The nucleus of a winning message

The nucleus of a winning message

We are still over three months away from Primary season for the 2016 General Election and sensory overload from candidate interviews and rhetoric seems to be the new normal.  Turn on any cable news outlet or talk radio program and much of the time it is like trying to take a drink of water from a wide open fire hydrant.  As is often the case at times such as this when everything is said and done there will be much more said than ever done.  One thing that I hope gets done is the walking back of certain statements and the clarification of policy positions by certain of the GOP frontrunners.  Forget about anyone out to “Make America great again.”  Dr. Ben Carson has been making a lot of statements that at the very least are going to require further clarification.  In an interview on Fox News this past Sunday, Dr. Carson was all over the policy map as to how he would “end the need for Medicare” by utilizing individual health savings accounts.  I myself have a health savings account and it stays near empty most of the time paying for my insurance deductible and I am in a tax bracket which places me in the category of “affluent.”  According to Dr. Carson, the Medicaid rolls can be reduced simply by “fixing the economy.”  Okay, Dr. Carson has made some past statements that indicate he would benefit from an eighth grade civics refresher course. Judging from his interview with Chris Wallace, the good doctor could also use a crash course in basic economics.  Fast forward the below video clip to the 4:52 mark where begins the discussion of health care policy:

Chris Wallace interviews Dr. Ben Carson on Fox News Sunday, 10.25.2015


In spite of the criticism over their expense, perceived and actual, Medicare and Medicaid are popular government implemented programs.  Social Security, for all its bogus demonization as a “Ponzi scheme,” is also a popular program as the below graphic of poll data of senior citizens indicates.

(Image by Kaiser Family Foundation)

(Image by Kaiser Family Foundation)

 The results of the Social Security program, bureaucracy notwithstanding, have been overwhelmingly successful at reducing poverty in the elderly demographic.  I will personally vouch for Medicare.  It saved me a lot of out of pocket expense in helping my father in his declining years.  For all criticism of Medicare and Medicaid I have heard from medical and health care professionals, I have yet to see any of them decline any of their reimbursements.  These social programs were formulated and implemented by Democratic administrations.  These are the very programs that Republicans and conservatives would love to abolish or at very least privatize.  The problem confronting the Republicans is that demographic trends are not in their favor.  The baby boom generation members will continue to retire through 2029.  Working people who have paid into the system their entire working life have a vested interest in receiving their earned benefits.  The Social Security recipient demographic will therefore only increase for the immediate future.  Social Security is also not insolvent as so many of its critics insist.  Preserving these programs ongoing are winning issues on which Democrats can ride to victory at the polls with the following message:


The Democratic message is quite appealing and it simply comes down to this:

If you want your Social Security benefits, vote Democratic! 

If you want your Medicare benefits, vote Democratic!

If you would rather not have to work past age 65 to be eligible for either of the above, vote Democratic!

If you want your Medicaid benefits, vote Democratic!

The Dems have so many more pertinent issues that are winners such as veteran’s benefits, education, immigration, student loans and raising the minimum wage but these are the ones that are going to have a direct effect on the lives of so many in the main voting demographics.  Everyone who works or has worked for an employer has paid into Social Security.  Nearly   everyone has had a parent or extended family member or at very least knows someone who has been a Medicare beneficiary.  Everyone knows someone who is currently or at some point in their life been unfortunate enough to have to claim disability and use Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and/or Medicaid for their healthcare needs.


At the end of the day I honestly pity the GOP messaging gurus.  They have a tall order before them.  At a time when their Tea Party approval rating has sunk to a new low, when their GOP-led Congress has an approval rating in the low to mid teens, their deep bench of candidates lacks a charismatic Ronald Reagan-like communicator.  They have to somehow spin a message to the effect of “Going bankrupt paying for your healthcare and working until you are 70 years old or dead is patriotic.”  Times like this I’m sure make them miss a stylish mouthpiece with the uncanny ability of the Gipper and the halcyon days of when he would look into the TV machine as if he were looking into each viewer’s very soul and speak directly to each citizen personally and tell them “I am going to screw you until your ass falls off and you are going to like it!” and make it sound so desirable everyone would immediately drop trou.

When it comes down to the simple message of the campaign the Dems have by far the easiest row to hoe.  Results of governing matter and matter everything in moving the nation forward.  For all the demagogic bombast that go with the territory of some issues at least we don’t have to defend governing by shutdown, governing by hostage taking and non-governing by breath holding and stomping our feet when we don’t get what we want.  The nucleus of a winning message will contain the words RESULTS MATTER!


1 Comment

  1. Sheri Forester
    Oct 29, 2015

    That was great! It made me lol at one point and at another realize that Ben Carson explains his plans like a first grader (no offense to first graders).