Have you seen the latest Jonathan Gruber video? Did it make you mad? Here’s the thing. If you’re a Conservative and/or a Republican, this guy shouldn’t be offensive to you for two main reasons.
First, right now he’s the only one associated with Obamacare who is even approaching honesty. He told the Liberal/Democrat politicians to lie about it, but he’s telling the truth about that. Confused? Good.
Consider this: If I stood in front of you and told you, “Hey, I’m going to punch you in the nose.” What would you do? You have a number of options, right? You could run away. You could punch me first. You could put your arms up in a defensive posture hoping to deflect the blow. You could even pull your concealed weapon and defend yourself.
However, if I were to walk up to you as if I were planning to shake your hand, but punched you in the nose by surprise, you wouldn’t have as many options. Now you’re left with reactionary responses. You could cry. You could punch back. You could still pull your concealed weapon and defend yourself, but you still have a bloody nose. Ask anyone in the military. They would much rather fight an enemy that they can see. The hidden enemy is more difficult.
The second reason I don’t think Conservatives/Republicans should be offended about Jonathan Gruber is because he’s not talking about you!
Again, Consider this: Who is he talking to? Go watch that video again. His message is to those who are trying to get the bill passed. Who are they lying to? They are lying to their constituents. He knows that informed Conservatives and Republicans are going to oppose this law. The lie needs to be sold to the Liberals, the Democrats, the uninformed voters, and the Moderates.
This raises a new question: Why aren’t the Liberals, the Democrats, the uninformed voters, and the Moderates mad about this? There’s one answer, the lie worked. For many of them it’s still working. They are so blinded by their loyalty to President Obama and the lie he sold to them that they refuse to even hear what Gruber is saying. Instead they just chant the talking points. “The ACA is a success. More Americans have medical coverage now. You don’t care about those who can’t afford healthcare. It’s the law. Deal with it.” You’ve seen it on social media. It’s almost like Stepford. It’s getting creepy.
As Conservatives, as Republicans, as Libertarians, what are we supposed to do about it?
First, participate in the political process. Vote, call your congressional critters, email them, let them know you’re paying attention. If you were paying attention to the election process, you might have heard some rumblings about Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas. He ended up losing his seat to Representative Tom Cotton. Pryor comes from a political family in Arkansas. He voted along party lines on the Obamacare issue. He knew that his constituents were not in favor of Obamacare, but he felt his family name would save him. When the gun control issues came up, his constituents got active. They let him know in no uncertain terms that they were not going to stand by and let him throw away their gun rights. He had big pressure from Bloomberg and Biden to fall in line on this issue. He knew better. He was already on thin ice back home. He listened to his constituents. He was right about being on thin ice. Cotton beat him by bringing up the Obamacare thing time and again in his campaign ads. Your voice counts. Let it be heard.
Second, engage the Liberals in meaningful debate. Don’t let it descend into name-calling. Point out when they are parroting the talking points. Point out that being an informed voter doesn’t mean that you sit and watch the 6:00 news. Do your homework. Be an actual informed voter. Make sure you read and watch news from both sides of the isle. Bring facts to the discussion. Ask them to do the same. When they bring up a concept, ask them to back it up with facts. Let them know that a single article by a known Liberal media outlet doesn’t really count as a fact. Facts need to be facts. Find points of agreement. Be honest about the shortcomings of past and current Conservative and Republican politicians.
Third, be a good ambassador for your cause. As mentioned above, don’t descend into name-calling. Don’t let a poor debater drag you down into the mud. Don’t post stuff on your social media outlet for the sole purpose of aggravating the Liberals. If you’re posting something controversial, make sure you accompany it with some thought-provoking comments or questions. Do it for the purpose of stimulating conversation and debate, not argument.
Fourth, realize that you may not always be right. This one is hard! There are at least two sides to every issue (otherwise it wouldn’t be an issue). Try to understand why they believe or feel the way they do. Just because they believe something different than you does not de-value them as a person. One of my longest friendships is with a guy who is the polar opposite of me politically. That doesn’t change the fact that he’s a good guy, a great husband, and a fantastic dad! He just happens to believe different things than I do. We spar online. We poke fun at each other’s political positions every now and then. I still like him. I don’t demonize him for his politics.
Final note: Let’s keep count. At this writing, there are six Jonathan Gruber videos out there. How many do you think there will be a month from now?