How a Conservative Juggernaut May Be Countered

In the political communication business, the “sound bite” mindset persists.    One-liner messaging, carefully formulated to inflame the voter’s emotions within the few seconds of their attention you can realistically get. But the battleground has changed forever.   The combination of the

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Health Care Reform and Socialized Medicine

A review of
Introduction to US Health Policy: The Organization, Financing, and Delivery of Health Care in America
(Author: Donald A. Barr)

Democrats will be pushing health care reform for 2020. “Universal” health care is a buzzword that energizes their base, though it remains to be seen whether many independent voters will be persuaded. Some independents, certainly, have doubts as to whether reform would advantage or disadvantage them personally. But almost all independents reason ideologically as well. Most are “conflicted conservatives” who, in widely varying degrees, may resonate to conservative one-liners about big government, bureaucratic inefficiency, stifled innovation, or—most dramatically—socialism.

Donald Barr recounts a century of trying to achieve health care reform in the US, beginning with a failed proposal for national health insurance by Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. Similar failures reoccurred every decade or two afterwards. When Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to include national health insurance as part of the New Deal in 1938,

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Democracy and the Deterioration of Journalism

A Review of
Informing the News (Author: Thomas E. Patterson)

An informed citizenry is essential to a well-functioning democracy. We all assume that the “fourth estate” is what engenders citizens’ understanding of our national situation. In the last three decades, unfortunately, the quality of news has degenerated, raising questions about what the news can realistically be expected to accomplish.

The causes are technological (cable, internet, social media) as well as economic (audience fragmentation, advertising no longer can support costs of journalism) and sociological (the nationalization of politics, the changing style of journalism). The effect, according to a Carnegie Corporation report, is that “the quality of journalism is losing ground in the drive for profit, diminished objectivity, and the spread of the ‘entertainment virus.’”

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