November 4, 2013 by Julia
I have a tag called Bizarre Tactics, for posts that discuss the bizarre ways the Left chooses to promote its causes. The one that comes up a lot is berating its own allies. It makes no sense to me–if you want people to change their mind and join you, don’t attack people who have changed their mind and are trying to join you!
In case you can’t tell, I’m frustrated with some right-wing responses to stories such as this one involving Obama voters expressing utter shock that the “Affordable” Care Act is poorly named and even more poorly conceived and implemented. I understand the impulse to gloat and enjoy the schadenfreude of the very people who got us into this mess by voting for Barack Obama now facing the reality of the havoc they have wreaked upon us all. Seriously, I get it, and I desperately want to throw it back in their faces: “This isn’t my fault, I didn’t vote for him! You voted for him, so I’ll send you a bill for the difference in my insurance premium . . . asshole.”
What I’m asking you to do today, though, is resist that urge. Don’t say, “Well, I told you so.” Don’t say, “Conservative bloggers called this three years ago, where the hell were you?” Don’t say, “Then you should have voted for Romney, idiot.” Just don’t do it. It’s not helpful–and in fact, it’s directly harmful.
We now have a chance for casual Democrats–the people who are Democrats because the platform just sounds nice, not because they follow politics and really ascribe to leftist philosophy–to see first hand the perils of government intervention in our lives. We don’t have to teach them anything, because the experiences may allow them to teach themselves. Sure, some will still blindly follow the president and his accusations against evil insurance companies, but some are going to wake up from the long nightmare. They’ll realize that all the things that sounded so nice at first come with a price tag that will be paid for with cash from their own pockets–whether they still want those things or not. Every time they have to say to themselves, “I can’t go to the movies/out to dinner/shopping because I need to save this money for my health insurance,” it will be an indictment of Barack Obama and his leftist friends.
If we leave these people to come to their own realizations, and make ourselves available when they come to us with questions (and I mean substantive, intelligent answers, not condescending answers like “I told you so” or “How stupid could you have been to believe those promises?”), we will have new friends and allies in the fight against the ever-expanding government. If we obnoxiously taunt them and make them feel bad, we run the risk of these folks hating us as much as they hate that dude who increased their insurance premiums 200%.
Obama voters and early ACA supporters almost all undoubtedly had good intentions of helping people get afford health care. This finally our chance to explain to them that we conservatives also want to help people get affordable health care, and to actually have putative liberals listen to our proposals instead of immediately writing us off as insensitive racists. Be armed with those proposals–study them, and practice explaining and defending them. Get informed not only about why the ACA is terrible, but also about what we can do to help people in a more effective way.
To sum it up: don’t be a jerk. This is our chance to win new allies. Don’t ruin it!