim to be surprised when we end up with something that really only benefits entrenched corporate and political interests. We could have so much more…if we weren’t so stupid, lazy, and inattentive to what’s being done in our name.
Tune in tomorrow when I turn WWJD into a gardening blog….