Persuasive Arguments: The Very Opposite of Reality

13 Aug

As someone with a fair amount of substantive knowledge about the health care system — what works and what doesn’t — and the history of health reform efforts in this country, I increasingly find myself drawn into debates with people who seem to be coming out of left field. They parrot the things they hear from the likes of Hannity and Limbaugh with little regard for the veracity of their claims. What’s more, they reply to any presentation of factual information with an only slightly more mature version of “I know you are, but what am I?”

On more than one occasion, it has been enough to make my blood boil. All I can think is, “I don’t care if you agree with me or not, but can’t we at least engage in a rational debate about the issue before us, say by debating the actual written contents of the health reform legislation in Congress?” Instead, I’m left bobbing and weaving to avoid misguided usage of terms like socialism and errant “facts” that are incapable of being verified unless Fox News is considered a valid source of information.

Thankfully, Jonathan Cohn has written a stellar piece today that made me want to scream out “Hallelujah!” at the top of my lungs. Nothing I could add could improve what he has to say. Please, please, please read this if you are at all interested in having a real debate on the issues. If you don’t, we just might kill your grandma and use your taxes to abort babies.

1 Comment

Posted by on August 13, 2009 in Uncategorized


One response to “Persuasive Arguments: The Very Opposite of Reality

  1. Eric Dishman

    August 13, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    I feel the same frustration as I watch the news and talk to friends, watching fear campaigns and distorted visions of health reform taking over what should be a balanced discussion about how we can provide Americans with better, more cost-effective healthcare. The words of extremists are monopolizing the airwaves while the silent majority of us who are homeless between the polarizing rhetoric of Right and Left stare on in disbelief. It is now our responsibility to speak up with a more nuanced debate about what health reform needs to be: we need to stop being distracted by dramatic headlines, we need to stop perpetuating fictional fears, and we need to hold to the healthcare issues and ideas that really matter.


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