The art of political dialogue

By Tom Quiner

“If you don’t agree with me, you are a hater.”

“If you don’t agree with me, you are evil.”

“If you don’t agree with me, you are a racist … or a denier … or a misogynist.”

This is how liberals typically dialogue on political issues these days.

Here’s the reality: reasonable people CAN disagree on a host of issues.

Take Obamacare.

A couple of decades ago, some Republicans, including Newt Gingrich, played with the idea of mandating health insurance as a way to broaden the insurance risk pool in the hope of driving down rates.

Although it didn’t take long for them to decide this wasn’t a good idea, it shows that reasonable people on both sides of the aisle considered it a reasonable idea at one time or another.

Reasonable people can disagree on the nuts and bolts of Obamacare while embracing the same goals. For example, Republicans believe a carrot works best to entice people to purchase insurance while Democrats like the stick approach.

Republicans like the owner of the policy to be empowered; Democrats want the power to be with the government and the insurance companies.

Republicans like a bottom-up approach; Democrats like a top-down approach.

Here’s the point: reasonable people can disagree on the nuts and bolts of the plan, while agreeing on the ultimate goal.

This leads me to the latest remarks that were uncovered from the lips of Obamacare architect, Jonathan Gruber.

He publicly stated that if you don’t agree with Democrats’ plan for health insurance, you are EVIL. There is no nuance, no middle ground:

“There’s larger principles at stake here. When these states are turning – not just turning down covering the poor people – but turning down the federal stimulus that would come with that. So the price they are willing … They are not just not interested in covering poor people, they are willing to sacrifice billions of dollars of injections into their economy in order to punish poor people. It really is just almost awesome in its evilness.”

Building up a head of steam, he goes even farther by playing the race card:

“I really believe that if we could politically help explain the costs to society of cutting provider rates, of cutting back Medicaid, I think we’d get the majority of people to support strengthening that program. I think it’s just because of racial reasons and other things, we just haven’t managed to get through with that message.”


What’s he mean? Does he mean that Blacks are too dumb to understand the plan, which IS racist if that’s what he’s saying.

Or is he saying that only reason Republicans opposed Obamacare is because it will help Blacks?

The real issue is that Democrats and elites like Gruber DID get their message out, and a majority rejected it.

For the record, Republicans could use plenty of lessons in the art of political dialogue, too. It’s not just a problem with the Democratic Party.

Both sides should look for the common ground, when possible, and build from there.


  1. I 53:5 Project on November 19, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Pretty much sums it up.

  2. oarubio on November 21, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Disregard for the dignity of human life, acting contrary as to how laws are to be modified as directed by the Constitution, no respect for religion or Natural Law, lying to achieve self-serving goals, etc. ….. sounds evil to me.