Friday, August 14, 2009

Waiting for 2010 #92: Death Panels! Dun, Dun, DUN!

If you follow an ideology that uses fear-based tactics to counter your opponent's proposals, then you might want to rethink what you're following. Fear-mongering solves nothing, but delays real progress. Yes, I know that this (hopefully short) rant is full of generalities and truisms.

Whatever the outcome of the health care debate or the cash-for-clunkers program or anything proposed by the Federal Government, in all likelihood, the United States of America will not "descend" into a "Marxist dystopia." Rather, the simplest possibility is also the likeliest: The economic downturn will fully recover (as it is recovering currently for many, at least anecdotally); the recovery will become a prosperity in at least one industry sector (maybe in new sources of energy, perhaps); the prosperity will become a greedy cash grab; the cash grab will become a burst bubble; the burst bubble will become a mild to severe downturn; the Administration and/or majority party in power will be blamed for the downturn; voters will vote another party into office with their perceptively "different" ideas; the cycle begins again in America but with different details. That's what happened before, what's happening now, and what will likely happen in the future.

Why am I saying this? Remember that Dick Cheney (or at least our perception of the former V.P.) never fully implemented a totalitarian government in the U.S.A., nor did his alleged shadow government extend the Bush Administration for a third term. Instead, the man has written a book that reportedly throws his old "boss" Bush under the bus. Don't worry; as the cycle goes around again, the American people will see more Cheney-types in the future.

Fear-based agendas (for those "in charge") and fear-based beliefs (for those who follow) will get you nowhere (at the very least) or take you and others in a bad, sad direction (at the very worst). If you come up with feasible solutions, and even if you're ultimately wrong or defeated, well, at least you contributed to progress.

So back to health care, and opponents of President Obama's health care reform plan (which I still support) who can come up with rational (or at least reasonable) counterarguments: Right now, private health insurers may ration benefits to cut costs. A future government-run option might do the same, for the same economic reason. The difference, according to a possible anti-Obama argument, is that you can sue a private insurer, but you can't sue the government. And I have to hand it to this hypothetical; it's a good point. (I credit ABC News reporter Jake Tapper via Twitter for this insight.)

And so it goes that there exists opponents who aren't "Deathers." The Deathers are just really loud. I ask the proponents to debate non-Deather opponents and to start ignoring the fear-based fringe (of whatever ideological wing). I implore everyone who wants wisdom, positivity, and prosperity to ignore the fearmongers. Here's to progress. Here's to solutions!

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