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Sat., July 7, 2012

Bad-mouthing is bad policy

Too often I am reading the words of someone bad-mouthing our president. It’s as though casting aspersions has become a parlor game – disinformation without penalties.

At Fox News, generalizations about the Affordable Care Act become lies. Example: alleging falsely that everyone(!) will be paying a tax because the U.S. Supreme Court said that is the only way the ACA can operate constitutionally. Yet Massachusetts’ law uses that same framework for its experiment in universal health coverage, and 98 percent of its citizens are covered, insurance companies are making profits, people (therefore society) are benefiting. And, given a chance, Obamacare will succeed the same way.

Untruthful accusations are divisive. Given the choice between one-party government (legislature, governor, supreme court, as in Idaho and Texas) and bipartisan government at all levels, only the latter is in keeping with democratic values. The former – at the national level – holds the danger even now of a future oligarchy or plutocracy. Theocracy as in Iran? Fascism? Historically, through the actions of corporations and a radical political group led by a demagogue.

I urge unapologetic Obama critics to cite Fox News as a source where applicable. Thus, we’ll know.

Steve A. Johnston


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