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Monday, August 24, 2009

Who Are The Real "Masters of Deception"?

The theme of some recent posts [1, 2] has been related to the left's view that the vehement opposition to Obama's socialist policies has no validity. My posts attempted to analyze and debunk leftist claims that these protesters are nothing but a "misinformed mob" being "manufactured" by conservative "masters of deception" and the health insurance lobby.

As a follow up to these posts, I offer some more concrete evidence and some worthwhile links.

Perhaps the most striking demonstration of my point comes from
New York Times op-ed columinst Charles M. Blow who states:
They [the conservatives] have started Operation Master and Slaves of Deception — cooking up scary, outlandish claims about the plan and feeding them to a desperate base, eager to believe the worst about the man they loathe the most, President Obama.

Conservatives are now on fertile ground. Still enraged by the ignominy of having been trounced, they are most likely feeling marginalized, ignored and afraid. For them, it has been less about clarifying health care reform and more about a clarion call to resistance.
In conclusion, does he attempt to rebut this "deception" using a logical, reasoned argument to demonstrate how Obama's plan will "work" and to answer his oppositions' rational argument that a complete government takeover of medicine will lead to rationing, shortages, and waiting lines amid stifling bureacracy, spiraling costs, and declining quality - as the laws of economics and evidence from every country that has ever tried it unequivocally demonstrate? As expected, Blow offers text-book modern pragmatism:

The conservatives are never going to play ball... Most important, this two-year window may be the only time Democrats can push through reform without Republican support.

The time is now. Just do it.

It can be seen in yet another piece, Analysis: Health overhaul tactics need overhaul written by Steven Hurst, that factual and logical arguments against Obama's plan are not even on the left's radar. He quotes Robin Lauermann, professor of politics at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa.:
"The people don't have sufficient information, and I'm surprised the administration and others backing reform haven't done much more to educate the public"
It never occurs to them that people might have more than sufficient "information". As always, the left casually claims that the idiot American's just need to be "educated" and kept from being conditioned by the conservative Masters of Deception. Quoting Hurst:
The lack of one specific piece of legislation for the president to sell has opened the door for opponents inside and outside government to heap unfounded allegations on the reform process.
First, note the use of "reform" which I analyzed here. Again, the left blurs the meaning of this term by conflating "efforts at improvement" (reform) with their own false view of what constitutes "improvement" ("socialism"). Second, in what sense are the "allegations" of the protesters "unfounded"? Concerns over socialism are predicated on over two hundred years of moral, political, and economic facts and reasoning which unequivocally demonstrate that socialism represents an immoral violation of individual rights and leads in practice to misery, suffering, and tyranny.

Hurst then characterizes Palin's now famous "death panel" claim to be an "outrageous" "scare tactic". Stephen Borque offers an indirect rebuttal of Hurst's claim in this excellent
post at One Reality arguing that "death panels" is actually a perfectly appropriate term to characterize Obama's plan. Quoting Borque:
It is not a misrepresentation to call an all-powerful government board that controls access to health services a “death panel.” It is a perfectly apt label. What else shall we call a central committee of bureaucrats who make “recommendations” that must be obeyed, meting out from a dwindling pile of loot (dwindling, because the American health industry will be choked to death; loot, because it is paid for by the seized earnings of citizens and the virtual enslavement of medical professionals) every treatment, therapy, medicine, test, doctor visit, and hospital stay? What better than “death panel” could capture the meaning of a council of wise government officials who sit around a table deciding who gets what health care, like the Three Fates, spinning, weaving, and - yes - cutting?
For the most blatant and classic example of an "argument from intimidation", consider New York governor David Paterson's claim, echoing the argument made by Paul Krugman, that any opposition to health care reform is "racist". Quoting this article:

Gov. Paterson blamed a racist media Friday for trying to push him out of next year's election - launching into an angry rant that left even some black Democrats shaking their heads.

"The reality is the next victim on the list - and you can see it coming - is President Barack Obama, who did nothing more than trying to reform a health care system."

An excellent piece, Boycotting the Boycotters, recognizes this phenonmena and details the left's intolerance. Quoting:

But now that they are in power, Democrats are brazenly wielding punitive weaponry against dissenting Americans and are using the power of the state to shut up citizens.

The Democratic leadership - and its friends in the mainstream media - seem determined to brand opposition to the president's legislative agenda as illegitimate, even racist in origin. Individuals and grass-roots organizations are helping the statists' cause by advocating boycotts and other means of stifling dissent.

The strategy is clear: Intimidate people from speaking up or from attending public protests by telegraphing that anyone can be made a demon for standing up and exercising basic, constitutional rights.

Caroline Baum wrote a good article for Bloomberg which echoes my argument related to the left's "blame game". Quoting Baum:

The effort to blame right-wing groups is transparent. If my feedback on a recent column is indicative of the political persuasion and demographic distribution of the protesters, these are ordinary Americans energized by the debate, frustrated at not having a voice and motivated to exercise their right of free speech. Attempts to smear opponents and shut down debate are, well, un-American.

On the topic of real "masters of deception", Beth Haynes at Wealth Is Not the Problem wrote a wonderfully concise post exposing the left's Orwellian misuse of three important terms: competition, insurance, and capitalism:

Don't be fooled by the incorrect use of these terms. Proponents of increased government control over your private health matters are using the language of freedom and and capitalism to sneak in a system that has more in common with the central planning of socialism and fascism than it does with the individual rights protected in our Constitution.

I encourage you to check out her explanations.

Finally, for a full and utter refutation of the argument that the protesters are "astro turf", I offer this video linked at The Dougout, which provides a spine chilling demonstration of the power of an independent, reasoning mind in operation and sheer inspiration that all it takes to defeat evil is the one thing that the intellectually bankrupt left fears the most: principles.


Robert said...

It is like one of those things were when you finally get your dream job and the disappointment when you realize that you are not capable of performing the job, so you blame everyone else.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Doug, for your concretization and explanation of philosophical ideas. I've found Pragmatism complex and not easy to understand, although I can isolate examples of it. But I want to understand it more completely. It is the metaphysics and epistemology of philosophy that I find challenging, and your posts are helping me understand both. It helps very much that you tie in your previous postings, to current ones. It literally helps me see the connections.

Roxanne A.