I’m being recruited by the Heritage Foundation. They like me, they really like me! Or, perhaps, they like my zipcode and phone number, which apparently place me smack in the middle of conservative-voting territory and make me a prime target for their particular brand of baloney. They want my membership money, and they’re willing to send out a nine-page [!] mailing to try to get it.
But why should I be the only one to read their sales pitch? Now, you can see it too, because I’m sharing the highlights with you right here. It’s not going to work for me, and it’s not new, but it’s worth a look, just to remind ourselves of what progressives are up against in the battle against the non-fact-based, fear-driven gut of some American voters.
In rereading this mailing, I was struck by the use of language and imagery to portray the “Left” as an un-American, baby-ish [see: “temper tantrums,” screaming” and “wailing”], negative, Constitution-wrecking, autocratic, Big Brother, “European,” “reckless,” unruly “horde.” See for yourself. Here are some excerpts, which I’ve culled so you don’t have to.
What the Heritage Foundation says about President Obama
“The havoc wreaked by President Obama and his Leftist allies has left wreckage that will take years to clean up. They took a bad situation created by reckless government spending and an unprecedented financial crisis…and made it much, much worse…adding $2.7 trillion to our national debt in just two years!
“They pursued their laundry list of costly liberal policies, the clear wishes of the American people notwithstanding, and charge ahead as if it meant nothing to them.
“They inflicted ‘ObamaCare’ on us, one of the worst, most bureaucratic and byzantine, and most destructive pieces of legislation in our history.
“And they continue to push a discredited redistributionist agenda to ‘share the wealth’ by expanding government’s power over all our lives.”
On Social Security and Medicare, Heritage Foundation says…
“…the best thing we can do…is to finally get serious about reforming the ‘entitlement’ programs that are driving our nation to bankruptcy while making us more dependent as a people.
“Our plan to fix this system would provide all retirees with premium-support payments from government to help them purchase a health care plan of their choice. We would also decrease payments for the wealthiest citizens, and cap total Medicare spending to prevent runaway costs, while protecting seniors from medical bankruptcy using catastrophic coverage.
“We call for repealing ObamaCare in its entirety…We urge providing a health insurance tax credit of $2,000 for individuals and $3,500 for families, with extra support for low-income families.
On government and taxes, Heritage Foundation says…
“Our plan rolls back non-defense spending to 2008 levels, moves some federal programs back to the states, privatizes others and ends some altogether. It also sells $260 billion in federal assets over 15 years. Here, we’re guided by the principle that government should only do what is authorized by the Constitution.
“Our plan would replace today’s complex tax system with a single rate for all, holding the government’s take at no more than 18.5 percent of the economy.
“One of our key goals here is to persuade the American public to stop thinking of Social Security and Medicare as open-ended ‘defined-benefit’ entitlements, and start thinking of them as insurance designed to provide real economic security for those who need it most. We know that this will be an uphill battle, as Americans have been conditioned to believe that since they ‘paid into’ the programs, they’re entitled to all those benefits. But they need to understand that the system can no longer deliver on these promises…”
Scare tactics, words of fear and other baloney
“You can practically hear the wails of the liberals and their defenders in the news media already,” it says here on page 5.
“It will take real courage to stand up to the demagoguery, the lies, and the fear-mongering thrown our way by the voices who want to see our nation go the way of Europe’s socialist welfare states.”
“We aim to…take on all those who say there’s no turning back from our current road to socialism.”
“[Liberals are] reduced to trotting out their old-style class warfare rhetoric to try and fire up their troops, while hordes of angry, bitter Leftists take to the streets to try and ‘occupy’ Wall Streed and demand more redistribution of wealth. Theirs is not an optimistic vision of the future. They see a tomorrow of bitter clashes over diminishing resources, of using the government to take from those who’ve earned it to give to those who demand, of constant screaming and protesting and temper tantrums. That’s not an American dream, that’s an un-American nightmare!”
This kind of language and persuasion is dangerously effective, and that’s why progressives need to get over our disappointments over President Obama’s lack of perfection and make sure that he is re-elected in November 2012.