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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’s health care speech’

I’m on the same rant: I can’t stand it that our public discourse has turned rude, ugly and cynical.  I watched all of President Obama’s health care speech tonight, and was as stunned as a lot of people were when Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted out ‘You lie!” when the President said the proposed health care bill would not fund illegal aliens.  Folks, CNN.com does a pretty decent job of fact checking, and they’s run down a list of facts they checked from the speech here:  http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/category/health-care-fact-check/  What’s the verdict on the illegal alien bit?  “A new report finds bill could require illegal immigrants to buy coverage, but it clearly restricts subsidies to U.S. citizens and legal residents.”

Have we stopped teaching high school civics and government classes?  Have we not taught our young people how to check the facts before they open their mouths?

This is not a minor issue. For those of us in public relations, accurate research and fact-checking form the core of our credibility as professional communicators.  We have to know how to find out the truth and the facts (they are not synonyms) and we have to know how to communicate both the truth and the facts.  We try to anticipate how people might respond by knowing the people who are going to be receiving those messages; we try to get people engaged in the issue or concern at hand, because communication without action is merely information dissemination.

But we now live in a world where people choose what they want to believe with seemingly complete disregard for the facts and no compulsion at all to have respect for an elected government – a government at many levels which, they are probably loathe to admit, provides for paved roads, public schools, fire and police protection, and, oh yeah, provides social safety nets for the poor, the disabled and the unemployed.  Yeah, none of  it is perfect; the health care system in this country needs work and so do a lot of our social services.  Our veterans, for God’s sake – those men and women who put their lives on the line in the service of our country – too often wait years for adequate medical care, and go bankrupt and homeless in the meantime.  Our veterans – to whom we owe so much – are treated as disposable toy soldiers once they get home.  There’s a lot in this country that needs fixing.

So take your anger and your cynicism and channel it into helping these changes take place.  Don’t like what’s going on?  Get involved.  Knock off the ignorance, knock off the anger, knock off the insults and trash talk and do something positive with all that energy.  And if you don’t want to get involved, then quitcherbitchin’.  We need strong people and intelligent people and people willing to check the facts.    Anyone can protest; to make a difference, help create solutions.

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