As I’ve watched the health care debate unfold I’ve been wondering why people are buying into the nonsense. More importantly, though, I have to wonder why the debate has grown so irrational. Certainly there are arguments to be made against a public option and you would think someone…anyone…would be trying to make them. Instead it’s been one nonsensical claim after another. Death panels, of course, are the most ridiculous of the many claims.
But why would the opposition resort to such absolutely outlandish tactics? Well, I’ve got a theory.
Since 2001 we’ve been living under the politics of fear. FOX News and the Bush administration made us believe that there was danger at every turn. Terrorists were hiding around every corner, and the only one who could save us was our president. These days, though, the administration in charge has a different message, and people responded in a big way.
The party that ruled for so long by terrorizing the country into agreeing with whatever it said is now competing against hope and a message of change. So the scare tactics have gotten more ridiculous. Terrorists we could all believe in. But death panels?