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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Obamacare - What to expect from Liberals

Welcome back to the third in a series of articles revolving around Obamacare and its relevance to this year's election.  Previously, I've talked about why Obamacare is important to these elections and also prepped you on the tactics liberals use when debating.  In this article, I discuss the arguments you can expect liberals to use and how to counter them.

Remember, that we are in an ideological battle this election.  As many conservative pundits and politicians have (rightfully) said (even before the Obamacare ruling), this election is a choice on which way America wants to go.  Do we want more government in our lives or do we want to return to the vision that our Founding Fathers had?  It's a battle to convince people that the latter is the correct course to take.  

Just remember though:  There are people on the "other side" of this battle.  And while their stances might be frustrating, or heck, they might even be rude and condescending to you, they are still people and many times will be people you care about. 

Keep this one maxim in mind:  Insults, name calling, and belittling argument will polarize a nation.  Calm, thought out, mature conversations will bring us together.

Keep it civil.  Even when (or especially when) the "other side" is insinuating that you're stupid and/or heartless.  Keep it civil.  Demonstrate genuine love and compassion in your arguments.  It will resonate, even if you don't see it firsthand.

With that said, here's what to expect:

U Mad Bro? - The non issue approach

The simplest counter to the Obamacare issue for liberals will be to make it seem like  a non issue by making you look like a "raving mad far right lunatic" (distract and discredit).  Expect when you bring up the issue for them to call you a sore loser (discredit) or that it's not a big deal since the supreme court says it's fine (distract).  The bottom line is they'll try to make you look like a spaz or look dumb "Ugh, you're STILL going on about Obamacare????".

Case in point: My very own Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa 2nd District) said in an interview that he believes the Iowan people want to "move on" now that it's been decided by the court.  (You'll be hearing more from me about my local congressional race in the future).  Naturally he wants to say that because he knows how dangerous shining the spotlight on Obamacare is not only for him but for every politician who supports it.

How to counter it:  First off, remain calm.  This is a tactic meant to piss you off, which only allows them to show how their point was proven.  Don't take the bait.  Smile.  The goal here is to force them into a debate about the issue by framing their lofty, whatever type arrogance as cold, uncaring indifference.  An example would be, "I didn't realize that worrying about the biggest tax hike in history meant I'm a sore loser".  You can pretty much use any one of the main Obamacare points that I'll list in the next article.

Just remember that this approach is characteristized by a smug, lofty arrogance.  The key is turning that mindset into a liability.

What about the children???  The bleeding heart approach

If a liberal decides to engage in a debate about Obamacare (and believe me, many love to do this just show off how smart, cultured and educated they are), the number one tactic they'll use is touting Obamacare's altruistic goals:  Healthcare for everyone, lower healthcare costs, sticking it to greedy insurance companies, free pony rides for kids up til the age of 26.  Their goal here is to make you look like an uncaring jerk.  "How can you be a decent person if you oppose free pony rides for kids???"   This is an all too common liberal tactic in just about anything.   Their pandering talking points are always awesome and frames the argument that'll put you at a disadvantage if you fall for it.

How to counter it:  First off, remain calm.  Once again, they're deliberately trying to fluster you by insinuating something that they know is false about you (that you're an uncaring jerk), knowing full well the audacity of the implied accusation will tick you off.  The key to countering this is getting the debate away from arguing over the reform's altruistic aspects.  It's key to move away from the what to the how, to show you do generally agree with all the nice things Obamacare is trying to do, but not agree with how it's trying to accomplish it.

Despite claiming to be more pragmatic than conservatives, the irony is that many liberals are far more ideological and shallow when it comes to practicality.  They have all these great ideas to better the world, but   hardly ever work out how to accomplish those goals.  Many do not like the notion that money, business,and economy are the driving factors for any change.  Things like resources and cost are only minor details that get in the way of their lofty ideological goals.  They look for the magic bullet to those problems which almost always turns out to be Big Government; which they've enshrined as this limitless well of resources and power able to make the world a better place by sheer will alone.  Like Nancy Pelosi said "we have to pass the bill first to find out what's in it", the details are a mere afterthought.  This is important to remember when encountering bleeding heart liberals.  Convicting them of their lofty fantasies is the wrong way to go, but trying to anchor their goals with real world pathways and constraints not only counters their altruistic rhetoric, but it also can convey your sincerity in tackling the issue close to their heart by showing how much thought you have put into solving the problem.

You don't like it just because he's black!  The "conservatives are all racist bigots" approach

This is both a discredit and distract tactic.  By claiming you're racist, they're discrediting your credibility and then distracting by moving the debate away from Obamacare and about you being a racist.  Class and race division tactics are commonly used to shut conservatives up and it's been quite effective.  Even John McCain in 2008 was cowed by this pressure when he refused to vet Obama.  Naturally, the tactic is ridiculous in accusation.  The cunning part is how well it will shield the liberal's vulnerabilities while changing the debate to a battlefield liberals are far more comfortable in fighting:  the racism theater.

How to counter it:  First off, remain calm.  If you haven't figured it out yet, remaining calm is the key to any debate.  The moment you lose your head, you've lost your credibility and will be conveniently filed away as another "right wing nutjob".  While acquiring that label at some point is just about inevitable, the less opportunity you give them to substantiate their claim, the more the claim will look like bigoted overreach on their part.  Anyway, second thing to do is to not fall for the trap.  Do not get suckered into a debate about race.  Keep the debate where it belongs:  on the bad policy that is Obamacare.

Here's a little tidbit that could help you along the way:  Liberals, for just about a century, have been trying to push socialized medicine.  Teddy Roosevelt (of the progressive party), Harry Truman, and the Clintons have all pushed for socialized medicine and it's been defeated in Congress every time.  This points to a clear precedent that the American people historically do not want socialized medicine.  And if polls are any indication today, this trend still strongly holds true.  So the opposition to socialized medicine has a long history in this country that had nothing to do with a black president since, up until Obama, socialized medicine has only been pushed by white politicians.  So without the race factor, there was no outcry, meaning it fell back onto the merits of the policy itself, which has been rejected by Americans for about a century now.

Auto Insurance is mandatory, what's the difference?

I've seen this argument used.  Even Obama himself (it's at the 4:15 mark) has used this line.   If you're required to get auto insurance, why not health insurance?

How to counter it:  This one's pretty straightforward.  The difference is the details.  The key thing to note is citizens are not required to get auto insurance unless they want to drive.  You see, there's a choice.  People are not required to drive a vehicle and in a number of cases there are viable alternatives.  Therefore driving is still a choice and if you make that choice to drive, then yes, there are requirements.

However, with the health insurance mandatax, there is no choice.  They are putting a requirement on you just for being born and living.  The only way "opt out" is to die and I'lll go out on a limb to say most people would rather not do that.  What it boils down to is you have no choice in the matter.  You pay for insurance, or suffer a penalty.

In Summary

For any debate, liberals are expecting you to be bigoted, narrow minded, and uninformed.  And it's not that we all are. It's just the way most conservatives are wired to take a straightforward, no nonsense approach.  Admittedly, we're more prone to rely on our "gut check".  While this isn't bad, because those with a strong moral compass usually have a moral and strong gut check, if we've any hope to win the battles we need to win, we have to be armed with knowledge and a temperament that won't scare away our liberal friends and family.  Remember that this is ground we're trying to gain back, so we have to go places and fight in a way that we're not necessarily accustomed to doing.  As Reagan said, "there is a simple choice, not necessarily an easy choice".  Keep that mind and have the courage to fight these battles.