Dave Cunix – surrogate. I was asked to represent Al Gore during the 2000 presidential campaign. I presented his positions at candidate forums and spoke to citizens’ groups. Based on Mr. Gore’s success, I was recruited four years later to serve on the John Kerry campaign. We know how well that went.
The candidate forums were very inclusive. Surrogates were invited from all of the major campaigns. The Bush representative and I were often joined by men and women prepared to advance the agendas of Pat Buchanan (Reform), Ralph Nader (Green), and Harry Browne (Libertarian). At the end of these forums I would say something that though incredibly true was sure to agitate the Libertarians and the Greens. “A vote for Ralph Nader is a vote for George Bush. A vote for Harry Browne is a vote for no one”.
Gosh that would torque them off. Worse, as we now know, I was totally correct. Here are the results of a few of the states:
Browne Buchanan Bush Gore Nader
Fl 16,414 17,484 2, 912,790 2,912,253 97,488
IA 3,209 5,731 634,373 638,517 29,374
NH 2,757 2,625 273,559 266,348 22,198
Emotion plays a huge roll in politics. The politicians, our leaders, use our emotions to push us in one direction or another. Our first task must be to remove all emotion from political discussions. Once we get down to facts, to cause and effect, we can determine what we really want to do and how to create a logical course of action.
My issue with government in 2012 is the inherent laziness of our politicians. Speaking in snippets and sound bites and relying on emotion laden advertisements, candidates and elected officials don’t debate solutions, just fears. They exploit our fear of spending money. Our fear of the “Other”. Our fear of losing what little peace or privacy we have left.
The President’s health care program, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), was initially sold as a way to insure the uninsured, all 50 million of them. The American public was told that not only wouldn’t it cost more to do this, but that premiums would go down. And we were going to get better coverage (free stuff!) at no additional cost.
The Republicans were asking for a birth certificate from the tooth fairy.
And what were the Republicans doing during all of this? They defended the status quo and promised to respect the doctor/patient relationship. They assured us that they would protect the world’s best health care system. And we do have a great system. And we do have great doctors and hospitals. But G-d help you if get really sick and are stuck with inadequate insurance coverage.
So here, again, is the truth. We aren’t going to return to 2007. No one in power wants to replace the PPACA. No one wants to fix it. The Republicans took control of the House of Representatives over a year ago. Repeal Obamacare? How? To what end? If the Republicans had a constructive option they would have advanced it by now. As in any successful negotiation, common ground and saving face are keys to victory. Mr. Boehner, Mr. Cantor, Mr. Romney, and even Mr. Gingrich, a legislator who has promoted the individual mandate for most of the last twenty years, have not offered a path to modify the PPACA to make it work. They have no solutions, just campaign issues.
The Democrats have a program that won’t work as a privately insured system, but could lead to single payer. The Republicans have a fundraising gold mine. You? You have debates about birth control pills and a lifetime supply of smoke and mirrors.
The numbers are real, everything else is, as Rick Santorum would say, “BS”. The PPACA had to have gimmicks built in to it to cover the exorbitant costs. One by one these income generators are disappearing. The 1099 silliness is gone. The Long Term Care program (CLASS) is gone. The tax on Cadillac Health Plans will disappear, too. The Supreme Court is hearing arguments TODAY about the constitutionality of the individual mandate. We will get the verdict in a couple of months. Regardless of the outcome, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will move forward.
So which party deserves your support? Who is going to get our health care system on to firm financial ground? Will a vote for one guy really be a vote for someone else?
I need a ballot that offers “None of the Above”.