Bush’s Wars, Obamacare, Hilarycare – What’s in a Name Brand Anyway?

You might get giggles, frowns, smiles, or even praise for associating massive plans and movements with the political perpetrator of the movement.  On numerous occasions I have observed this response.

What’s in a name brand anyway?

There are really three main reasons why we label movements after the perpetrator:

  1. An opponent of the movement uses the label to remind detractors of the person responsible for the movement they hate
  2. A proponent of the movement uses it to proudly take credit for the movement they love
  3. Objective and analytical people use it to correctly associate and evaluate the merits of the supporters and detractors, while accurately associating organizational divisions to the policy at hand

At RAAI, we’re not much for the first or second motivation.  Most of us are independents – not registered with any party, and not actively supporting or donating to any party.

So, to us, it’s always an interesting event when we speak of “Bush’s Wars”, Obamacare, and Hilarycare.  Usually the reactions we get come from emotional supporters or detractors.

For instance, if you use the phrase “Bush’s Wars”, a supporter might say:

“Hey!  The Democrats voted for it too, overwhelmingly!!!  So how is it Bush’s War?”

“Because even though Democrats enabled it and supported it, they turned on it only a year later, doing everything they could to derail and stop it during the most sensitive and precarious period.  Bush had to expend all of his political capital to keep the Iraq war stable and moving towards victory and normalization.  That is when it became his war.”

“Oh.”

Or you might just get a “Hell yeah, Bush taking care of business and getting those terrorists.”

The same is true of Obamacare and Hilarycare.  Some Democrats laugh at the notion:

“That’s funny!  Why is reforming the broken healthcare system Obamacare? *giggle* *giggle*”

“Because it is his plan and his vision for the reform.  It is a vision which his opponents disagree with and believe will cause more problems and solve nothing.  They have other ideas on how to help solve issues.  Those ideas are entirely dismissed and buried by Obama.  Therefore, it is Obama’s doing.  It is his plan, and so it is Obamacare.  He is responsible for signing it or vetoing it.  His power base developed it with his consent.  He paid the Tides Foundation to write the entire thing.  How can you not call it Obamacare?  Doesn’t he want credit for his work?”

“Oh.”

They are no longer giggling.

It’s mind boggling why people are so sensitive to political divisions.  Largely, it is because those divisions were not carefully considered by the individual.  They were nurtured with propaganda, marketing, emotions, and not fully understood.  They enjoin political affiliations to be part of a group that gives their self-image a shape that they desire.  Part of that selfish affiliation is chosen based on meaningless emotional rhetoric and propaganda.

So is it any wonder that when a brand name for a policy is accurately labeled, so many people issue an emotional response?  If we could learn to think critically, then we all would benefit from more constructive discourse.

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM  Leave a Comment  

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