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 July, 2009


 Confronting the Obvious Half-Truths of Republicans

Factophobia: A Conservative Disease

There’s one pre-existing condition that doesn’t prevent you from getting health insurance - being a conservative.

The symptom of this particular malady occurs when you have access to the truth, but prefer shading it with hyperbole, and even flat-out lies.

The recent dust up over these so-called “Birthers” is a prime example of this disease.

Despite repeated attempts by the Hawaii Dept. of Health to dispel the rumors that our president is, indeed, an American citizen, some Republican members of congress still tell us they aren’t quite convinced.

They may say they “believe” Barack Obama is an American citizen, but few are willing to concede the point that most of the people claiming there’re unanswered questions about it are the ones who believe Elvis is alive and living in Laurel Caverns.

The others are pure racists.

Minus any serious calls by Republicans to cease this “Birther” nonsense, the controversy rages.

They know the truth, but choose to allow the internet-fueled fiction to flourish.

Or, like conservative James Inhofe (R-Okla.), they simply give the “Birthers” a nice little public wink and a nod.

“They have a point,” Inhofe has been quoted as saying of the Birther movement. “I don’t discourage it.”

That, as his colleagues in the U.S. House unanimously passed a resolution (one that celebrates Hawaii’s 50 years of statehood) which declares, in part, “Whereas the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961."

Unanimously? That means every Democrat and every Republican in the House who was present that day affirmed Obama’s citizenship. It also means that any Republican who appears before a camera who sticks the word “believe” before the words “he’s really a citizen,” is merely playing to their conservative base.

It’s also being completely dishonest.

If a manufactured fiction like this “Birther” ruse can be distorted – and given legitimacy - by some conservatives to satisfy cheap political agendas, then consider their opportunities to engage in selective deceit when the subject of health care comes up.

“Socialized medicine.” That has an ominous ring, doesn’t it? Plop a conservative wingnut in front of a camera and the phrase “socialized medicine” is sure to fly out.

But this country already has a form of “socialized medicine.” It’s called VA benefits.

I can personally attest to the efficacy of that particular system of health care. I’m a military veteran who has made frequent use of it. I can tell you that it’s certainly nothing to fear.

The VA is easily the most efficient health care delivery system I’ve ever encountered.

Conservatives know that. They’ll never publicly admit that a health care provider like that of the VA could serve as a workable competitor to private health care facilities, though.

Instead, they’ll build their opposition to health care reform by hinting Democrats, with their calls for a “public option,” want to force you into government run operations that’d been fashioned by Josef Stalin himself. That simply isn’t the case.

They’ll also emphasize the public part, while ignoring the option part. Option, ya know, means choice. And you know how conservatives are afraid of the word “choice.”

Some conservatives also tell you there’s a provision in one of the health care proposals that will lead to armies of government workers who’ll fan out across the country and greet the nation’s elderly citizens with shocking mandates.

"I have been told there is a clause in there that everyone that's Medicare age will be visited and told to decide how they wished to die," an elderly woman asked the president during a recent AARP town hall meeting.

The president responded with the truth. He knew of no such provision. He added that there’s one clause that would help senior citizens make out living wills.

It’s easy, though, seeing how that lady would ask that question. There’s been a flurry of conservative disinformation about the possibilities of “death camps” for the elderly or “a subtle form of euthanasia,” if health care reform is enacted.

Conservatives know the truth. But a politically expedient fabrication suits them better.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net