Friday, August 14, 2009

The "Death Panel"

I had a wonderful day on the links today, cashing in on a golf outing that I'd bought at a church auction. Two friends and I tooled around the golf course, not paying too much attention to scoring. Then it happened...we did something that ultimately brought our attention to the "death panel".

On the third hole we invited a a single golfer who caught up with us to join our group, and he accepted the invitation. He was a very fit 77 year old of Italian extraction named Joe. Joe could really hit the golf ball despite having a knee replacement last fall. He was amiable, and he helped us play at a slower rate so that we weren't always waiting for the group ahead of us.

On the tenth tee Joe said he was really concerned about the Obama health care plan, especially the "death panel".

"You see", Joe said, "when old people get sick they will have to be reviewed by the death panel to see whether or not they get any treatment! This is no good!"

This was my first personal experience with someone who's been suckered in to the "death panel" scam, the lie apparently first cooked up by a conservative female New York politician who was once Lt. Governor until George Patacki sacked her. She said it, she got quoted by the other conservative shills over and over again, and now Joe thinks it's the gospel truth.

In my world there are gradations of sins. One of the ones on the more unpardonable side is to misrepresent someone else's position. It's one thing to espouse a position that you, yourself, do not believe, and many politicians do this. It's another thing to misrepresent another's views to a third party. It's a despicable thing, a thing that I sincerely hope Ms. Ex-Lt. Governor does many extra years in purgatory to atone for...that is, unless she gets her just desserts in this world before her demise. But for now, she's done her work well. Joe believes her lie.

(Author's note: I have edited out the last line of this post, where in anger I made a rather crude remark regarding this lady's character. I take it back. Instead, I'll just say that I continue to be surprised by the baldfaced dishonestly of some purportedly educated people who, by making false statements, create fear in others in order to influence their position on a matter of importance. There is money involved in these actions, as many of us understand. But is it worth it?)

3 comments:

Ron Davison said...

So often I think that differences are driven by ideology. But sometimes they are driven by facts. Joe, for example, is right to take offense at death panels. But how to ever dissuade him of his fact?

ThomasLB said...

It amazes me that people fell for that one. It makes me wonder if democracy is really a workable model.

Emily said...

i sometimes think there is no way anyone could buy that crap. but of course, someone does