Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


Is Obama About to Shift His Health Care Message In the Wrong Direction?

posted by swaldman

The Wall Street Journal today reported:

President Barack Obama, trying to regain control of the health-care debate, will likely shift his pitch in September, White House and Democratic officials said, as he faces pressure from supporters to talk more about the moral imperative to provide health insurance to all Americans…
A Democratic strategist said, “If you are going to sell something as big and monumental and transformative as health care, you cannot get small with it. You’ve got to be larger. You’ve got to call on the better angels out there.”

If what they mean by this is emphasizing the moral obligation to help the uninsured, I feel like that will be a spiritual winner and political loser. I wish it weren’t so, but I can’t think of a single piece of domestic policy legislation passed in the last 40 years premised on the idea that we have an obligation to help others. When progressives have succeeded it was by marrying the interests of the poor with those of the middle class. That’s how Roosevelt sold Social Security.
It’s not that I think Obama should ignore the moral dimension. But I think that politically speaking the moral values most likely to resonate are the universal ones — that the current system isn’t fair, to people who have insurance and those who don’t. As I wrote earlier, if you’re looking for Biblical concepts, emphasize justice, not love.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(4)
post a comment
Katie Angel

posted August 19, 2009 at 12:48 pm


I think you can do both – appeal to the finest in our nature (the call by Christ to help those who are poor and lost) and appeal to our sense of fairness. What we really need from the Obama White House is a clear message – whatever it is – that tells us what they propose and why it is needed WITH SPECIFICS. A successful campaign appeals to the right (emotional) side of our brain before it ever gets to the left (rational) side. So far the Democrats and the President have tried to fight a emotional-filled scare tactic campaign with a rational explanation. And it hasn’t worked. It’s time to borrow a page from the people who are trying to destroy the healthcare reform with exaggeration and deception – appeal to American’s emotions and sympathies. The spiraling cost of healthcare needs to be arrested and we need to use every tool in the belt to make it work for all Americans.



report abuse
 

Igor Marxomarxovich

posted August 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm


How you tell when politician lie?
Comrade Pelosi blink
Slick Willy rub nose
Comrade Obama open mouth
Dumb Donkey Gibbs laugh…Hehaw..he..haw..he..haw!
I Igor produce Barrack Milhaus Hussein Obama Birth Certificate at http://www.igormarxo.org
Compare Obama Care vs Igor Care at Obama vs Igor Care



report abuse
 

Julie

posted August 19, 2009 at 6:58 pm


Rod has had several recent blogs about emotions vs. fact in relationship to politics/health care.
Psychologist in the political field have documented that appealing to emotion works much better than a list of facts. It has been obvious that angry individuals at Town Hall Meeting ignore or refuse to accept the facts.
A good source is Drew Westen, Ph.D., a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Emory University and founder of Westen Strategies. He is the author of The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation. He also writes blogs on Huffington Post.
Summary of Dr. Westen’s work: We vote with our hearts, not our minds
http://www.westenstrategies.com/
But on issue after issue, the President is selling hope without audacity, leaving centrist Democrats from purple states and districts fearful of attacks from the right on everything from deficits to “socialized medicine.” Why? Because of his steadfast refusal either to call out his opponents by name or to tell the story of how we got into any of the messes we’re in.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/drew-westen/hoping-for-audacity_b_218843.html
Obama need to appeal to emotions, including showing anger.



report abuse
 

Laura Hedlund

posted August 21, 2009 at 6:47 am


Who we are, we are. Greed, fear exist. So does hope and love. America’s health care is great it is our greed-driven health care system. Change is coming.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!
Thank you for visiting this page. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Top Religious News Most Recent Inspiration Post Happy Reading!

posted 6:00:22pm Apr. 20, 2012 | read full post »

Good Bye
Today is my last day at Beliefnet (which I co-founded in 1999). The swirling emotions: sadness, relief, love, humility, pride, anxiety. But mostly deep, deep gratitude. How many people get to come up with an idea and have rich people invest money to make it a reality? How many people get to create

posted 8:37:24am Nov. 20, 2009 | read full post »

"Steven Waldman Named To Lead Commission Effort on Future of Media In a Changing Technological Landscape" (FCC Press Release)
STEVEN WALDMAN NAMED TO LEAD COMMISSION EFFORT ON FUTURE OF MEDIA IN A CHANGING TECHNOLOGICAL LANDSCAPE FCC chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the appointment of Steven Waldman, a highly respected internet entrepreneur and journalist, to lead an agency-wide initiative to assess the state o

posted 11:46:42am Oct. 29, 2009 | read full post »

My Big News
Dear Readers, This is the most difficult (and surreal) post I've had to write. I'm leaving Beliefnet, the company I co-founded in 1999. In mid November, I'll be stepping down as President and Editor in Chief to lead a project on the future of the media for the Federal Communications Commission, the

posted 1:10:11pm Oct. 28, 2009 | read full post »

"Beliefnet Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief Steps Down to Lead FCC Future of the Media Initiative" (Beliefnet Press Release)
October 28, 2009 BELIEFNET CO-FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF STEPS DOWN TO LEAD FCC FUTURE OF THE MEDIA INITIATIVE New York, NY - October 28, 2009 - Beliefnet, the leading online community for inspiration and faith, announced today that Steven Waldman, co-founder, president and editor-in-chief, will re

posted 1:05:43pm Oct. 28, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.