The current healthcare debate has become a “Clash of Characterizations.” Those who favor the government plan are portrayed as deliberate and thoughtful, simply asking the question, “Who could oppose something that benefits so many?”
Opponents are characterized as Crazies or Racists, and could end up being targeted for reprisal.
Since Republicans make up the preponderance of those who oppose government-run healthcare, it is Republicans who suffer the greatest amount of negativity in the characterizations. If you happen to oppose the government plan and are NOT a Republican, you probably begin your statement of opinion with something like, “I’m an Independent, but...” You shield yourself from the Crazy/Racist characterizations by clarifying for all that you are NOT A REPUBLICAN!
I sense something of this effect when watching the actors who portray the GEICO Cavemen. They come across as hip individuals who are totally dismayed when their culture assumes them to be inferior. Republicans, in similar fashion, might be bright and capable, but they are considered misguided and politically inferior by our culture. It is a burden that tends to make Republicans defensive and negative, and that behavior actually ends up reinforcing the stereotype.
Why not derive some fun from all this? The next time you are on an airport people-mover, or meeting some friends after a ride, watch for some facet of our culture that demeans or diminishes Republicans in a way that is “normal” or “natural.” It might be a newspaper article, a movie, or a show on late-night television.
Send a note to this blog. (The e-mail is on the profile page.) I will make sure it gets documented in the annals of our anti-Republican culture.
Who knows? You could be the next Michael Yon in America’s Culture War!