Propaganda, Pandering, and Politics.

AuthorSingleton, Marilyn M.

* For the next one and a half years we will have to endure the hyperbole, apocalyptic predictions, fake outrage, half-truths, and frank lies of politicians. Some kind soul should take pity on us and pass out beans to put in our ears.

Of course, we should expose ourselves to many opinions, but we have to be careful about propaganda. Propaganda, an ugly word, is viewed as more than mere opinion but information that is somehow manipulative, misleading, or not telling the whole truth.

Propaganda came to mind during a meeting I attended where well-heeled teenage girls sporting AOC for Congress T-shirts preached to the captive audience about how the government should pay for college tuition, books, and housing for everyone, while extolling the virtues of socialism. Had their parents heeded Vladimir Lenin's "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted"? Then some adults with vapid smiles admonished us that we should believe the young ladies, not because they provided statistics or pros and cons of the value of college for everyone, but because they are young and our future. This brings out one propaganda tool: it's for the children.

Why would we willingly give up any of our freedoms and turn over our pocketbooks to the government because some nouveau socialists fed us propaganda? Because it works.

Look at the Social Security Act. No one would turn down the promise of financial security in old age, or as President Roosevelt said, a safeguard "against the hazards and vicissitudes of life." I question if people think it is a good deal to pay more than 15 percent of your paycheck (including employers "contribution" and Medicare tax) to the government, thus taking your future savings out of your control. If you die young you get nothing; your savings go, not to your children, but into the government's black hole.

Patients and doctors alike have been sucked in by statements of questionable accuracy. In promoting the Affordable Care Act, President Obama on multiple occasions assured us, "if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor, if you like your health plan you can keep your health plan." The ACA likely would not have gotten traction if he had said, "We don't know what the insurers will do after the ACA is passed, so good luck."

Electronic Medical Records (EHRs) were part of the bumpy road to the ACA. President Obama, promised that EHRs would "cut red tape, prevent medical mistakes and help save...

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