Editorial: The usual polarities
A man noticed a stream of traffic flowing into Dan Nicholas Park Thursday morning and asked one of the drivers what was going on. “We’re taking back the country,” the woman said. “Who took it?” he asked. “Obama,” she answered.
That’s hard to believe, the man later said in a call to the Post. In office only 200 days, President Obama has performed the miracle of undoing a nation in existence for more than 200 years ó if you believe his critics.
With health-care reform on the table, this is a time to proceed cautiously. Those who demonize Obama obscure the facts as much as those who idolize him. This issue ó this aspect of our lives ó is much too complex to surrender to easy slogans.
Americans for Prosperity, a national nonprofit group, did just that last week with its Patients First tour, posting signs at Dan Nicholas Park that said “Hands Off My Health Care.” Last year, Americans for Prosperity ran a “Hot Air Tour,” a hot air balloon cross-country tour with the slogan, “Global Warming Alarmism: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, Less Freedom.” The group has also fought smoking bans and increased taxes on cigarettes.
On the other side of the health-care debate is Americans United for Change, which came into being to fight President Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security. During the presidential campaign last summer, this group sent a “Bush Legacy Tour” bus across the country to remind voters of negative events during Bush’s terms. CNN refused recently to run an Americans United for Change ad that bore the slogan, “Want To Be Healthy? Just Be Wealthy,” and focused on an insurance company executive’s multimillion-dollar salary.
If anything, voters need to take the country back from these deep-pocketed, faceless organizations who use slogans and scare tactics to polarize the nation. The truth is somewhere in between, and it is not nearly as simple as they make it sound.
“The Girl Who Played With Fire,” by Stieg Larsson. Knopf. 503 pp. $25.95.By Alicia Rancilio Associated Press Swedish crime writer... read more