Responding to Jacksmith

Bwhaaat?!? Jacksmith turns out to be a real reader. Cool! This was my response to his comment he left on the last post. Once I wrote it, I felt like it deserved a new post for itself.


Ha! see, now Jacksmith, you have earned my respect. I value anyone that prefers clarity to agreement which you appear to do. That is a highly commendable trait!

I especially value someone with a decent sense of humor! I’m pretty much a sarcastic bastard when I feel like I’m being duped- so don’t take me too seriously. I honestly thought your message was fairly spam like (you wouldn’t believe the lengths blog spammers go to these days…) in nature as I could tell it had been copied and pasted as well as posted elsewhere. For the record, I don’t usually lambaste people’s ideas when I think that they are actually really a person. I apologize for this profusely.

I admire your passion for this subject. However, I think you would do well to look into some other sources than Micheal Moore. He has an incredibly long legacy of perverting truth to make ‘facts’ and warping the things people say to fit his cause. The man is very much a propaganda artist. In fact, he pioneered his so called ‘documentary’ style films when he made Roger & Me (a film about trying to get an interview with the CEO of GM because they closed a auto plant in Flint MI to outsource jobs. The whole film goes along and seems to show him just being blown off and avoided by the GM CEO. In fact, the CEO did give Michael an interview…but I guess that didn’t fit in with the uncaring evil persona that he was trying to paint…so he cut it from the film.) which, though it was kind of interesting and innovative – it is propaganda and hardly a documentary. (The same goes for Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11). Bottom line – Michael Moore sets out with an agenda to make his films – and then he cuts and edits them down into ‘facts’ that support his position. As a result, his films are extremely one sided (as are most Hollywood films – Rendition, V for Vendetta, Syrianna, etc…) and always demonize the opposing viewpoint. Hardly objective journalism.

All I am really arguing is this – if you want to be taken seriously about this important issue – find some credible people that represent it (ie. Doctors, pharmacists, and sound government policy makers – not film producers (Or John “I make up facts for my cause” Edwards ;) ).

Also – you may want to lay off the moral/ethical argument. I know that you don’t think the health care issue is a Left/Right issue – but implying that anyone who disagrees with it would be immoral or unethical is a huge mistake. This immediately alienates most conservative people and it causes a reader to question your credibility. You would be very hard pressed to find people in this country who want to kill people just to make money. That’s an absurd idea and borders on conspiratorial “9/11 was an inside job” nonsense. No one will take you seriously if you present your argument in this fashion. Plus, this is a classic way to oppose someone. Present them, not just as wrong, but evil.
I wrote a lengthy post about this a while back:
The Cost of Disagreement

And again, the evil corporation vs innocent helpless victims bit doesn’t help either. This assumes that all people are victims and that all “big companies” are evil. That’s Marxist/Communist bologna and it’s emotionally based thinking – not rational. What this does is create a false sense of class warfare based solely on stereotype.

Now, I have no huge love for big pharmaceutical companies (this is a commonly held misconception about conservatives) – but I refuse to default anyone seeking a profit into the ‘evil’ category. Likewise, just because someone may be poor – I refuse to default them to victim status.

Free Market capitalism in America provides some very good checks and balances for these corporations (at least it should – if it’s not then that particular issue must be addressed – but that’s far separate from total government health care). It is true – their main goal is to make a profit – however, to do so, they must provide you with a service which you value more than your dollar. As long as there is significant competition – one company MUST offer you a better service than their competitors, whether this means lower prices, better service etc. They have to earn your dollar. In a sense – you are voting for their company’s service over another’s. With a government system – there is no competition. They don’t have to earn your dollar – they just take it through taxes (remember – the government is the only entity in America that can force you to pay them). If you don’t like their service – or even worse – you end up a victim of malpractice, you have no other options. You can’t sue them or take your story to the media and then switch heath care providers. There would be no alternate providers. End of story.

Now -here you can argue that with health care it works a little differently because sometimes you may be forced to use a service, say, if you get injured. Still – with a free market system you can choose what service you want. You get to make the decision on what health care works for you. In a government system – the voters in your area get to decide what’s right for you. I’m sorry – but that is not freedom.

Also – It’s important for me to mention that one of the problems with high health care cost today comes from jobs that provided health benefits. At one point in history – employers didn’t provide medical benefits but this started somewhere around WWII because at the time companies could not pay people enough for them to work. Of course – once you start a program like this- people start to expect it (feel they are entitled) and it is very very difficult to change.

The problem with work providing health coverage is that people rarely actually look into what they are charged for their service (since, to them – your company pays). I admit – I don’t do this either. There may be a much cheaper and much better service across the street – but I don’t really care because in essence “the company pays.” I don’t have to think about how much it costs.

What if, instead of providing heath benefits for you – companies gave you the money that they pay for them (which is often phenomenally high) and you had the freedom to choose a provider that met your needs? Do you think you would make a more informed choice – or would your company make a better choice for you?

One last suggestion: Once again, If you want people to take your ideas seriously, you first have to earn their trust. If you are going to post your thoughts around the web – I think that people might be much more receptive if you wrote a post directly to them. One of the reasons I wrote off your earlier post as spam was that it didn’t even seem addressed to me. The Comments section on blogs is used to facilitate discussion of the particular post. What I would do is start your own blog on the subject. Then, when you come across a post elsewhere that somewhat relates you can write a personal (short) message in the comments explaining why or how the post relates to your ideas on health care – and then link to your site.

Plus – this idea that as long as you post the information everywhere, it will be read – doesn’t help someone build trust. This is a tactic that the fanatical Ron Paul people use and as a result, nobody wants takes them seriously. Half the comments about Paul are ridiculous (e.g. !!!RONPAUL,RONPAUL,RONPAUL,RONPAUL,VOTE RON PAUL 2008, IF YOU DON’T U R A STUPID NEOCON WHO WANTS TO DROWN LITTLE CHILDREN IN OIL!!! REMEMBER BUSH LIED PEOPLE DIED! RONPAUL2008! – you get what I’m saying…) The campaign ends up looking like it’s run by a bunch of junior highers. They would do much better to write up reasoned arguments rather than shouting people down and all the other theatrical crap that they do. Respect must be earned – then ideas can be discussed. You second comment I took seriously because you earned my respect.

Anyway – those are just a few of my thoughts on the issue. I hope that clarifies my perspective a bit. I highly recommend you read more opinions that differ from your own – at least just to understand why someone would appose a single payer health care system. I think you will find very few, if any, who oppose the idea that you would consider immoral and unethical.

As I said before – you don’t think this is a Left/Right issue, but frankly, Government provided cradle-to-grave health care is socialism. Therefore – you are going to run into a huge amount of resistance from conservatives and capitalists. It become important to understand the opposition.

Along those lines – it is important to read and learn an opposing viewpoint from the person who holds it. I get the feeling that the information about conservatives who hold an opposing viewpoint to gov. health care, you’ve learned from people who are not conservative (or capitalist…whatever) and are likely hostile to conservative ideas (ie. Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, The New York Times, etc…). If you truly value clarity over agreement and free exchange of ideas – take some time to read or listen to conservative ideas from conservatives themselves rather than people who oppose them. I can’t stress this point enough. You simply will not get an accurate picture of conservatives if you don’t go to the source and listen to them directly.

Try reading John Stossel for a start. He has some fairly interesting thoughts on this subject. Or you could try listening to Hugh Hewitt or Dennis Prager’s radio podcast (for free).

I find that I spend about 50% of my time reading things that are written by people I completely disagree with. If you start reading anything conservative at all – you will quickly realize how immersed you are in anti-conservative ideas by default in American culture.

Anyway, thanks for your comments! And I apologize – but I sincerely thought your earlier message was blog spam.

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