I just came across this great video while sailing the intertubes (h/t tunesmith @ Daily Kos) and I think it needs to be seen by as many people as possible. It does a wonderful job of really simplifying the health care debate down to its most basic and important parts.
The odd part about the health care "debate" is that the most basic and common sense things we should be talking about are what are almost completely absent. This is why it has been so frustrating that we have had to struggle for decades against misinformation, fearmongering, and spurious claims of "socialism" and evil "government takeover", which have largely prevented us from making any progress on the issue (aside from Medicare and a few other important programs that have been implemented--and look, the country is better off for it, and we still aren't communists!), when we have the facts (and common sense) on our side.
Part of the problem is that smears are, by their very nature, simple things. They aren't complex, they don't have the burden of being based on any truth, logic or any other rational substantiation. And they are shocking. The more outrageous (and false) a smear is, the more it catches your attention. And many Americans seem to have lost the part of their brains which triggers being skeptical of things that sound too outrageous to be true ("Obama is trying to kill my grandma?? That sounds reasonable, go on...").
Progressives have thus far been impotent against these smears because the truth is, by its very nature, nuanced. This world is not simple, data can be hard to conceptualize, complex relationships can take a lot of knowledge to fully understand. It takes more words to tell the truth than to lie, and it takes even more words to set the record straight after a lie has already been told.
(Think of trying to explain how a car moves to a Pilgrim. A horse
industry lobbyist dealer might warn customers that the car is moved by witches under the direction of Lucifer himself. A knowledgeable engineer from the future would try to explain how an internal combustion engine works. Who do you think would win? Simplicity trumps truth every time.)
And since all too many Americans have the attention spans of gerbils and don't seek out (or perhaps actively avoid) accurate information and a real understanding of these complex issues, all of our rational, intelligent, fact-based arguments in favor of health insurance reform (or any course of action) and against the lies are simply lost in the muddle. Conservatives know this, and that is why they know they can make up any ridiculous claim and have it eaten up by a large number of gullible people. It works, it really does.
So what progressives need to do is to essentially dumb it down. We need to bring it down to their level of simplicity, while not sacrificing any of the truth. And I think that is what this video does. It does a great job of explaining a complex issue, with cartoons and a lot of common sense. This is the level almost all Americans can understand, at least if they are at all open to understanding. Before anyone jumps into the health care debate, I think they need to start with this as a primer.
Please watch, learn, enjoy, and for the love of god share it with everyone you know and maybe, just maybe, we can get back to a rational discussion of the challenge in front of us, without suffering ridiculous stories of "death panels" and "death books" and socialism taking over the country. Let's be adults, but let's first learn like children.
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