Jewish World Review Nov. 29, 2013/ 26 Kislev, 5774
Thanksgiving and Obamacare don't mix
By Diana West
Maybe it happened to your own loved ones. Maybe Cousin Sue brought her favorite cranberry Jell-O mayonnaise salad, but when she opened her mouth, she sounded like Jay Carney on a roll. As for Uncle Al, there's a reason he kept asking "Have you thought about signing up for health insurance on the new marketplace?" every time it was your turn at Scrabble.
BarackObama.com told them to.
Turning Thanksgiving into Obamacaring was clearly the Big-Brotherly goal of a disturbing project launched by the president's campaign website, now known as Organization for Change (OFA). Entitled "Health Care for the Holidays," this OFA spinoff provides a "sign-up checklist" to take along to grandmother's house (bring W-2s and pay stubs along with those sweet potatoes). It offers "conversation tips" that include such icebreakers as, "When do you plan on signing up?"
OFA also features a separate page of strategy for "your health care talk." For example, "Don't wait until the last minute," OFA advises. "Be sure to start the conversation early!" I wonder how many unsuspecting Americans ushered a nephew or niece into the living room to catch up and reconnect, only to be started on "early" by their own little Affordable Care Actor. Maybe it began with conversation tip no. 2: "Would you like to take some time with me to sign up right now?"
This is what counts for quality time in Obamaworld. But is this just ham-fisted politicking on a historic, national day of thanksgiving? That's how some critiques of the program are depicting this full-press politicking effort. But I find "Health Care for the Holidays" more than just "cheeky," "tone-deaf" or "disheartening." It strikes me as something insidious, a vector of government propaganda more reminiscent of something out of Mao's Great Leap Forward than anything ever imagined at Plymouth Rock. It reveals unabashed government overreach deep into a heretofore private sphere.
What sort of political movement dares to launch a program to prep and program followers to turn the holiday table into a political forum? Is it a movement that respects the sanctity of home and hearth? Hardly. Home and hearth are just new hustings to exploit. Is it a movement that respects the boundaries of the political arena? Not at all. There are no boundaries. Such targeted exploitation actually reveals a shocking level of contempt for the very concept of private life, which explains a lot about the fallen fortunes of individual rights and limited government in our age. The politician who seeks to turn Thanksgiving into a flak-session for redistributing wealth via nationalizing medicine is a politician who sees nothing sacred about the day Americans set aside to give thanks for God and country, liberty and bounty -- also family, football and recreation. He sees only another untapped opportunity to extend his reach to achieve his will. That's sinister.
There's no way of knowing how many Americans have looked at "Health Care for the Holidays" and seen past the sewing-sampler-style typeface and homey graphics (mitten, steaming mug, etc.) and recognized something very creepy and invasive. Nor is there any way of knowing how many other Americans fell into lockstep with the perpetual Obama campaign team at Organizing for America and propagandized their loved ones over pumpkin pie. "Take advantage of downtime after meals or between holiday activities to start your talk," the Obama campaign site urges. Did any of us actually oblige?
"Be persistent, but keep it positive," OFA advises. "Tell them you care about their health ..."
Why not? The president does, and the ends justify the means in Obama's America, where health care is a Trojan horse for redistributing wealth and expanding Democrat voter rolls. In other words, the whole thing reeks.
Can't wait to see what they have in store for Christmas.
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© 2009, Diana West