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Hello there. I'm Le Champignon (French for "the mushroom"). I'm a new diarist and user, but I've been lurking for some months now, so I basically know the score here. I would like to bring to you a new diary series entitled Tales of my Conservative Father. I suppose it's a little bit like "Shit My Dad Says", except a) it's not contrived and scripted, b) humor is only a secondary concern, and c) I want it to be an educational insight into those whose minds we need to change if we want a shot at retaking the House.

Let me introduce myself first. I'm a young white male liberal born and raised in Texas (complete with the pervasive "y'all"), graduating next fall from the University of Texas. I consider myself an FDR liberal. I believe that all other concerns in America are secondary to the economic plight of the lower and middle class, and the economic blight visited upon them by the upper class. Racism, sexism, homophobia, and other social issues are great concerns of mine as well, but fundamentally, money remains the greatest divider in America. I'm also a type-one diabetic with vision and hearing problems, adult ADD, and severe acute depression.

And now to introduce the subject of my diary series. My father is an old Texas conservative, long-time blue collar worker. He voted Republican every single time in his life, until November 2012 when he just couldn't pull the lever for Mitt Romney. (This was thanks to me. Of course, I couldn't get him to support Obama. He just didn't vote in the Presidential election.) Some (rather rough) quotes of his to give you an idea about the man:

The 1992 election was perfect; it just had the wrong outcome. We had the best economics guy, the best foreign policy guy, and the man who could sell water to a drowning man all running against each other. [By which he meant Ross Perot, Shrub the First, and Bill Clinton, respectively.]
Reagan was the best thing that ever happened to this country.
[Shrub the Second] was a great man who stood up for his beliefs. If he said he was going to do something, by god, he meant it. He was an honest man.
I've always supported unions and I've always bought American. I'll never forgive Clinton for sending good union jobs to other countries with NAFTA. [Note: This is a man who worked as a union representative for years at Boeing.]
Y'all can take my guns from my cold dead hands. That's what you Democrats want, right?
I ain't voting for that ni**er. [Meaning Barack Obama.]
With all that having been said: My father is not your run-of-the-mill conservative. If I were to label him anything, I'd say he's a closet conservative Democrat, or maybe a Ross Perot independent. This fall, he'll likely be voting for Wendy Davis for governor. If he does so, it will be the first time in his life that he has pulled the lever for a Democrat.

Having introduced the two parties, let me explain the format of the diary series. Each diary will focus on one topic. I'll compare and contrast my views with my father's, and explain his reasoning behind his statements. I'll then discuss ways of convincing the man, and those with similar views, why they're wrong. I'll close with some discussion of the electoral impact of converting similar men to our cause. Since this is my first diary on this site (though I'm well-practiced on others), and also my first try at a diary series, this format is subject to change based on feedback on your part and reconsideration on my part.

Speaking of which, all feedback is quite welcome - I will not bite anyone's head off. In fact, I'm quite interested in seeing how well this diary is received, as I've seen precious little liberal insight into the conservative world that didn't involve mocking them mercilessly. (Often deservedly so, of course.) Now, onto today's diary topic, at last:

In my father's words:

[My father] Obamacare is a bunch of bullshit. Why couldn't they just fix Medicare?
This was the surprise statement my father made to me a few months ago as the rollout of the law approached. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I asked him what he meant.

As mentioned in the introduction segment, I am a type one diabetic with vision and hearing disorders, i.e. I'm entirely uninsurable. My father is acutely aware of my struggles regarding healthcare. For me, healthcare is not optional. If I stop taking insulin, I might last a couple weeks if I watch what I eat. So preexisting conditions is something he knows a lot about.

My father is also of the Rob Portman (R-The "Stop Polling Me Already For God's Sake" State) vein of conservatism. He's quite capable of empathy, so long as it's someone he cares about. (Sidenote for context: Sen Portman was the first Republican Senator to come out in favor of gay marriage after finding out his son is gay.)

What he meant was this: Why not extend Medicare's benefits for all those with a preexisting condition who could not get coverage through their employer?

It's a fine idea, to be sure. But most of the uninsured in America do not have preexisting conditions of the kind that make you uninsurable - just enough to raise your rates through the roof. It also doesn't stop the "free rider" problem where the uninsured go to the hospital, receive care, and then don't pay their hospital bills at the expense of their credit. (This, by the way, was me after finding out about my diabetes at age 20.)

This is his main objection to Obamacare: Why should anyone be forced to purchase anything from a private party?

That's right, ladies and gents. My arch-conservative father attacked Obamacare from the left.

The response:

Basically, I agree with him. Obamacare's individual mandate has always seemed sketchy at best to me. But I understand the need for it. Politically, medicare-for-all was never going to happen, and medicare-for-some just wasn't enough to get everyone covered. But it's a solid idea, nevertheless. If you want to reduce the premiums for everybody, then cover people with preexisting conditions and chronic illnesses such as diabetes that require long term treatment. And give us a public option so that we don't have to donate money to corporations; we should do it if, and only if, it makes economic sense to do so, i.e. the corporations can undercut the federal government.

The electoral consequences:

Economically, my father is right wing. Among his many quotes is this gem:

I vote Republican because I make more money when Republicans are in power.
So it's rather surprising to see such a conservative advocating such a left-wing position. I think it shows that the Demosaurs and Dixiecrats of 2009 were overly afraid of sponsoring government-run health insurance. Single-payer could have been a winning issue for us - or at the very least, a public option + medicare expansion.

People love the hell out of Medicare. They don't understand Obamacare. In the mind of my father, Medicare is a Good Thing. Expanding it is also a Good Thing. Advocating for its expansion could persuade some people to vote Democrat who have never done so before, or persuade those who once voted Democrat to do so again. (This being the Reagan Democrat, Ross Perot independent demographic that abandoned us in droves during the 90s.)

And who would it alienate? Essentially no one. Liberals like it because it's closer to single payer. Low-info voters like it because it's simple and easy to understand. Centrists like it because Medicare is popular across the political spectrum, save for some far-right Tea Party hacks. The only folks who wouldn't like it are the aforementioned Tea Party hacks - and who here thinks such folk would ever be caught dead voting for a Democrat?

Originally posted to Le Champignon on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:32 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.


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  •  Tip Jar (274+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murphy, JayRaye, Lawrence, Just Saying, cosette, Tomtech, Teknocore, MsGrin, virginwoolf, Pluto, 73rd virgin, Thinking Fella, emmasnacker, Polly Syllabic, PinHole, northcountry21st, Naniboujou, Rolandz, bibble, smileycreek, tobendaro, Alexandra Lynch, bwren, FlamingoGrrl, sow hat, Emerson, silentpawz, mozartssister, Turn Left, Lorikeet, ban nock, kathyjoe1, Bonsai66, Miz Trom, happyshadow, eve, Involuntary Exile, AJ in Camden, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, marykk, Aunt Pat, Bill in MD, Chinton, smrichmond, Phoenix Woman, jasan, foresterbob, historys mysteries, pateTX, katienne, Skyye, pixxer, Isara, notrouble, tofumagoo, Its a New Day, hungrycoyote, 1BQ, dotdash2u, Jim P, batchick, jw1, jacey, TheDuckManCometh, edwardssl, Witgren, Australian2, allensl, arabian, kerflooey, Terri, doingbusinessas, pdkesq, kerplunk, ER Doc, MarkW53, Hayate Yagami, sc kitty, jan4insight, elfling, CJB2012, nice marmot, Orinoco, begone, hotheadCA, amadon, JL, MartyM, blueoasis, ladybug53, oldliberal, MyLifeInKenya, SoCalSal, Cuseology, watercarrier4diogenes, bvljac, mmacdDE, TheMeansAreTheEnd, Gowrie Gal, mamamorgaine, flowerfarmer, mujr, ATFILLINOIS, golem, OleHippieChick, Buckeye54, Great Cthulhu, Kristina40, onceasgt, SheLawyer, LucyTooners, Linda1961, Oh Mary Oh, rmonroe, smartdemmg, Mayfly, LynChi, most peculiar mama, BluejayRN, contrariandy, MickeyT, sfgb, cv lurking gf, bbctooman, on the cusp, countwebb, magpie02141, eeff, codairem, htowngenie, reginahny, DamselleFly, Radical Faith, stlsophos, Leslie in KY, zerelda, luvmyprez, CitizenJoe, JosephK74, badscience, awcomeon, cantelow, Habitat Vic, astage4444, Metalgirl, SaintC, wasatch, Amayi, Empower Ink, Llywarch, Aaa T Tudeattack, prettygirlxoxoxo, WisVoter, vtjim, not this time, FrY10cK, Matilda, drdana, afisher, worldlotus, Radiowalla, SuWho, serendipityisabitch, JDWolverton, FlyingToaster, nomandates, JayBat, mkor7, GeorgeXVIII, old wobbly, kjoftherock, pioneer111, Rumarhazzit, Haf2Read, Bulldozer, mrsgoo, marleycat, Born in NOLA, Chaddiwicker, Jim in Chicago, Zwenkau, Lura, Killer of Sacred Cows, yoduuuh do or do not, NormAl1792, chuck utzman, blackjackal, JWC, bloomer 101, DRo, pimutant, RW, doroma, Lujane, Odysseus, MKinTN, Sylv, stormicats, pvasileff, Thisbe, BlueMississippi, thatwhichisgood, TheOpinionGuy, radarlady, FindingMyVoice, Assaf, ceebee7, trivium, Angie in WA State, AJayne, wilywascal, dewtx, Kanscott, peterj911, Scioto, dragonlady, fgentile, HeyMikey, carolanne, juca, Heiuan, niteskolar, Duncan Idaho, La Gitane, lexalou, sawgrass727, Matt Z, wader, pickandshovel, Mighty Ike, msazdem, meg, Simul Iustus et Peccator, wilderness voice, third Party please, Dvalkure, lightarty, KansasNancy, Chi, Ironic Chef, SME in Seattle, terabytes, NYC Sophia, Lencialoo, Dbug, BlueEyed In NC, bepanda, CarlaMalia, llellet, sotiredofusernames, cspivey, Tonedevil, Dave925, weidheimer, Al Fondy, i dunno, Robynhood too, akze29, coppercelt, America Jones, kaliope, Papuska, Silvia Nightshade, Jamaste, ridemybike, thomask, letsgetreal, ruleoflaw, basket, mod2lib, helpImdrowning, ramara, BocaBlue, MJ via Chicago
  •  I look forward to your series. (66+ / 0-)

    when I was shop steward many years ago, at least half of my fellow workers were Republican, at that time it was popular to be a young Reagan Republican. Nevertheless, they were good union members, most of them. One of them even made a point of coming to say good bye to me when he left to work elsewhere. He even told me that he respected me, knowing full well that I am a Socialist. So, working over a long period of time, we can have an influence on Republican thinking.

    I think you are on the right track. I do believe that we can win some of these folks over. The Democratic Party Chair of Texas, Hinojosa gave a talk about this which I got to hear. He had more faith in winning over the Republican women. I think he is right on that score. He advised us all not to give up on them but to keep trying to talk to them. And here's the thing, we only have to win over a small per cent to turn Texas blue.

    But, sadly, the racism of an elderly Republican man I have found impossible to deal with. They are not allowed to use those words around me, and usually they prefer to lose me and keep their ugly words, and that includes elderly family members.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:56:28 PM PST

    •  Certainly (37+ / 0-)

      It's true that Republican women seem like lower-hanging fruit, if you'll pardon the metaphor, given their moderation on social issues. But I think an economic populist message could start to resonate with middle-aged men, at least on health care.

      I think we can all agree that ANY convert, no matter their demographic, is a good convert. A vote is a vote!

      •  Not to piggyback Unneccessarily (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Al Fondy, Silvia Nightshade

        But to be sure you see it, I feel so strongly about it, is this;

        Advocating for its expansion could persuade some people to vote Democrat
        It is never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,

        Democrat Party or Vote Democrat it is always Democratic!

        It shows how pervasive and succesful the RW's campaign to change the very name of the party who's banner FDR proudly carried into a slander because they found people reacted negatively to "Democrat" whereas "Democratic" elicited overwhelmingly positive results.

        Let's elicit overwhelmingly positive results, shall we?

        Other than that, I always appreciate the insight those who have the misfortune of having them in their family can relate of the wingnut mind in action.

        "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

        by Dave925 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 02:11:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  As a Democrat myself.. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't really care. /shrug

          I use Democratic as the adjective, and Democrat as the adverb. Technically, the proper term is "vote Democratically" - but that doesn't make much sense. So ... I vote Democrat.

          •  it's a shibboleth around here (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            please use "vote Democratic" and always use "Democratic" in similar contexts.

            i would even go so far as to suggest editing the diary to correct it.

            repeating any form of GOPropaganda-created phrase (death panels, tax relief, vote Democrat) will automatically make some people refuse to take you seriously and will weaken your ability to reach people here

            Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
            Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

            by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:40:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ehm (0+ / 0-)

              "Obamacare" originated as a right wing phrase. Now even the President uses it, and made bumper stickers out of it (see: ObamaCares).

              "Queer" was originally used to denigrate the gay community. Now it's commonly used by the gay community itself.

              On the contrary, stealing their propaganda is a time-honored way of dealing with it. "Democrat" as an adverb cannot possibly be insulting in any way save through context.

              You may, if you wish, use this as an excuse not to listen to me - that's your choice. But it seems to be a pretty silly reason for doing so, and I'm not sure you're the kind of person I'm hoping to reach anyway.

              Indeed, if you'll see the diary, I have to put up with my father repeatedly using the word "nig*er" to describe black people. Hell, he got a flashlight for Christmas a couple days ago - he happily called it a "nig*er stick" because cops used to use them for beating black people. If you're offended by "Democrat" used as an adverb, then you're unlikely to be able to talk to a conservative long enough to do anything but get greatly annoyed by their coarse and sometimes vulgar rhetoric against the poor, against minorities, against Democrats, or against any other group they stand against.

              Thicker skins than that are necessary to go into the trenches and fight the ideological war where it really needs to be fought.

              •  Ummmm (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Really would it effin' kill you to call our party by its correct name in all cases. It's really not that hard and your stubbornness on this issue is terribly unwarranted. It's not just RW propaganda, it's an attempt to stir up negative perceptions. Re-read my post about it having been focus grouped, please, and the result of that study. This is why using it will have no effect in diffusing it as a pejorative no more than the continuing usage of swear words will diffuse them either.

                Your time consuming defense of your usage is only marking you as intransigent and stubborn for no good reason. Let me repeat, every time you use "democrat" where "Democratic" should be used, you are stirring up a negative perception in people who are on the fence, outright hostility to you by committed Democrats and validation of wingnut terminology.

                I simply can't understand why you'd want to do that.

                "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

                by Dave925 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:21:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Look (0+ / 0-)

                  I have a rather strong aversion to altering my language for no good reason, especially on the whims of political correctness. Again, I'm not changing. Please deal with it, or not, as is your choice. If I fail to reach people because of it, then that's my problem, and I'll accept the consequences.

                  And by the way - the problem you're referring to is actually a different problem entirely. The main 'offensive' use of the word "Democrat" is in reference to the so-called "Democrat" party - i.e. using Democrat as the adjective. I'm using it as the adverb. So.. I think you're confused on your own desire to be offended. Again, the choice is yours, but if you want to talk to a conservative, you better be much more thick-skinned than this.

                  •  that's twice you have told longstanding members (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    that we should be thick skinned in talking to you in the same way that we would in talking to a conservative.

                    hmmm... does that mean that you yourself are a conservative?  conservatives come here all the time and try to pose as liberal/progressive but it never works.  

                    conservatives are welcome here for conversation so long as they do not post RW talking points or deliberately attempt to subvert the mission of the site.

                    even using the term "politically correct" in that way is a Rcon use of the term.  "Politically correct" is a term coined by conservatives to belittle people who are respectfully inclusive and culturally sensitive to people who are different from them.

                    Dave925 and I are saying that if you want to join this community it would be polite to avoid using terminology that the community deems offensive.  If that's not a good enough reason for you, then that tells us you don't value this community very much.

                    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:04:38 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Y'know what my little Mushroom fellow? (0+ / 0-)

                    You've just earned a big ignore from me. You act just like a wingnut, albeit somewhat better with writing. But obviously your father has rubbed off on you more than you admit and thus, you have no credibility telling us what you have "learned" about talking to conservatives. Despite what you say, you have far more in common with them than you do with us, punk.

                    "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

                    by Dave925 on Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 12:10:17 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

              •  PS (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                You have no right to criticize your dad's use of the N word since by your "logic" seeing how African Americans use it themselves, it's OK.

                "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

                by Dave925 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:27:19 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  you just got here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                so I don't need to be lectured by you.

                i am aware of how Obamacare originated.  I am aware that terms like "queer" are being repurposed.

                i also have a lot of experience in talking to conservatives, thank you.  I cut them a lot more slack in the way they express themselves because I am trying to find common ground with them.

                my point is about how I expect to be addressed by someone who claims to be on my side.

                not only that, the terms Obamacare and queer were redefined by people belonging to the groups being addressed.  Someone from the outside cannot come in and tell them "I'm redefining this negative term for you and you need to accept it."

                i was just trying to tell you what the norms are for this community, and I was respectful.  You did not bother to return the respect.  I will judge you by your lack of respect as well as by your determination to use a word that is considered insulting by many people here.  That is, in fact, the whole point of a shibboleth.  it indicates what side you are actually on.

                using the term "Democrat" in the way that Republicon propagandists do is a small way of refusing to abide by dK community standards.

                if you refuse to abide by community standards in bigger ways, you will not last long here

                Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
                Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

                by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:52:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I have no idea why this guy is being a dick but he certainly is.

              "We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world - bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts" - Hunter S. Thompson

              by Dave925 on Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:22:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  "Lay Champion"? (29+ / 0-)

    You must be one of them there French Surrender Munkees.

    Just kidding; of course.  :)

    I enjoyed reading your diary - welcome to DailyKos!

    Tipped and recced

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:56:40 PM PST

  •  Welcome! Look forward to other installments. (15+ / 0-)

    Tipped and Recc'd.

    OMG I have five bars for the first time ever in almost 10 years. The new Robokosbot must be screwed up.

    by cosette on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:04:25 PM PST

  •  Ask him how his 401K did. (31+ / 0-)

    You should be able to get historical trends from the fund he invested in and show him that it tanked twice while Shrub the Second was in The Oval Office.

    You might want to discuss how Right to Work for less laws favored by Republicans ensures that union contributions and effectiveness goes down with non union workers getting all the benefits of the contract while not contributing the funds needed to keep the union operating.

    © Tomtech! My comments may not be used without my permission outside of the post which it is posted in..

    by Tomtech on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:04:54 PM PST

    •  Actually (39+ / 0-)

      I don't think he has a 401k. That's how lower-middle class he is. He's exactly the kind of person we need to reach - people whose interests are served by the Democratic agenda, not the Republican.

      He's always said "I disagree with the Republicans when it comes to unions and right to work". Apparently he just doesn't care enough about the issue to vote accordingly. This confuses me greatly, because his union job at Boeing was by far the best job he's ever had. Great benefits, a pension plan, an enormous salary (it wasn't significantly smaller than the engineers' salaries at Boeing, and engineers make damn good money), the works.

      Of course, if truth be told, Democrats haven't been the best partners of unions in the past couple decades. As far as I'm aware, there hasn't been a serious push to ban right to work legislation on the federal level, nor has there been any significant legislation to roll back Taft-Hartley and similar anti-union legislation. Hell, it wasn't until recently that the NLRB has been able to function at all, thanks to unwillingness to eliminate the filibuster once and for all. But at least that part changed.

      •  if he was at Boeing, he probably has a pension (25+ / 0-)

        ...of the "defined benefit" variety, the sort that has been forcibly replaced by 401(k), 403(b), and the like. Those "defined contribution" retirement accounts are (needless to say) far more lucrative for the financiers and far more volatile for the retirees.

        Currently, Boeing is trying to force its Machinists Union in Washington to switch from pensions to 401(k), holding the upcoming 777X assembly line location hostage while trying to break the union. Sadly, the national office of the union is on Boeing's side -- the locals already voted overwhelmingly to reject the extortion contract offer, but the national wants them to vote again ... even though Boeing has not changed its contract language and has refused to negotiate.

        I'll always be UID:180, even if Markos tries to pry it away.

        by N in Seattle on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:56:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've always been skeptical (18+ / 0-)

          of 401k plans. While I'm still a student, I've seen firsthand what happens when people trust their retirements to the financial industry. (See: Bush Recession.)

          In all honesty, I wish all pensions and 401k plans could be outlawed entirely, and Social Security doubled to compensate. It's just not right for people to work their whole lives and then see their savings go kablewy just because they happened to reach retirement age during a recession, or because their company went belly-up or decided to unilaterally ditch their pension obligations in bankruptcy or contract manipulation as in your example. Security is one of the huge advantages of government action over the private sector. Businesses go bust; if a government goes bust, you've got a lot more problems on your hands than just your retirement.

          •  Or (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dvalkure, Lencialoo, BlueEyed In NC, gmats

            Pensions should be in a lock-box, off-limits for a company to touch no matter how bad they're tanking.  But I agree with dumping 401K's - I know too many people who watched their entire savings evaporate.

            If people want to play the market with extra cash, then fine.  But the craps table is not the right place to plan for your retirement.

            In general, I think it's a serious problem in this country that most people can't save for anything.  Think about how much money someone has to make if they are going to put money away for a rainy day, for their kid's school, for medical expenses, and for retirement.  Not to mention trying to save for a vacation or a big purchase like a house or a car.

            Every time I manage to get a couple of grand in the bank (which isn't often), something comes up and it disappears.  Car repairs, vet bills, emergency dental work... you name it.  Makes it virtually impossible for me to get anywhere, much less think about retirement.  Ha!

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 02:49:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  no 401k, then he should care about Social Security (9+ / 0-)

        People of any age who think like your father need to understand that the Far Right plot against Social Security threatens their economic future and the economic future of our entire nation (other than the 1%).  Programs like Social Security, Medicare, and "Obamacare" provide social and economic stability.  Social Stability Programs are critical to maintaining a strong, consumer-based Capitalist economy.

      •  And if Obama HAD suggested expanding Medicare? (8+ / 0-)

        You remember, don't you, that "Obamacare" was conceived by republicans as the conservative health care reform measure.  And initially, republicans/conservatives around the country LOVED their conser4vative helathcare reform ideas.

        It was ONLY AFTER this republican/conservative healthcare plan was championed by a democrat, and passed and signed into law by a democratic president, that republicans/conservatives started hating it.

        Now, I am thinking that had Pres. Obama favored an expansion of Medicare to include people that had pre-existing conditions, and gotten such a measure passed and then signed it into law, republicans like your father across the country would find reasons why this is a horrible rotten idea that only a person set on the destruction of the country could love.

        Not to impugn your father, but we should remember that the REAL reason republicans/conservatives hate this conservative healthcare reform is because a democrat (and a black one at that) was able to get it made law - not because of any particulars about the law itself or what it accomplishes or fails to accomplish.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 11:34:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome to Daily Kos! (20+ / 0-)

    I look forward to more.

    “As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
    – Nelson Mandela, proof that the final form of love is forgiveness.

    by smileycreek on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:07:27 PM PST

  •  At least your Dad listens to you (30+ / 0-)

    Mine won't.  I'm a damn librul so he won't listen to me.  

    You are making enormous strides if you can get him to vote for Wendy.  

    Sounds like your father might believe in the false Repub meme that Dems are always tax & spend.  

    Enjoyed this; wondering what you are majoring in?    

  •  Could you explain... (13+ / 0-)

    how someone could say this

    Reagan was the best thing that ever happened to this country.
    and follow it up that this?
    I've always supported unions and I've always bought American.
    It's not the first time I've heard it, but still don't understand it.

    My understanding is that what you are proposing is a current part of Medicare for those suffering from kidney failure.

    To be first in the soil, which erupts in the coil, of trees veins and grasses all brought to a boil. -- The Maxx

    by notrouble on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:51:51 PM PST

  •  I love hearing about people who aren't us (16+ / 0-)

    it can be a wind tunnel in here, and, yes, while many Republicans say some very stupid things, they generally have some sort of logic behind it. Then it's up to us to understand their rationale and expose their fallacies.

    We don't get very far mocking people. We do much better when we can convince them, often using their worldview as our ammunition. But that takes time and one-on-one interaction, and I don't know how many of us can often be bothered - especially after trying to convince those folks who flat out refuse to listen to any other viewpoint.

    I look forward to hearing about your dad. He sounds cantankerous, but not a total dittohead.

  •  Nice. One of the flaws of this site, imo, is (19+ / 0-)

    we usually go for the caricature of Republican supporters, instead of getting to the nitty-gritty of who they are as people.

    This is a great contribution to an adult-type discussion.

    To my own mind, not speaking about your dad, I see people who've worked themselves up into hysteria on the right. Many are hysterical because Black Man with Power. Others, they've just psyched themselves up to hysteria because they don't want to let go of their massive vanity (I know the Mind of God, you don't); their fears, greed, and resentment.

    The best cover for lying to yourself is to find something to be offended about to the point where you're off doing and saying extreme things.

    But that's a generalization. Seeing how individuals are, that's a help to being insightful. Thanks.

    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:19:01 PM PST

  •  So, the correct reply to "repeal ObamaCare" (17+ / 0-)

    should be "expanding Medicare would address many of the shortcomings of ObamaCare." I like that approach!

    Looking forward to your series. Your interactions with your father and your insights into why he believes as he does could be quite illustrative. You might propose ways of dealing with conservatives who are willing to have a civil discussion about the issues. For example, about his assertion that he does better when the Republicans are in power, have you shown him the data that shows that the economy in general, and Wall Street in particular, typically do better under Democratic administrations? It might be interesting to delve into that assertion. In what way does he do better? To what does he attribute the difference?

    Great first diary!

    "'Patriotism' is the last refuge of a scoundrel" - Samuel Johnson, 1775

    preborner: (n.) one who believes that the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth.

    by 1BQ on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:21:10 PM PST

    •  ACA guarantees coverage up to age 65, thats great, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      or we could simply reduce the eligibility age for Medicare.

      For all Americans of all ages, the greatest selling point for "Obamacare" should be that it does what the private, for-profit market did not, will not and cannot do, it guarantees the availability of high-quality, comprehensive, affordable health insurance until you're Medicare eligible, regardless of your good health or loss thereof.  

      but, by all means, let's add a public option and prepare for the possibility that Medicare-For-All will eventually be necessary.

      •  Not quite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Angie in WA State, Dvalkure

        that was the intension, but thanks to the surprise SupCt decision, a very considerable chunk of those least able to afford healthcare (poor people in red states that refused the Medicaid expansion) are left out in the cold. There is also the problem that some local markets are more affordable than others, some are not affordable at all. And there is the issue of "affordable" being a relative term--it's good for most of the above-poverty level working uninsured, but not so great for those who are just above the subsidy level (the assumption being such people should have jobs that include insurance).

        Personally I think the worst thing about the ACA (aside from the Medicaid problem) is that it's so much state-based (come to think of it, that's the problem with the Medicaid thing, too). I wish I lived in a real country where everyone was equal, instead of having things like healthcare dependent on which of the 50 sovereign insurance principalities we happen to end up in.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:48:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  well, just go talk to the framers (0+ / 0-)

          and tell them to drop that 10 Amendment shit. And while they were at it they should expand that "provide for the common welfare" provision and give it more prominence.

          And tell them to add a sentence recognizing that different times call for different interpretations of their purposefully vague words. They need to be more specific in that 2nd Amendment, too.

          Actually many of the insurers are coming up with new ideas that if found successful could spread. Sort of like how the 50 states are supposed to be laboratories.

          One insurer is placing a nurse in with each primary care doctor to keep in touch with people with diabetes, multiple conditions and other things where a continuing medication and/or therapy regime is important. It is not enough to just diagnose and prescribe and send the patient on his way. It is paying off.

          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

          by samddobermann on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 04:35:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Working for Boeing, doesn't he do better in war (0+ / 0-)

      than peace?  I often think this is the driving factor in our foreign policy and Republicans being thought of as strong on defense rather than strong for predatory war.

  •  A great first diary! (6+ / 0-)

    Looking for more, with some interest :)

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:35:48 PM PST

  •  Looking forward to reading more here... (8+ / 0-)

    I think this is massively useful - if we are to continue to expand our voting base we MUST understand how the other side thinks and where our similarities are.  We're never going to convert the redstaters (the website not the actual states) of the world, but there are a whole host of folks just like your dad who might be open to some of our ideas and policies. Those are the ones we need to think about and understand.

  •  Nice diary. (17+ / 0-)

    You wrote,

    But most of the uninsured in America do not have preexisting conditions of the kind that make you uninsurable - just enough to raise your rates through the roof.
    Just to take you into the weeds for a moment, actually, this varied quite a lot by state. In my state, California, there's a documented case of someone being turned down for health insurance because of "jock itch, treated successfully with cream" and another from a woman who had seen a counselor a couple of times after breaking up with her boyfriend. It was also the case that any woman who had given birth by C-section was uninsurable as an individual. Mild asthma, or basically taking any prescription drug other than birth control could also do you in. (I think if you were female and not taking birth control, they didn't like that either, but I can't prove that one. :-) )

    Also documented was that most insurers would turn down people from high risk occupations, like farmworkers or roofers.

    So you didn't have to be actually unhealthy to get turned down.

    I like your dad's solution of Medicare for all. :-)

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:48:52 PM PST

    •  Really great comment, elfling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, elfling

      The list of what insurers consider to be disqualifying also includes adolescent acne, having had bronchitis more than once in two years, and all sorts of things that we consider to be common occurrences.

      No, you can't fix stupid. You OUTNUMBER stupid. -Wildthumb, 1/10/2013

      by newinfluence on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 10:05:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really enjoyed this (5+ / 0-)

    The premise is great as is its execution.

    You know - as far as the federal option, I swear I remember that their was a scantly reported provision in the ACA in which folks (I guess in the federal exchange) would have the option of the plan available to federal employees.  But I am not seeing this happen.

  •  Well done! (5+ / 0-)

    I look forward to reading more in your series. A welcome, useful topic: how to communicate with conservatives. And timely, with family gatherings this week.

    At all times, day by day, we have to continue fighting for freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom from fear, and freedom from want—for these are things that must be gained in peace as well as in war. - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by SoCalSal on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 01:01:05 AM PST

  •  The reason we didn't get Medicare for All is (8+ / 0-)


    1) the several states "regulate" insurance and state bureaucracies were reluctant to cede their powers to the feds.

    2) the local insurance fraternity coordinates with the banks, into which their profits flow, to control local enterprise and, via the chamber of commerce group, determines who joins the Capitol Hill contingent by providing nominees and campaign funding.

    3) incumbents on Capitol Hill have already seen their ability to influence their tenure in office with the distribution of dollars greatly diminished by the existing mandatory trio (Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment). If the entire medico-industrial complex is beyond their ability to affect with dollars (regulating reproductive procedures has proved unsatisfactory) that $2.7 trillion (as of 2012) enterprise dwarfs the one trillion dollar discretionary appropriations.

    Also, "insurance reform" actually comprises more than health insurance. There are three pieces of legislation, the Patient Protection Act, the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank, which tightens supervision of banks AND extends supervision over insurance companies that were moving into acting like banks. What represents a real sea change is the effort to advantage consumers/users of services, rather than the providers and the commercial class.
    What the proponents of the "free market" are actually agitating for is an autonomous commercial class, the middlemen taking a "cut" from both producers and consumers and contributing no value to the process. Our modern day commercial class is what the highwaymen of old have evolved into -- thievery under cover of law, law that's propounded on Capitol Hill.

    Judd Gregg has good reason to reject the Secretary of Commerce position. He saw the writing on the wall and correctly identified it as "populism." Government BY the people. Oh my! Saints forbid!

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 02:11:16 AM PST

    •  Unemployed insurance company workers.... (0+ / 0-)

      Imagine that in 2009, the depths of the Great Recession, Obama proposes Medicare for all, a plan which would result in massive job losses among insurance companies which provide group and individual health insurance plans. Talk about a non-starter!

      I would LOVE Medicare for all, but at the time it was not politically possible.

      •  nothing personal (0+ / 0-)

        but the only reason we don't have single payer is that we assume we cannot get single payer. When Ted Kennedy was in the wilderness we didn't support him. When Hillary said single payer supporters could not even get in the door we should have gotten pitchforks and torches and a battering ram - instead we support her as if she were on our side. You cannot fight evil with apathy and delusions.

    •  The REAL real reason is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      taxes. Medicare For All would be massively expensive. It would require an enormous jump in taxes.

      From a policy point of view, all of us on this site might agree that the giant jump in taxes would be justified. Those of us who didn't have to pay the taxes would be particularly in favor of the change. Those of us who did have to pay the taxes would still, probably, approve of the new plan.

      But from a political point of view, forget it. A huge tax jump? No way.

      •  Our perception of federal taxes has to change. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SME in Seattle

        Since all dollars issue from the Treasury, taxes are merely a mechanism for getting them back (as revenue) so they can be counted and distributed again. The alternative to recycling the currency is to keep issuing new. Increasing the quantity vitiates their effectiveness as trackers of relative value.
        However, that's probably better than having them artificially rationed so Congress can play Santa to favored constituent populations.

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:11:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fine words (0+ / 0-)

          But that doesn't turn something from politically impossible to politically possible.

          •  In the vocabulary of the Cons, "political" refers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jake formerly of the LP

            not to the interests of the polis, but to the ability to control the polis -- i.e. the exercise of power.
            Now, since the exercise of power over people whose behavior is unobjectionable is objectionable, we should be able to both object to the exercise and stop it. The first step, of course, is to alert the polis to the fact that they are being targeted by the power mavens and should object. Sometimes it is just a matter of people who mind their own business not being cognizant of the fact that others are trying to manipulate them. That their own dollars are being used against them to deprive them of rights may well come as a shock. The truth hurts, sometimes. But, letting the deprivation go forward without resistance would be morally wrong.

            Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

            by hannah on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 04:22:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hannah, you go do this and (0+ / 0-)

              let us know about your successes.

              we should be able to both object to the exercise and stop it. The first step, of course, is to alert the polis to the fact that they are being targeted by the power mavens and should object.
              Have you been trying — in real life? Doing well? Do tell.

              I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

              by samddobermann on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 04:51:55 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've been at it for over four decades. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Calamity Jean

                It is a job that, like housework, is never done. There are no final solutions. The authoritarian impulse survives because, in part, there are people who could not survive without it. Some people are so practically incompetent that they cannot care for themselves, much less produce anything of value to anyone else. They exist to be cared for. The trick is not to let them into positions of authority where their demands set the agenda. It's a trick that doesn't always work, so we end up with the likes of Dubya and Willard and John McCain in positions for which they are unfit.

                How  would you define doing well?  From my perspective, people recognizing that money is an artifact to be managed, not an item to be considered taboo, is progress. More people aware that cost and benefit are only useful categories when they are applied to the same entity is progress. More people recognizing that rights depend on recognition and do not exist in a vacuum is progress. More people questioning authority and not being strung up on trees for their trouble is progress. Personally, I've been doing better ever since I realized that parents lie and liars are not to be believed.
                It is not a pleasant lesson, but one that has to be learned, if other people are to be protected from being abused. Because, in its essence, the purpose of the lie is to abuse. Ultimately, death is not preventable, but abuse is. Which is why I would argue that the American fixation on death is regretable. Mewling over dead people does not bring them back to life; nor prevent the living from being condemned to dying in the prime of life. Depriving them of care does that.

                Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

                by hannah on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 07:09:18 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  The reason we didn't get Medicare for All (0+ / 0-)

      Was the deal with PhRMA.  Everything else is window dressing.

  •  Individual Mandate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DamselleFly, TheOpinionGuy

    You may have missed the most glaring thing about the Individual Mandate that is, as you described, "[A] donation of money to corporations."

    **  The Individual Mandate was a conservative idea developed at the conservative Heritage Foundation as a response to HillaryCare.

    The Individual Mandate remains the centerpiece of the 'universal coverage' that was implemented and subsequently called RomneyCare in Massachusetts.

    The idea that no republican would negotiate with President Obama to make ObamaCare better is nothing short of subversive.

    ObamaCare is a conservative solution, not a solution that democrats embrace(d).

    •  The Mandate is necessary for (7+ / 0-)

      The Mandate is necessary to prevent people from free riding--its really no different than demanding that people be tax paying citizens before benefitting from a National Health Care system.  

      Also: the Mandate wasn't the centerpiece of the Heritage foundation plan. The centerpiece of that plan was maintaining private insurance in the first place. But the Heritage plan was also significantly different from the ACA in every way imaginable.

      There was a push to voucherize and privatize Medicare, to get rid of Medicaid entirely, and there were no subsidies in the Heritage plan so there was no transfer of money from wealthy taxpayers to the health insurance buyer under Heritage. Instead what was going to be offered was a largely unregulated, catastrophic insurance plan.  Under Heritage there was no attempt to create a basic floor of health services, entirely free, for the entire country. No free checkups, no vaccines, no mammograms. They were going to force you to buy junk health insurance.

    •  it also prevents free-riders, and should be called (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the Individual Responsibility Mandate

    •  You cannot mandate that insurers (0+ / 0-)

      cover all people with out regard to status without having a countervailing mandate on all to buy into the pool.

      Remember, one feature in the ACA is the mandate on insurers to sell to all.

      Ya' might say "one good mandate deserves another."

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 05:02:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, "Champi," ("shroom") for short, hein? D'ac. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Et comment avez-vous répondu à la déclaration du père à propos des armes?

  •  I look forward to your series but.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    puakev, Aquarius40, samddobermann

    But I have to take issue with your assertion that all Americans love Medicare and that it would have been a winning argument to expand it.

    1) Expansion of Medicare was suggested by Joe Lieberman (among others) and then literally blocked personally by Joe Lieberman when it looked like it might be included in the ACA. People routinely tell you, or tell pollsters, that they want a given policy that they then don't back later when it becomes a reality. In Lieberman's case we are talking about the disjuncture between stated bargaining positions and real bargaining positions but in the case of the voter most people don't bother to find out what they are talking about until the last minute, and even then don't understand the ramifications of what they are talking about.

    2) Medicare is considered "good" only by some people when it goes for some other people.  We have Medicare for the poor and the uncovered--its called Medicaid and the Medicare recipients routinely disparage and insult the Medicaid users as moochers and looters receiving an inferior product.

    •  Medicaid is in fact an inferior product. Whereas (0+ / 0-)

      Medicare pays 80% of the usual and customary charge for any given service, Medicaid pays a lesser percent. I believe it's 60%.  Thus, a number of doctors simply won't take patients on Medicaid.  Nonprofit or government clinics that take Medicaid tend to be overcrowded and understaffed, and getting a referral to specialists can be difficult even when its very much needed.  Granted, my experience is limited, and the situation no doubt differs in different states.  But Medicare is definitely the premium option of the two.  Medicaid is for poor people, and you know that in this country they are looked upon as less worthy, and treated accordingly.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:18:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  YOu are flat out wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        The 80% of usual and customary charge is what Medicare pays and the patient pays to other 20%.

        With Medicaid the government pays 100%. Some states paid a lower than Medicare set U&C charge to doctors ect, but for the most part Medicaid recipients pay NOTHING.

        And the ACA has equalized the payments so that Medicaid pays the same as Medicare.

        Most of the Community Health Centers — which are run by private non-profit groups but have to comply with government standards are fine. In fact the ACA has funding for ~ 1200 - 1400 new ones which are being built now (since 2009) all over the country.

        Yes it is hard to get specialists — but that is because of the greed of doctors. And that is improving.

        In actuality Medicaid has better coverage, and more things are covered than Medicare.

        Medicaid covers prescriptions, in some places dentistry, and a wider range of other things including often transportation. Medicaid has always covered mental illness treatment whereas Medicare had a 50% copay until recently (thanks to the ACA).

        A recent survey (Kaiser foundation, I think) found that MORE doctors are accepting new patients on Medicare and Medicaid than are those on private insurance.    

        You sound so sure of what you don't know.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 05:20:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  First, thank you for further information. (0+ / 0-)

          Second, no need to be annoyed.  I know what I know from the rough experiences of a relative I care about, and from another person who deals with billing for a provider who finds the low payments (which affect a lot of people in his practice) to be a real burden. And he's not a greedy guy but a dedicated one who serves many poor people.  I've seen the problems getting specialists, and while some doctors are indeed greedy, I feel that Medicaid patients have suffered from the lowness of the payments shortchanging poor people.  Some places cover dental, but in my relative's case that means there is one dentist for a clinic that serves a large population.  They take new appointments one day a month, starting early in the morning and stopping when the month's appointments are filled, which is by around noon.  So there's very limited chance to get needed care.  Some doctors in the clinic are wonderful and caring.  Some seem to be resentful of being there and dismissive of the patients, which I have tended to blame on the underfunding of the program and high patent load.

          I'm very glad to hear that the ACA equalizes payments between Medicare and Medicaid -- I didn't know that.  I did know about the increase in community health clinics, and I'm hopeful that will be a big help as they come on line.

          The health care system is in flux and it's complicated, so people are likely to have different experiences and imperfect knowledge, even if they've paid considerable attention, which I have.  

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Thu Dec 26, 2013 at 09:28:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I wouldn't call racism, etc. secondary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Batya the Toon, puakev

    Racism, sexism and homophobia are part and parcel of how the powers that be keep the rest of us down.  The MO of Jim Crow was to hold up the Uppity Nigras as a bogeyman and present the scumbag politician as a white knight to save us all from that nonexistent threat.

    It's no longer kosher to throw off on Uppity Nigras, at least not without using dog whistles.  But Feelthy Queers and Dirty Jezebels remain favorite targets.

    Quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:55:49 AM PST

  •  I worked in the brokerage industry for a number (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, TheOpinionGuy, bepanda

    of years. The majority of the brokers were (and probably still are) Republican, despite the fact that the economy does better under Democrats. I argued endlessly about this. Some of these people were married but having affairs, so I don't see how it was the "morality" positions. The Repug party has done an excellent job of equating their party with acquiring wealth, though it has no basis in fact. Here's an old article by Fox attempting to explain it away. Here's a graph showing GDP under Democrats versus Republicans, with the average too. A nut of a relative, who has lived on the streets, wants a Republican president because he'll find a job "making $200,000 a year." Democrats really need to figure out how to have that kind of impact with our messages.

    "You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." Mohandas Gandhi

    by cv lurking gf on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:19:14 AM PST

    •  You can't really craft policy for the delusional (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You know, you can't really craft a policy for someone so delusional that he thinks that he can go "from the streets" to making 200,000 a year. And you probably shouldn't really, in a moral sense, try to craft a message that is that crazy either.Its not morally right to promise everything to everybody in order to get the votes of people who are nuts.

      Most people don't vote. They don't vote for a million reasons. Trying to follow the logic of the crazies who do vote, but who vote out of spite, or stupidity, or lack of information is a recipe for disaster for a party. It leads to the craziness that we see right now with a Republican party untethered from reality and the duty to govern.  We need to work on bringing more people into our party, and more people into voting on a regular basis. Not try to switch people who are crazy from their party to ours.

  •  We all made more money under Clinton, I am sure (3+ / 0-)

    I remember the 90's as damn good, so dad needs some more facts

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:22:23 AM PST

  •  Great first diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Radiowalla, worldlotus

    and I look forward to the rest.  :)

  •  Kudos (10+ / 0-)

    I am an old white lady in Texas who is a liberal with conservative children who are grown--the opposite of your situation!  They have been surrounded by conservatives in college and at work and have a conservative father (we are divorced).  My son's FIL is VERY conservative a la Rush Limbaugh.  

    One thing that gives me hope in your diary is the fact that your dad is for Wendy Davis!  I don't have much discretionary income, but donated a small amount to her yesterday in her fund raising push over a 24-hour period.  I thought it was important in the Christmas season to try to give all Texans a better state government.  I will continue to do so whenever I can and hope she can pull it off.  

    As a teacher, I wish more people also recognized that she also filibustered for education funding in the previous legislature when our red leaders were taking a huge slice out of the budget.  She is not a one-trick pony like the Rs like to represent her.  I watched her latest filibuster online and was cheering for her so loudly that I scared my cats.  I can also see her moving on to a national office later on.

    Please keep your diaries coming.  I have two sweet toddler grandchildren that need a better world and I worry about what awful things they hear from the grandfather-in-law.  Example:  He thinks this is a funny joke:  Black people (not his word--you can guess) got their dark skin from the ink rubbing off of their food stamps.  Even my conservative children think that is awful.  He won't buy anything from any company that has any ads showing gays.  Note:  my conservative children have gay friends.  He calls Muslims ragheads.  Point is that even though they are conservative, my grown children are more tolerant of others than the old man.  

    Here's hoping you can help us all with talking points--I work with college-education people who watch Fox news and believe it all.  One recently told me there is no way a person can't get affordable insurance no matter what.  Yes--a person with a master's degree.  Help us!

  •  Excellent diary! (0+ / 0-)

    I will look forward to another serving of Champignons à la crème!  

    It's the Supreme Court, stupid!

    by Radiowalla on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:54:11 AM PST

  •  Ask your dad if he ever... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewtx, Dvalkure, bepanda

    gave a hoot about the requirement in his state that drivers have insurance to be able to drive. That's a law that forces Americans to purchase something from a private party.

    When he says that such a requirement is only for those who drive, look him in the eye, and say, "Can you honestly live in Texas without being able to drive? Really?"

    Ask him if he ever personally complained to his state reps about the law.

    If govmint = bad, why does it matter if it is the feds or the state? Aren't they both bad?

  •  So you want to be effective, huh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure, samddobermann, catilinus

    What a relief - this is the type of approach that is largely missing in discussions that are left of center-right ("left" in today's parlance (yes, 'parlez' is the root)).  Keep writing about practical approaches - it's refreshing to read.

    Sorry about the depression - most of us are winged in one way or another, but depression is a bummer - and no, I'm not joking...

  •  Bush I negotiated NAFTA, Clinton signed it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dvalkure, bepanda

    Free Trade agreement goes back to his dear Reagan, who negotiated the initial Free Trade Agreement with Canada, before a deal was subsequently negotiated user Bush I with Mexico and Canada.

  •  Welcome to the show. Warning, I attempted to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    impart some insight into the conservative mind in a diary which got thread jacked immediately by one of the cool kids and went nowhere.  I hope the crew is ready to try it now.  This is terribly important if we are to stay true to our mission of electing more and better Democrats.

    Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:51:02 PM PST

  •  Bienvenue sur DKos ...tres interessante (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Welcome to dailykos. Very interesting Diary. I have a 401k and an IRA and both rocked under Clinton, completely tanked under G. W. Bush. Have gone back up again since 2009.
    The stock market is not the only way to make money, but if we use the Dow Jones index as a measure of the Economy of the best companies in the country, it is a no contest between Democrats and Republicans. But Republicans will NEVER accept those facts.

    Please continue with the diaries. Interesting reading and a new and practical perspective.

  •  Anyone who unironically uses the n word (0+ / 0-)

    Tells you everything about his voting process and record.

  •  Thanks for this diary. It gives hope. (0+ / 0-)

    Looking forward to more in the series.

    The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

    by ybruti on Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 06:13:39 AM PST

  •  Love the civil discourse (0+ / 0-)

    ...because message boards too often degenerate into crass name calling.  I have a right wing conservative family member (son-in-law), who seems beyond "redemption." Little I've said in the past appears to put a dent into his Fox-news bound thought process; he, like so many on the right, refuse to listen to dissenting commentary.  But I still love him to bits because he's so very good to our daughter.

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