07 August 2009

Health Care Reform, Democracy and Ethics

I'm trying very hard to hold my tongue on the health care "debate." I have friends - and clients - on all sides of the "debate." But this isn't a debate. This is a freak show that will have a violent end.

Today a friend told me his office received a death threat. It won't be the last. I've seen the videos of people storming these "town hall meetings" and just shouting to make sure no one else speaks. I've seen videos of fist fights, of members of Congress hung in effigy. I'm not going to link to any of it because it's seen enough activity online and it doesn't need any more help.

There can be no doubt that people in my profession are organizing this sort of thing, stirring up fear and hatred and dehumanizing an enemy, in the name of "freedom," going on television and telling outright lies. They are actively trying to suppress discussion and debate. They are telling unstable people some unstable things, then they're pointing at someone and calling them "Hitler." And they're hiding their true identities (and their funding) by setting up "non-profit" groups that have names with words like "freedom" in them.

They are undoubtedly aware that the more they do this, the more likely someone is going to commit even greater acts of violence. They know this and they do it anyway.

The blood will be on their hands. And on the hands of the people that pay them.

What they are doing is a disgrace to our profession, and more importantly, a disgrace to our democracy. We are supposed to be communicators - our livelihoods depend on freedom of speech.

I worked on Capitol Hill for one of the most passionate advocates for health care reform in our history. I don't hide my politics. But this isn't politics. This is just a fight.

There are people in politics and in our profession that want it this way. They want to appeal to the most base nature of the least stable among us.

I want nothing to do with them.

3 comments:

Sid said...

As someone in the entertainment media, and a PR major myself, I know exactly what you mean when you say we are "communicators." What's happening right now with the health care "debate" is about the opposite of communication. Glad to see I'm not the only one who can see through the smoke and mirrors here -- great observations!

David said...

Thanks, Sid.

The Mother Tongue said...

THIS. So much THIS. Thank you so much for commenting on this issue. The astroturfing is just shameful.