Tuesday, November 16, 2010

It's the Ignorance, Stupid

Carpetbagger's got a post about how an incoming Republican Congressman who opposed "Obamacare" is upset that he has to wait 28-days before his taxpayer-subsidized healthcare kicks in, and suggests that it's wrong that this dude wants his taxpayer-funded healthcare while opposing it for everyone else.  And the vast majority of comments on that post insist that this guy is a hypocrite with an "I've got mine, screw everyone else" attitude.

But there's a much better explanation for this: He geniunely thinks "Obamacare" is a bad law that will vastly increase the deficit and destroy healthcare.  It's not that he wants some great healthcare that he's denying to others.  He imagines that the healthcare law is far worse than the status quo because that's what he's been told by people he trusts.  And if the people he's been listening to were correct, then there's absolutely nothing wrong with him wanting good healthcare while trying to save America from horrible healthcare.

And this is a part of the debate that too many liberals/progressives are completely missing.  They keep attacking Republicans for wanting to deny healthcare to people, while Republicans truly believe that they're doing the right thing.  And so we're talking right passed each other; with both sides insisting that we're trying to protect Americans.

Compounding the Ignorance

And of course, the worst problem we've had is that the progressives who shout the loudest in attacking hypocrites and liars have spent the vast majority of their energies attacking Obama for being a lying hypocrite.  And rather than exposing the "Obamacare" lies for what they are, they essentially joined ranks with Republicans in trying to kill it.  And even now, neither of these groups really knows what the bill will do because they're both so positive that it's worse than nothing. 

And for us, the focus shouldn't be on us pushing our POV, but rather, finding out what the other side is saying and addressing those issues.  Calling this guy a hypocrite might feel good, but that's not the problem here.  His problem is that he's listening to the wrong people.  And if our only solution is to personally attack him for something he's too ignorant to be right about, then all we'll do is push him further away and allow him to remain in his ignorance.

Not that I've got some great solution for this, as it's unlikely he'll ever bother to listen to the truth about this at this point.  But pushing him further away with personal insults can't serve any purpose, unless our main purpose is to be self-righteous and insult our opponents.  Unfortunately, I'm positive there are too many people on our side with that exact attitude.  Winning's nice, but attacking opponents is better.

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