This might hurt a bit

Why is the healthcare system ailing? Members of Salon's community, Table Talk, weigh in.

Published July 30, 2007 8:16AM (EDT)

Issues and News

Sicko: The State of Health Care in America

Nancy Richardson -- 06:55 pm Pacific Time -- Jul 25, 2007 -- #393 of 430

I said "right-wingers don't care what liberals think." I guess I have to explain what this means.

It means that they will say and do whatever it takes to flog their issues ... not caring who the hell they offend, who the hell they make mad ... and whether or not what they say can be proven to be untrue.

It is LAUGHABLE to suggest that Michael Moore has to worry about what his stalking cranks think about his movies, because

1. their fact checking ability is notoriously flawed.

2. and Moore has done a damn good job answering his critics ... including CNN, where he has aggressively pursued [Sanjay] Gupta and [Wolf] Blitzer, and put them on the defensive.

Even so, it is worrisome that there are those who would wring their hands over the free au pair provided to new mothers in France (and fret about how this would somehow horrify people who will never support national healthcare in the U.S.).

They have incredibly cheap daycare all over Europe, and the people there take it for granted.

I have problems with Moore's movie, but mostly it has to do with style. A lot of stuff I found to be cheap stunts, but a lot of people liked these sequences. I found the Kaiser stuff very sloppy. But on the whole, it was a very fast two hours which left me with a good feeling.

But my opinion doesn't matter. I am already convinced.

Moore makes funny films, which make serious topics accessible to people who don't have time to read the Economist or New York Times ... But for people bereft of a sense of humor, ... these films will never be popular. And one must remember that in the documentary film, the director is under no obligation to provide equal time to those who disagree with him in order to present their point of view. Propaganda got a bad name because people don't understand what it means.

Webster defines it as: "ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause."

I also think that Moore's films have made possible an audience open to paying money to see feature documentaries ... and I am hoping that a generation of filmmakers will go out there and make persuasive films which generate talk and controversy.

Ron Legro -- 09:18 pm Pacific Time -- Jul 26, 2007 -- #418 of 419

It's far from being simple. LBJ, about as rough and tumble a politician as there ever was, was perfectly willing to surrender the entire South to the GOP for a generation in order to win passage of the Civil Rights Act, and there have been other, even more selfless politicians since his passing. What was in it for them? Good notices in an Arthur Schlesinger history book?

The Republican mainstream -- which has been very busy institutionalizing the notion of bad institutionalism -- would have you believe it is as simple as "we are only motivated by our self-interest." While there's certainly no shortage of corruption inside the Beltway, there are good people in government who aren't hustling to expand their power base at your expense. Besides, if we really buy into the above meme, then it's time to agitate very strongly in favor of tighter ethics, lobbying and campaign spending restrictions.

Now, voters OFTEN but NOT ALWAYS vote their immediate self-interest. The big political problem of our era is disconnected politicians who are able to deflate if not completely ignore the will of the electorate. Nonetheless, signing onto the meme that D.C. is only about taking power from you is pretty much a self-fulfilling prophecy, because it mainly inspires cynicism and apathy and non-involvement. And if you don't actively vote and act otherwise, they DO, by default, get to take power from you.

"Not to decide is to decide."

Best of Table Talk is an ongoing feature of Salon's vibrant community forum. Older posts of the week can be found in TT. Want to join the discussion? Sign up here.

By Salon Staff

MORE FROM Salon Staff

Related Topics ------------------------------------------