Even with the current media flood of health care discourse and the increasingly out of control town hall meetings, somehow I still find myself in disbelief that so many United States citizens are actually capable of believing the nonsense that is being propagated about the Obama plan for health care reform. Certainly there are and have always been those on the lunatic fringe who buy into ridiculous conspiracy theories and distribute outlandish self-made documentaries, but it seems lately the absurdity has reached unsettling new heights. Rather than remaining contained within a group of easily dismissible wing nuts, the lies and scaremongering has spread to the mainstream.
Members of the mass media like Rush Limbaugh are perpetuating disturbing lies by making claims that the Democratic policies in Congress are somehow comparable to those of the Nazi regime. Well-known right wing conservatives, even members of Congress, are spreading such nonsense, making it acceptable for citizens to ignore the facts entirely and parade about spewing the same contemptible balderdash. There are masses of frightened folks who listen to these few talking heads repeat untruths day after day, and buy into it wholeheartedly. Many, perhaps most, do not even understand what they are supporting or opposing. They are especially unaware of the fact that they are upholding the private interests of a self-serving few, rather than the majority, including themselves, who would benefit from the policies which they are opposing. When did the citizens of the United States become so gullible? So vulnerable to the whims of the media and the greed of giant corporations? When did we lose the capacity to think or speak for ourselves? Are the mechanics of government so difficult to understand that the common man must resort to believing anything he hears? Why is the truth so hard to find?
As daunting as it is for those who buy into the lies and vote against their own self interests, it is even more frightening for those with the ability to see through the foolishness. For many informed and freethinking individuals, the realization that the United States is on the verge of progressing, but may be held back once again by the preposterous lies of the far right, is by far the most frustrating feeling imaginable. For those who can see through it, this charade is disheartening to the point of near faithlessness in the democratic process; it can drive one to feel like turning off the news and throwing up her hands.
But rather than surrender to the despicable tactics of the special interests, it is necessary to realize that now more than ever, logic and rationale are of the utmost importance; real information must abound and we are responsible for making it happen. Those of you who care about the future of this nation have to make it your personal mission to get out the word; talk to anyone who will listen, send letters to your representatives, send letters to other representatives, call into news shows, post on forums, do anything you can to combat misinformation with real information. If our friends and neighbors are so eager to believe what they hear on TV and the radio, perhaps they will be even more receptive to someone they know who takes the time to sit down and have a real discussion with them.