Ignorance is Pathetic Bliss

Does ignorance increase the further one travels southward in the U.S.? I hope not, because if that is true, then we are in deep trouble! Here in northern Ohio ignorance is fairly brisk. I came to this conclusion earlier this week as I was making so-called persuasion calls for the Obama Campaign. My list of callers were all women because the topic was health care and ‘those who know’ figured that women would be more interested in that topic than men and thereby easier to persuade.

My first question was: ‘Do you support the Affordable Health Care Act signed into law by President Obama?’ That stunned most of those who answered their phones. I thankfully had a sheet which listed the benefits of that law which I read to them to jar their memories.  Yet, for many, it didn’t. Some would ask, ‘Is that Obamacare?’ My ‘yes’ would illicit an immediate ‘No!’ If I asked why, the response was most often about ‘freedom,’ freedom to choose whatever plan she wanted. Even after listing 5 benefits for the law, if it was attached to President Obama it was dead in the water. Propaganda works well.

Some other women on my list who liked the benefits [which I read to them] suggested that it needed to be ‘fixed,’ although few could give specifics. When asked question #2, Should the law be repealed? this set said ‘No.’ The other group always said, ‘Yes!’

After questions 1 and 2, came question #3: Have you decided who you will support for president this year? Most said that they hadn’t, but the Obamacare group always said, ‘Not Obama.’ I had to help one of these women with the name, Santorum. She couldn’t think of it- ‘its a funny name like Sam,’ she told me. Or I would hear, ‘the Republican.’

After my dutiful two hours on the phone, I came to the conclusion that the Obama campaign must run a bevy of TV spots touting the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Because every GOP candidate brags that their first act in the White House will be the repeal of the ACA, the Obama Campaign Team has to fill the airways with the list of benefits of that act. Otherwise, it will become an albatross around Obama’s neck.

The point of negative advertising is clear: it works.  The other point, that it takes 8 positive messages to overcome one negative is equally clear.

Our Obama Team will be making many more health care calls in the upcoming weeks and I am not looking forward to that. The People are confused and easily misled.  Our phone calls will make only a slight dent in this conundrum facing the reelection team. It’s time to spend some of those hundreds of millions of dollars donated to the campaign. Get the information to The People.

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18 thoughts on “Ignorance is Pathetic Bliss

  1. “Get the information to The People.”

    As opposed to the onslaught of misinformation the current gaggle of Republican candidates is hawking. I have some experience in public campaigns and one of the first things the “shadier” sides do is misinform the public. And one of their most effective ways is to mislabel the issue/candidate. The Republicans/Fox News are the ones who came up with “Obamacare”, which indicates it is solely for people who supported Obama. NEVER, NEVER use that term and correct ANYONE when they use it. The correct name is The Affordable Health Care Act, which definitely sounds like something written for everyone.

    Every chance I get, I try to learn more about the Act and its’ implementation time-line. I also scour the fringe blogs to find the most potent lies being told, and then correct them. I’ve noticed that the lies in the fringe blogs are usually the same ones I hear in conversation. When talking to people about the Act, I try to personalize it to them so they understand how it will benefit them. Some people won’t be that affected as they have benefits provided by their employer, so personalize it using one of their children, sibling or even parent. I swear talking about it to my mother is a fulltime job. She so believes every outrageous lie she hears on Fox News, I begin to wonder why my father (near genius I.Q.) ever married her.

    Mr. Mud, I know this stuff is old hat to you, but I suspect there are many “lurkers” who read your blog.

    (Boy, if I wasn’t awake when I start reading this blog, I’m sure fired up when I’m done reading. :-)

    1. I’ve noticed that the lies in the fringe blogs are usually the same ones I hear in conversation.

      It’s a closed cesspool in which they all swim.

      1. …there were 128 views on the blogs yesterday so I’m sure that there are many more lurkers than there are commenters.

  2. Mr. Mud, just talked it over with the spouse and we’re going to try and make it tomorrow night. It would be great to meet you and maybe learn ways we can help with the campaign in Fulton County.

    You might be the oldest one there, but I definitely will be the largest!

  3. Well, M_R, it’s not going to be an easy time for Obama to win
    re-election. And, why should it be?

    Why should we forget Obama’s criticism of Bush’s high gasoline prices at the pump in 2009, and now he has high pump prices and
    tries to pass it off as Bush did? Where is Obama’s real energy
    policy? And, don’t give me his B S about inflating our tires and
    keeping our car in tune! As I have written a few times before, he
    could use an executive order, and he seems to like executive orders,
    and declare all federal vehicles have to run on natural gas. We
    already have huge amounts of natural gas in storage wells, and I
    am not supporting fracking per se. Moreover, it would be a
    substantial job creator. But, Obama does nothing meaningful.

    Second, Obama made a lot out of Bush’s debt, that he called
    “un-American”. Now, that’s a funny, isn’t? Under Bush it was
    $900 Billion, and under Obama it is $1.6 Trillion. Yeah, my
    friend, this is real “hope and change”.
    And, then there was his promise of not using PAC’s. I guess he
    “hopes” that we won’t see that he has “changed” his mind.

  4. The majority of the recent national debt increases are attributable to programs signed into law by the sitting President at the time, GEORGE W. BUSH!!!!!

    1. Well, NON, it is this President which is keeping the war in
      Afghanistan going for four years and costing the Treasury $2.5
      billion a week. $2.5 billion a week, NON, flushed down the drain, straight over to China. And, it is not just the $2.5 billion to
      carry on war, NON, it’s all the collateral damage as in veteran
      benefits and all the war injuries, and the three and four terms
      of service. Just yesterday, the General in charge of the war in
      Afghanistan said we were there to keep the Taliban from gaining
      control. Huh? The Taliban? I thought it was to rid the country
      of Al Quada? Oh, silly me, there are no Al Quada left; we killed
      them all! And, miraclously we will kill all the Taliban in 2014.
      Obama is the same as Bush. You know, not a dimes worth of
      difference in fighting and continuing lost wars.

      As to the rest of the debt, NON, tell me, is Obama running a
      deficit or a surplus? How long do you think we can keep
      a Government running on deficit spending. Do you really think
      that we can increase the taxes on the one or two percenters and have enough revenue to pay off our debt? Where do you left
      liberals get such ideas? Certainly not from the real world of
      work and economics. And, if this isn’t bad enough, NON, 50% of Americans pay no federal income taxes. Indeed, a guy where
      I work part time, came to me today and said by using the earned
      tax credit, he will be paid $7,000 for taking the credit. A single man with no dependents. No wonder we are going broke with
      stupid polices like these and numerous others. It’s a plague on
      both the Dems and the GOP.
      And, M_R, I have not heard or read a good reason to re-elect
      the President. Hell, he won’t even run on his major legislative
      “accomplishments”, as you so well describe in your POST. He
      sacrificed all for the Affordable Health Care Act over two years
      of economic crisis, and going into the election period his
      re-election is hanging on a thin thread. What do you know,
      M-R, or any one, that I don’t know about why we will be better
      off if Obama is re-elected. You know, folks, he gives a good
      speech, his rhetoric is really moving, but the reality is there is
      nothing substantial done. Obama’s speeches inspire us, but
      his policies have been bad. Simply put, M_R, Obama has not
      created the historic change that can validate his rhetoric. FDR”s
      speeches not only inspired, but he provided the common sense
      programs that validated his rhetoric. It is failed leadership!

      1. 1. Remember many of the Republican candidates making fun of alternate energy sources?
        2. I can’t think of a single Republican candidate who hasn’t stated Global Warming is a hoax.
        3. Congress writes the laws,not the President, including tax laws. Did someone forget the impasse in Congress this past summer?
        4. Is it just me or have the Republican candidates stayed away from economic issues, instead concentrating on things like contraception and equal rights for gays?
        5. My own mother would be dead if it weren’t for Medicare. Do you want to take that away from millions of senior citizens?
        6. And then you got your lies about the national debt. Blaming President Obama for cutting certain taxes and then stopping him for rolling back the cuts? Signing a bunch of unfunded expenditures before leaving office, and blaming the new guy for the increase?
        7. If they’re so friggin’ honest, why all the lies about The Affordable Health Care Act? Do you want to elect someone who ran their campaign on lies?

        And on and on and on and………………

  5. Sorry, they all mean a lot to me…………..and others.

    (Wow, isn’t it funny what brings thoughts to your mind. For some reason a person calling things, important to me, “meaningless nonsense” made be think of the similarities of the current Republican presidential candidates to the current Pope in Rome. They all want to take us back to the 13th Century.)

    1. Meaningless? I would never have chosen that modifier at all.

      Regarding your suggestion that there are similarities between the Pope and GOP candidates, what do you suppose links them together? Is it the need for control? Assumed righteousness? I think so. Neither wants free-thinkers or explorers but rather, docile sheep to herd into neat pastures then to the sheering [or meat market!].

      1. LOL – I’m so slow sometimes. I figured out the control thing, but HAD been wondering why they had started to attack the universities.

        We take the process of “thinking” for granted, but in reality you have to develop techniques for thinking about beyond what you have been told.

        1. We take the process of “thinking” for granted

          Apparently to an absurd extent, eh?

          I’m [mentally] working on a new post on this very subject- a post inspired by my new favorite author, Bishop John Spong. As I read him I hear the religion and the spirituality, yet at the same time my mind goes to politics and I am beginning to understand more clearly the dense and thorny ‘mindset’ operating here in the U.S. that was formed and is being fed and fertilized through our generational adherence to religious dogma and authoritarianism. It is both a fascinating yet insidious parallel!

  6. Trying again to leave a comment.

    I’ve done those calls here in MN; I just equip myself with a bunch of fact check sources, and politely and helpfully direct people to them. If you take the position that the people you’re talking with would like to be on the inside, with correct information, so they can correct others, Presenting it as sharing, as being on their side, can open folks up more than arguing with them or lecturing them.

    But damn there are a helluva lot of low information voters out there.

    1. DogGone- your comment got hung up in the ‘spam folder,’ sorry for that.

      We surely do learn things about The People while making contact calls and most of the time I am stunned by their level of low information!

      Not only that, but that they have fallen prey to propaganda. I forgot to mention in my post above that there were two people who had received emails that ‘said’ [fill in the blank]. One was the Death Panels- if you can believe that; the other was one was to a 90-year-old who ‘heard’ that his SS check was going to be taxed 1% to pay for ‘Obamacare.’

      The elderly in America are terribly ripe for this type of lying propaganda because theirs was a generation of honest politicians [relatively speaking] who did not stoop to lying to get elected. Sadly, they assume that level of honesty today. Further, they also assume that this new media, the Internet, is just as truthful as CBS News. A double whammy for our 70+ generation.

      1. Listening to a “telephone” town meeting with our Congressman Bob Latta, one elderly caller was concerned because he thought the Social Security yearly cost-of-living-adjustment (C.O.L.A.) was based solely on the price per gallon of gas on the first day of October. I wonder what News Network he watches.

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