Republicans came out with their battle plan to win the 2014 elections. It is nothing but a PR document. It is however a very effective strategy if it goes unchallenged. Republicans’ basic strategy is to lie by inference, lie by omission, and outright lie. They are disciplined and focused. They are committed to their ideology irrespective of the damage it does to most Americans. It does not matter if facts and evidence are provided. Republicans stick to talking points. The repetition of talking points has a tendency to become truth in the psyche of many low information or time deprived citizens.
Republican conviction to their Randian ideology irrespective of consequences denotes a kind of strength that many admire. It is irrational but results of our elections are probative. Americans know that Republicans do not look out for their best interest. However they exude the semblance of strength. Americans love strength.
The Republican playbook is really no different than what they are already doing. They have just encapsulated it into one 18 page document. It consists of the following:
- Task their politicians to promote the three basic lies: Obamacare cost jobs by forcing employers to reduce hours; Obamacare causes health insurance premiums to increase; Obamacare causes people to lose the insurance they like.
- Task their politicians to collect the stories of citizens who believe they are negatively impacted by Obamacare.
- Task their politicians to write op-eds, create online videos, send tweets, send Facebook posts and use other social media to promote the false information widely.
More on the playbook below the fold.
The playbook is shallow and devoid of substance. It is a message without any attempt to provide any solution to America’s health care fiasco. However, its simplicity makes it that more dangerous because many scared, concerned, busy, uninformed and misinformed Americans can fall prey to it. The Republicans will follow the plan lock, stock and barrel.
Progressive politicians must not cower to the onslaught. Instead, they must go on the offensive. Progressive politicians are the ones solving and attempting to solve what ails the poor and working middle class. Republicans do not have any answers or solutions that they can point to over the last several decades that helped the poor or working middle class.
Americans however must see unwavering strength and conviction by progressives supporting progressive policies. Americans must be made to believe it’s not temporary. Americans must look at progressives and feel in their souls that they have someone that will fight for them. They must know that progressives will not cower or bend at the first sign of resistance. (e.g., a poorly functioning healthcare.gov should not have sent progressives into a panic. Instead they should have put their heads together to modify strategies.)
So what should progressives do to counter the Republican playbook? They must not only go toe to toe. They must go on the attack.
- Every single talking point is a lie and can be refuted in one or two sentences. Obamacare does not and will not cause job losses. Companies hire if they need more workers to maximize profits. Taxes or Obamacare has little effect on that. Obamacare premiums are coming in lower than expected. Moreover, since the inception of Obamacare, U.S. health care spending growth slowed to the lowest rate ever tracked. Obamacare is not canceling insurance policies. It is a financial choice by insurance companies that have free will within guidelines that protect consumers. Remember, Obamacare is not government takeover of health care.
- Progressives must collect stories from those that have benefitted or will benefit from Obamacare. That turns out to be the vast majority of Americans. All Americans benefit from all or some of the following: Children can stay on parents’ policies till 26 years of age; policies cannot be rescinded; policies can no longer have caps; policies can no longer exclude preexisting conditions; policies all have a maximum out of pocket that will prevent bankruptcies; free preventative screenings are provided.
- Write op-eds with these stories. Write op-eds that tell the truth of all the benefits of Obamacare. Flood social media with real videos of these positive stories (tweets, Facebook posts, Tumblr, Vine, etc).
- ATTACK! Republicans have had decades to propose their Universal health care solutions. Now that a Democratic president has instituted a solution based largely on their own proposed solution, they object. Anyone who proposes the repeal of Obamacare without a concrete alternative plan does not care for or value the uninsured, the poor, or the working middle class. Every Republican lie must be countered quickly, effectively and with short simple easy to understand sentences. Then immediately put them on the defensive. Ask them why they want to reinstitute caps, preexisting conditions and useless insurance policies. Ask them why they are condemning many in their states to death by refusing a fully paid for Medicaid Expansion that their tax payers are already paying for.
Progressives have the moral high ground on these issues. Do not allow Republicans to challenge that. Do not expect any help in promoting the truth from the traditional media. Do not depend on the progressive politician to get the message out. Every progressive must do their part. The heavy lifting must be done via social media, door to door, via word of mouth, at grocery stores, in coffee shops and everywhere in between.
One should not despair however. Fighting a war in this manner builds the progressive base and makes it that much stronger. Many lasting connections are made. This permutes into a continual progressive expansion. Running on Obamacare and on progressive values with absolute conviction will bring both moral and electoral victory.