Hinkle: Talking Down to the Public Will Surely Work . . .
A. BARTON HINKLE TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST
Published: January 29, 2010
This is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people.
--Barack Obama, State of the Union.
There's a lot in the bill that people are going to like. It's just a question of understanding it.
--ABC's Cokie Roberts, Dec. 20.
What are the immediate plans for recalibrating the message or intensifying the message to explain better to the American people what you're trying to do?
--Question to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Jan. 20.
It mighty big of man with nice voice to take blame like that. Him not need to. Head honchos not often take blame. Most times after big screw-up, head honchos say they have "full confidence" in someone who work for them -- right before pushing someone off edge of cliff, or letting someone twist "slowly, slowly" in wind, like tricky Nixon guy did with man who ran FBI.
Man with nice voice not like those other head honchos. Him bring change to Washington already, see?
But him right. Him not explain health care good. Use too many big words. Say too many compound-complex sentences. Confuse American people. American people not want that. American people want simple explanation. Simpler the better.
Me feel kind of sorry. It must really get on nerves for man with nice voice and people on his side, like lady on TV and cheerleaders in White House press pool. Why can't lamebrain American people get idea through thick skulls? Them not know how to make choices in own best interests! Need enlightened leaders to make choices for them. (Enlightened = smart. Me look this up in thing called "dictionary." Dictionary good! Try sometime!)
Want example? Take mammogram fight. (Mammogram is thing where doctor squish tender woman part really hard and take picture. Owie!) Last year U.S. Preventive Services Task Force say women not need mammogram until age 50. Say squishing younger women not very clinically effective, so not save many lives. Say sometimes "false positives" scare women. This not good. Smart people must protect silly women, make sure they not get scared!
Experts say, from cruising altitude of 32,000 feet saving 12,000 lives over course of 10 years just not worth it. Country should not waste money like that. (Can hardly see someone from that far up anyway.) But crazy right-wing TeaParty people go around saying things like: Well, if it my life or my daughter's life, maybe me feel different. Maybe me should be one to decide to get squished or not. This just show crazy right-wing Tea-Party people always thinking about themselves.
There so many things man with nice voice need to explain gooder. Like, if some people still need health insurance, why not just give them insurance voucher, like housing voucher or food stamps? Why put entire U.S. medical system in Cuisinart and set on Liquefy?
How come House bill create 111 new boards, commissions, and programs? How come, if point is to give insurance, House bill raise big chunk of revenue by fining people without insurance? How that help anyone? This seem crazy to knuckle-dragging trailer-park people, who not know no better. And how come Medicaid and Medicare not doing the job? Isn't that what they for? And if they not do job, then why should people think even bigger program will?
Many American people too stupid to see answers to questions like these, even though they totally obvious.
Man with nice voice also need to explain why it so bad that U.S. spend more on health care than other countries. U.S. spend more on clothes and iPods, too. People in U.S. have more what called "discretionary income." Only spend small share of paycheck on food and rent, so lots left over. Old man want to get knee fixed, why stop him? Him want to buy big new tender woman parts to make hot young trophy wife even hotter, what wrong with that? Seem kind of silly, sure. But man with nice voice need to point out where in Constitution it say White House get to make that call for him.
Stupid American people have strange mad love for Constitution. Crazy right-wing Tea-Party people always making big fat deal out of it. Want to know where it say Congress can make people buy insurance. Freaky house speaker think that Constitution business nonsense. "Are you serious?" she want to know. Crazy right-wing Tea-Party people dead serious. Say government that can make you buy insurance can make you do anything, anything at all. Some even ask what crazy right-wing president and Congress with that kind of power might do. Me not like to think about that!
Whole issue make brain hurt. Good thing man with nice voice in charge. Him have right ideas. Just need to try new angle, that all. Talk slower. Talk louder. Use small words. Treat American people like kid who got held back in elementary school. That bound to work eventually.
The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right.
--Judge Learned Hand.
Happy 4th of July 2017
11 months ago