At Thursday’s healthcare reform rally (you know, the one the Seattle Times insists never happened), there didn’t seem to be much to be gained from hanging with my fellow travelers, so I wandered across the street to the couple dozen, sign-waving counter-protesters, and attempted to strike up a conversation. I eased into it with a subject on which we could all agree—cupcakes—and then moved into a policy discussion from there.
Posted above is a six-minute conversation with the guy with the bullhorn, in which I present his answers unedited, and totally within context (my snarky subtitles and inserts aside). If at times he comes off as a tad inconsistent, it had nothing to do with any iMovie magic.
That said, I think he does make a point which is worth considering when attempting to refute the arguments coming from the other side. When talking about Social Security and Medicare he freely acknowledges that “these programs might seem like they take great care of people, which is wonderful, they do,” but he simply doesn’t believe that the money will be there long term to continue to provide this care in the future… and this is the same financial trap he sees our nation falling into with a public option.
This is different from the government can’t do anything right sentiment that seems to be shared by some of his companions (even while lovin’ their Medicare, which I’ll get to in a later clip), and deserves a different and more thoughtful response. Bullhorn man clearly doesn’t believe that he will ever benefit from these programs, and thus resents paying into them now, and he doesn’t want to pay for yet another social program—healthcare reform—that won’t benefit him in the long run either. And who would?
When he talks about the current systems having already been “robbed of their money” by Congress, it appears that he doesn’t seem to understand that Social Security et al have always been “pay as you go” programs, in which payroll deductions from the current generation of workers pays the benefits of the current generation of retirees, but it would be a mistake to dismiss these concerns nonetheless. Republicans may have lost the political battle to privatize Social Security, but their rhetoric about its imminent collapse is clearly paying dividends in the current healthcare debate.
Anyway, make of the video what you will, and please excuse the shoddy camerawork. In such close quarters I have to hold the camera so far back that I can’t actually see the view screen, so I don’t always get everybody in frame; such is the life of the amateur video blogger.