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Not being any sort of psychologist puts me at a distinct disadvantage when I set out to illustrate the pervasive illogic of today's American political paradigm using simple psychology. In today's blog I would like to at least touch upon the politics of hate.
Hate has become a primary emotion targeted/played upon in electoral campaigns. Not education, not enlightenment, but hate. What makes our politics so vitriolic, and why has this been magnified over the last few decades?
First, as MWP we are aligned against the current two party system for reasons of proper representation and its effect on proper debate and policy. Look no further than the healthcare law to witness the tomfoolery that passes for public policy. Has anyone been served by that law, other than insurers, major pharma and other special interests? Have the majority of citizens benefitted from it? Has it mitigated or made more clear the issue of cost escalation? Will it help provide better, more holistic care? Ask your prmary care physician what he or she thinks; aren't they our "first responders" in healthcare?
Fail on all levels. One example of many. Policy debates get easily heated and this healthcare debate got red hot by the oligarchs framing as a matter of
personal choice versus universal care. Left v right. By framing the debate in this way, it missed the issues that citizens' needed to be addressed, most specifically escalataion of costs which remain unbridled and unchecked.
Why did the two 'corporate' parties choose to frame the debate this way? Well hate is a powerful emotion, is it not? One might posit that the Democratic Party chose this as their Iwo Jima moment to consolidate control in the citizens' mind and push a form of socialist/utopian agenda with their new President. Clearly, it would seem, with scant regard as to the Constitutionality of it.
The opposition, now 'steeled up by rhetoric' mounts a contra campaign that drills to the Constitutionality of the issue and attacks it as an issue of "free choice".
While the average, rational, non-partisan citizen asks, what of cost containment, as the premiums are escalating well above the rate of inflation and we are having a hard time affording good health care? I am scared to hire new employees! What of our future MediCare and MedicAid costs without adequate containment measures set in place now?
Cost containment does not much matter when the debate is framed as an ideological one between free healthcare and personal choice.
Do you recall how much 'hate' was injected into the debates. With all that we get a four thousand page turd of legislation?
Why?Why?Why? Partly because the two oligachs ( the two corporate parties controlling the system) don't know any better and partly because they know all too well. If you want to try and block the opponent, you use hate. Divide and conquor, and age old military strategy, adopted in the 20th century to divide and control an electorate. From the oligarchs' point of view it made, and continues to make, perfect sense.
Going back to healthcare reform, the oligarchs used the same strategy as usual, and were able to cast it as us v them debate, consolidating the true beleivers in both camps, pretending there was a real depbate going on and.....
.....once again screwing the average 'middle' American in the process. A screwing, if you will, that is obfuscated by the issuance of an over complicated piece of stillborn legislation that gives the ILLUSION that actually got somethng done. The ILLUSION.
Everytime the oligarchs get their back against the wall, they pull the trump card of hate. Divide and conquor, "Lets use this as an opportunity to promote our left/right leaning agenda, and empower our followers FOR OUR PARTY'S BENEFIT".
Dont you wish you could hear the abject truth just once like that!
Hate is an emotion, I tell my sons, that ought be reserved for when someone is trying to do you, or your familiy, in. Hate and raw prejudice is called for then and only then. A raw, base emotion, that the Creator might have instilled in us for the pure reason of survival. Yet, continuing in my pedagogic mode, I am quick to say, that if I have to be in 'hate' or 'survival' mode, then I am short-circuiting the growth of my soul, for a more immdediate basic need.
That is the compromise one makes when situations require one to go into 'survive' mode. And I, the modern Whig but NOT the psychologist, reluctantly move the analysis from "me" to "all of us" mode and assume it is still valid.
When "all of us" are put into hate mode, we will miss the truth ( as truth is based on explicitly acknolwdging multiple persepctives). When all of us are put into hate mode, we cannot think as clearly or use our higher order intellect. When all of us are put into hate mode we cannot collaborate at all.
And here I thought I would be writing about Rush, the hater who somehow has the right to judge others. But you know what? Instead of writing about the obvious, it was more important to use the incident as an illustration of how the politics of hate can stop good civil debate. Of how the politics of hate takes hostages. (and I hope our young soon-to-be lawyer sues Rush's VERY LARGE pants off!)
But mainly, our point as MWP, is that the politics of hate serves primarily to hide the truth. Very deliberately in many cases.
Forms of hate: Rush calling a young female citizen a "slut" in public, negative campaign ads, framing issues as ideological when they are not, and the all the examples that YOU can think of.
Hate will not allow us to find common ground. Hate will not allow us to use truth and perspective to resolve issues which will allow new truths to emerge. (a dialectic process we need to get on with -peacefully!)
Put in NCO speak, "We all need to unass this hate mongering and quick if we are to come together, move forward and complete our mission of Wrighting the Republic."
And thanks to Rush Limbaugh for being the unwitting poster child of all that ills our political discourse. Keep the windbags a-howlin', so the people can see how foolish they truly are and that their emporers truly have no clothes.
The vitriolic nature of our political discourse in the last decade is a serious problem in my opinion. It has stalled progress and reduced our government to petty political wars instead of the accomplishment of the peoples' work. The healthcare debate is a good example. Rather than actually working in a nonpartisan manner to solve the problem, both sides engaged in a war. As a reward for this behavior I am in favor of voting out every single incumbent, just to shake things up and get their attention.
Medicaid and Medicare billing (as well as all other medical billing) is a total joke - it is an art of choosing the right codes to get the most reimbursement. If you go to the ER, the billing is a mess - bills for the ER, any individual doctors seen, for any imaging specialists or surgeons or specialists. The whole billing process needs to be streamlined, centralized, and made more efficientI also believe there should be more of an emphasis on nurse practitioners than MDs - they are much cheaper and have been shown to have equivalent patient outcomes.
As a practicing physician assistant, I appreciated reading your last sentence (yea..I know you mentioned NP's but you have the right idea about all mid-level professionals)
Clearly the healthcare reform "debate" was there for all to see. Its not your opinion crazy chemist, its an empircal observation. In fact it's just that type of policy paralysis that borne MWP into existence.
How does one run a Republic that is beautifully 'staffed' by a very heterogenous population with varied cultures and backgrounds? Acrimony and philospohy with no bearing in reality?
That's what we get.
The more I see of it, the more I see the "system" playing us like hapless little children. Making us hate instead of think, while it remains in place, useless to most of us like a parasite.
This is one area that MOST citizens see as a problem, and it does provide a very good lever for which you, the Whig ambassadors, can open the door to enlightement for all to share.
Healthcare is an excellent issue to use , as it is yet unresolved, and the attempt was still born. No one seemed to like the solution, except for the uninsured as they got more for nothing, which is an issue.
A reminder, even in Dr. M.L.King's 1967 Freedom Budget there was no call for FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. It's call for "access to affordable healthcare" sounds like a winner to me. Methinks SCOTUS will define the nuances clearly in short order. BUT YOU FOLKS, PA, MDs etc really ought get involved in the Whig Rountable on healthcare.The front line troops, PA, Internal MDs. etc, are getting screwed by the specialists "gaming" the system ( which appears to be lead by the AMA and the insurance lobby ), and the consumer suffers. Costs continue to ramp up unabated.
The local proc docs just built a beautiful "TajMahal" type of office building. I had to laugh, as I told the recpetionist I hadnt been in many hotel lobbies as rich and ornate. Seems odd as all I needed was a colonoscopy, not a vacation at Pebble Beach. ??? Everyone is out to make money off healtcare.
According to a friend, a "country doctor" my age, there needs to be MORE skin in the game by patients', not less. Many issues were not even addressed in 4000 pages.
What utter nonsense. BUT, it gives everyone here a very sharp arrow in their "quiver of conversion". A conversation starter, where the citizen will realize, if they havent already, that the two party system simply cannot get out of its own way to produce proper public policy, and therefore, must be dismantled.
Which is why we are a party of methods and process, not ideology.
So use the hate as your weapon! Tickle their intellect once, and hope the syanpses fire repeatedly in an autostimulated sequence!
GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY YOURSELVES!
( its the punchline from an old joke, but very appropos here!)
Gene, you hit the nail right on the head, multiple times (ouch??)
It seems the electorate responds to issues based on cheap appeals to emotion rather than evidence-based arguments and nuanced analysis.
On the HC debate we had one side pretending real hard Obamacare would turn out to be a gateway drug to Universal HC and the other side deluded into thinking that bill would be a gateway drug to a full-blown communist takeover of the country. Basically, irrational nonsense on both side while both the pols and fat cats laughed their way to the bank; as always.
Indeed sophistocrat, YET when we can "turn on the lights" for many to see, and offer a solution, then our work can begin! Not your daddy's "Illuminati" we modern Whigs be.
Go forth and multiply yourselves!
Gene, yes, it is certainly a question of "when" we can turn on those lights. The main problem is the lights are too bright for most. A very sensitive dimmer switch may do the trick if operated in a subtle enough manner. Remaining in the cave, with all its trivial little delights and distractions is far too tempting for most.
The MWP grabbed my attention partially because of the name itself, a great branding opportunity for a greater purpose in my opinion. Americans seem to have an acute sentimental attachment to things that are, well...American. And of course, the main reason I found myself here is due to the party's stated commitment to Meritocracy, a system that, in my opinion, is the only viable way of getting our society out of the Nepocratic quagmire it's been drowning in for far too long now.
I am interested in helping to take Meritocracy and stimulate it to go forth and multiply. In due time people will realize that individual talent and effort trumps incumbency and dynastic privileged any day of the week.
You are based out of WNY, correct?
My home is Buffalo at this time, born in Rochester. Yes.
Nice, I live in Buffalo as well.
Does MWP have a spot on the state ballot?
Negative. Why? Do you feel like running for governor? :o)
Seriously, our mission in NY is simple, run a candidate for Gov in '14 and amass 50K votes so that Whigs ARE on the ballot. There's more to it than that, obviously, BUT that is the condition of ballot access in NY.
For the past several years it seems that our representatives in Washington have become more fear mongering and hateful. They refuse to work together across party lines for any and all issues.
I have never seen our government so divided and I have become embarrassed by our government, and lost pride in our country.