“First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama: Furthering the Divide

The President's choice to ignore millions and millions of Fox News viewers Sunday morning combined with the denigration of Fox News on the White House website* seems rather contradictory to his claim of wanting to bring the country together.

It seems that if he were truly interested in lessening the so-called division he would reach out to those who didn't walk in lock-step with his health care plans.

In the Fox News viewership there are millions who are on the fence. They want health care reform, as do I, but they're not sure they want what Obama promotes. Many know they don't want him to succeed in implementing his ideas regarding health care.

He said he was going on TV to battle fear (paraphrased) of a change or transition in health care. It seems that since he obviously believes, per his website, that most who are "fearful" of his health care proposals watch Fox News, it should have been included in the list of "musts" for his Sunday morning blitz. Logically, Fox viewers are the ones he should have been trying to placate, calm or convince. Instead he spoke to an audience comprised of those who are, for the most part, predisposed to support him in whatever he does.

On the topic of fear

It's not fear of a transition, it's fear of what he is proposing. We want change. We need change. But I defy anyone to come up with ANYTHING the government has "fixed" or truly improved since the early days of our country's formation. Welfare. Social Security. Medicaid. Medicare. The Post Office. The IRS. All riddled with corruption, or incompetence, or people protecting their jobs, power or little fiefdoms.

Why wouldn't we be fearful of government intervention? Those in Washington make laws and implement rules then go on about their merry way expecting someone down the chain of command to make things work. They add layers of bureaucracy to oversee and manage agencies, then only get involved when it's time to dole out more money or deal with a crisis. We all know that "government" is some huge, bulky, bloated, blob of self-protective agencies and groups that grow without any real checks and balances. Why would we want to take one more piece of America and feed it to "the blob"?

Why doesn't President Obama want to talk with some Americans?

If Mr. Obama really thinks his way of changing health care is right, if he has a good plan to sell to the American public, why is he working so hard to alienate the majority of American TV viewers? Fox News by far outranks all the other news stations in viewership. By refusing to include Fox in his round of talks Sunday morning, he came across as divisive and / or like someone scared to talk to those who have the audacity to question him.

Perhaps his plan is to solidify his soldiers, his waffling supporters, and those who pretty much walk in lock-step. Possibly he felt he needed to prove to those on the far Left that he was "with them" by snubbing the independent, moderate and yes, far right viewers on Fox News. Could be that he's playing a game of appeasement as he knows the public option that the far Left crave won't openly be in the final plan.

A long term plan destined to fail

I don't think Mr. Obama does anything without strong calculation as to the long-term outcome. For some reason he is trying to widen the gap between the so-called Right and Left in America. I think he's going to succeed to some degree to widen the gap between the extremes, it's already apparent. But I also think he'll ultimately fail as he is pushing the moderate Left to the middle as newly self-claimed "Independents". More and more in America are calling themselves "conservative" or "independent" as they contrast themselves with the direction they see President Obama, Nancy Pelosi and friends taking the country.

He has awoken the sleeping giant of usually silent Americans and is forcing them to choose sides. He gambled that most believed as he did based on election results and the cocoon of society he has surrounded himself with in life. I think he's finding out he lived in a world that doesn't reflect the vast majority's values.

*"We figured Fox would rather show ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ than broadcast an honest discussion about health insurance reform..." - White House website

"Fox is an ideological outlet where the president has been interviewed before and will likely be interviewed again, not that the whining particularly strengthens their case for participation any time soon." - White House spokesman Josh Earnest to ABC News

Obama refused to appear Fox News with Chris Wallace throughout the 2008 election, although he appeared on every other imaginable news outlet. Remember Wallace's “Obama Watch” that counted up 768 days from when Obama agreed to appear and his one and only talk with Wallace?

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