I’m generally in a more chipper mood today, so I thought I would focus on what the Democrats should do instead of what the Republicans are doing. In a past life I was an assistant debate coach. My duties pretty much were generally relegated to driving the bus and serving as an occasional judge, but I learned a thing or two about debate during those two years. Most people recognize two kinds of debate (Lincoln-Douglass and cross-examination). I judged what was called CX (cross-examination).
They give those kids a topic and one team has an affirmative defense and the other has a negative defense. The affirmative is always the hardest one to win, because all the negative has to do is prove the affirmative plan won’t work. They don’t have to come up with one of their own. If you look carefully you probably can see something familiar in that kind of a set up. One particular team used what we would not characterize as the townhall strategy. They proposed using “rap music” to help understand the plight of the terrorists. Apparently, rappers and Al Queda have a lot in common. Yes, I know the notion is patently ridiculous, but that was the idea.
Instead of forwarding their own agenda, the opposing team spent their time refuting the rap argument and even tried playing rap music during part of their time. They won in a close match even though their opponents had nothing of substance. When you spend all of your time refuting inane points you fail to make your own. Gee, can someone see a parallel between that situation and the situation we have going on now? And actuality, it has a lot to do with my last entry. We are spending far too much time on a negative cycle. Now, people don’t know what’s in the health care plan because we are spending too much time talking about what is not in the health care plan.
It’s hard to win an affirmative argument. You not only have to talk up your own points, but you have to address the negative points. Addressing them does not mean focusing on them. Anyone with an IQ over 90 knows there are no death panels, there is no government take over, we aren’t funding illegal aliens, and there will be no bureaucrat between you and your doctor. Yet, we keep hearing those things. Intelligent people are now asking “if those things aren’t in it, then what is?”
A young philosophy student at my alma mater once said, “in order to enact change, you not only have to prove the absence of negative, but you have to prove the presence of positive.” In other words, it has to do some good. Those of us that frequent this site know that’s true, but do the American people? It’s high time we start talking about why we need reform and why this reform will help. We need to talk about rising costs in real terms. We need to talk about 46 million being without care and more importantly, how that affects everyone. We need to talk about how portability of coverage will make everyone’s life better. We need to sell health care as a right.
Conservatives love to talk about how things are not in the constitution. Public education isn’t there and it is now accepted as a right. No one forsaw regulating advertising, television and radio broadcasts, food or drugs, or the selling of stocks either. All of these things have been generally accepted without specific constitutional protection. So, we need to sell health care as a right. We need to sell the fact that government has a duty to help provide for this. No, it shouldn’t be free, but it should be assessible. We can’t afford to assume that this is perfectly logical. All of the things above were a fight in their day. We need to fight FOR health care and not AGAINST the stupid stuff others bring up to distract us.