I have developed a theory about the difference between Republicans and Democrats. I'm talking about the rank and file now, not necessarily the leadership, but what I have to say applies to them as well. Republicans think logically. Republicans try to use logic in their arguments. Ask a republican a question, and if they don't know the answer, they will go look it up, from more than one source. We rely on history. We generally have long memories. We are good with numbers and science, subjects that can be viewed objectively and quantitatively. In short, Republicans are left brain thinkers. Tell a Republican about a problem you have and he or she will generally try to find some solution to it. It may not be a solution you like, but it will generally be based on experience. Where Republicans often fall short is in our ability to express compassion. We have it, we often just don't express it well.
Democrats are more random and intuitive. They rely on their emotions for decisions and are more subjective. They cannot easily be swayed by rational thought, and are easy targets for emotional appeal and demagoguery. In short, they are right brain thinkers. This theory explains how democrats can believe their politicians when they say one thing this week, and four weeks from now say the exact opposite. The rank and file believe both contradictory statements, because the statements themselves appeal to the emotions rather than the intellect. Republicans miss the boat because we try to express ourselves logically and factually, appealing to the logical intellect, and we forget all about the emotional appeal. This works with the Republican base, but ignores the left completely, and to a lesser extent ignores the middle.
In 1993, in response to Hillary Clinton's health care reform bill, the Health Insurance Association of America released a series of ads featuring “Harry and Louise”. Harry and Louise were a couple who were worried about their health insurance, and what would happen to it under “Hillary Care”. The ads were highly effective and derailed the largest takeover of the US economy until Barrack Obama. Those ads were effective because they not only told the truth, but they did so in such a way as to appeal to the emotions as well as the intellect.
We got blindsided by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The Act was passed through congress almost before it was printed. No one, not even the democrats themselves knew what it said. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi said, in front of the National Association of Counties “You have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in it”. Even she didn't know what it said. I understand, I've tried to read the thing myself, and found much of it unintelligible. The parts that are understandable, however do contain many alarming provisions. If you try to explain some of the scarier portions to a democrat, they won't believe you. Even if you show them the text, they won't believe you. If you prosiest, they will get frustrated and call you names and accuse you of wanting people to die from lack on medical attention. It is a little like trying to teach a pig to dance. It's frustrating for you and merely annoys the pig!
For example, the law has a provision which allows the Secretary of Health and Human Services to set up prevention services organizations to tell you how to live you life, what to eat, how much sleep to get, with whom you can sleep, etc.. I know, you don't believe me. Well here is the text:
‘‘(D) implement wellness and health promotion activities.
‘‘(b) WELLNESS AND PREVENTION PROGRAMS.—For purposes of subsection (a)(1)(D), wellness and health promotion activities may include personalized wellness and prevention services, which are
coordinated, maintained or delivered by a health care provider, a wellness and prevention plan manager, or a health, wellness or prevention services organization that conducts health risk assessments or offers ongoing face-to-face, telephonic or web-based intervention efforts for each of the program’s participants, and which may include the following wellness and prevention efforts:
‘‘(1) Smoking cessation.
‘‘(2) Weight management.
‘‘(3) Stress management.
‘‘(4) Physical fitness.
‘‘(6) Heart disease prevention.
‘‘(7) Healthy lifestyle support.
‘‘(8) Diabetes prevention.
I know, you still don't believe me. Well depending on the interpretation of the word intervention, that is EXACTLY what it means. I know, you still don't believe me. Suppose, though, you saw an ad on television.
(opening scene, outside of a house. We see the back of a strong man and a woman with shoulder length hair. Both are wearing blue jackets, like FBI jackets, but with HHS lettering. They ring the doorbell. After a few seconds, a slightly overweight man answers, smoking a cigarette.)
Man: Can I help you?
HHS Woman: “Mr. Johnson, we are here to conduct a healthy lifestyle assessment”.
Man: “A what?”
HHS Woman: “We are going to evaluate your health and tell you what you need to change to keep your health insurance and avoid paying a fine.”
HHS Woman; “Yes Mr. Johnson. As part of your health insurance program, you must allow us to asses your habits, and see where they are unhealthy. We will help you to change them to meet the healthy lifestyle requirements laid out by the government. May we come in?”
HHS Woman: “Oh, yes Mr. Johnson, it's all part of making America healthy. I see you smoke. That will have to stop, and you are at least fifty pounds overweight. You will need to start exercising right away, and we will tell you what you can eat from now on.”
(fade to black)
(White letters on black background – The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)
Voice Over: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Is this REALLY what you want from your health insurance provider, or your government?
Call your congressman today, tell them you will make you own choices about how to live.
(Fade to black)
I know, you STILL don't believe me... but you are thinking about it, aren't you?