This was posted by my husband some months ago in another group. I thought it might serve as a good conversation starter. I am confident that if we put our heads together, we can win this time.
I think it is important for everyone to understand what we are up against here. The situation has been observed to be "politically problematic", but the opinion that Single Payer is "not politically feasible" fails to consider the potential force of a by the people government.
The insurance industry has everything to lose, and will not go down without a serious fight. They have on their side, a swarm of lobbyists, huge political contributions, and mass amounts of 'Public Relations', aka propaganda.
Understand the propaganda.
Public opinion is the end goal of propaganda, polls are taken to test effectiveness. When you think about propaganda, consider the depressing tone of Soap Operas, and the upbeat Joy dish-soap commercial that followed. Soap Operas began on the radio when Edward Bernays worked for Proctor and Gamble. If you are not familiar with propaganda beyond labeling, I would suggest learning at least enough to understand the targeted use of emotions. These guys are professionals, and we have to beat them. Fear of "government control" is an obvious example. Google "Devon Herrick" as a real time example, and if you have the opportunity to comment, please do so.
We are already winning.
The internet has changed everything. Propaganda counted on control over selective information in order to shape opinions. What we are doing right now is out of their control, the spread of information is causing their structure of power to crumbling, and ours to rise.
Confront the propaganda.
Comment section are an excellent place to confront the propaganda and disinformation. We can not allow the disinformation being spread to be left unchallenged. Fill in facts, point out the propaganda and motives, including an authors employment if appropriate. Search the authors name with keywords, more often than not you'll find multiple submissions. Call in back up commenters when you need to. Watch for spin and cherry-picking as well as emotional triggers. Commenting is probably our most effective way to directly confront the propaganda. Register to comment everywhere you need to, it's worth the time. Some organization in this area could create a very powerful force.
Lobbyists vs Constituents!
While I get a canned answer from a computer, my Rep is out to lunch with a lobbyist. This is a difficult obstacle to overcome, but it is still just an obstacle. Writing to Congress has always been an important part of our Democracy. For the simple purpose of being counted as, in support of, or against an issue, it almost serves it purpose. Keep writing. But if you want your letter to actually be read, you need to put it in the local paper or other local media. In the office, your letter means nothing because nobody knows you sent it, but in front of the public, it's a different story. The last canned answer you received might be a good conversation piece, mention a few big contributions, lunch with the lobbyists, attach it to the issue and question who is actually being represented.
Or... You can use the magic mirror. You can show confidence and give praise that projects the right decision you know he or she will make. Point to good qualities and values of the individual, that support the idea and the confidence that the right choice will be made. Explain why your Rep will vote the way you want, and how those qualities make them great. A good compliment is hard for people to act against.
I do agree with most of what has been stated however, I would disagree with one small point. Congressional offices "lose" mail and "miss" emails, but they MUST keep a record of all incoming phone calls. Therefore, continue to write, and email but added a phone call. Once or twice a week will improve the numbers of positive incoming calls and be sure to keep your own record of all calls and the name of who you spoke with. Hoping for changes and demanding them through consistent and positive action are very different. The only way to fight the Lobby is to be vocal and keep records. Should a Congress person still ignore your agenda - vote them out of office.
Much has been said about the cost of single payer health reforms, some of it is pure nonsense, some of it realistic. We all know that tax reformation is needed and to not be actively involved in a tax reform that will benefit all Americans means that this too will be decided for you. I have looked at many possible forms of tax reformation, almost all of them conceived by politicians for politicians, though sold as a positive for the "average" American. I strongly support the Fair Tax, it will allow for the money needed to convert the country to generous health care reform, guarantees for the stability of Social Security, continued support for infrastructure, "green" industry, and independence from foreign loans by quickly paying off our debts.
I, too, generally support the Fair Tax, but really don't know enough about it to advocate for it.
That congress must keep a record of all incoming calls is good information, I will be sure to make more phone calls in the future. Being counted is very important. The insurance industry is not only in congress' ear though, through advertising campaigns and think tanks, the articles they publish, and the so called experts they make 'available' to the media, they are in the ear of the public, and so must we be.
More from James (who is, by the way, my husband) ~
We were promised a government of, by, and for the people. What we got was Edward Bernays and a long legacy of for-profit manipulation. What we grew up with is the governing of the people, by the media, mostly for the corporations. Read this quote from the 1928 book 'Propaganda', and consider the implications.
"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our government." ~ Edward Bernays
There is nothing more depressing than the tone of the latest anti-depressant commercial. If there was, they would have used it instead. It's like that, but cherry picked, spun, recommended by a third party authority, and propagated. Polls will be taken. Fortunately, Bernays didn't see the internet coming, and the tide is turning.
Propaganda is a for-profit service available to anyone who can afford it. These services are provided by lobbyists, think tanks, foundations, and front groups, commonly under the guise of an "expert". In addition to marketing and advertising, propaganda also known as Public Relations, is present in almost ever aspect of society where public opinion plays a role. This has gone on for the entire history of TV, and until the recent rise of the internet, the public was mostly unaware. Our information has been suppressed for most of our lives and we are just now getting to a point where an understanding of that is unfolding.
What really matters, and the only thing that will ever change any of this, is 'Public Opinion', including that of the politicians parties. Look at this part of Bernays' quote again.
"Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our government.” ~ Edward Bernays
Ah! I have an idea!
So, about those phone call records, do you know if they are available to the public? If so, I am sure we could figure out a number of ways to use them.