An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘Obamacare’

Can we Stop the Corporations Needing to Have Opinions?

It all started when Oreo came out with that ad where they had a cookie with all sorts of rainbow layers.  And I’m against that ad, though not because of the pro-gay message.  I love that.  I am against that ad because I want the cookie, and they aren’t going to let me have it.  That’s not cool.

Then, after Oreo came out with that, Chick-fil-A made headlines because they came out against gay marriage.  And of course, there was a category-5 PR meltdown.  Jim Henson’s company took their toys away, because they are pro-gay.  The public went nuts and started boycotting, not realizing that their boycott is totally useless, because for every customer they lost to their bigotry, they gain a bigot customer.  The most it will hurt their wallets is incidental.  For real, this will be just a bad run.  And since the cycle of how people remember things in the online world is even shorter than in the regular media world, people will forget about the boycott after a while, and business will resume.

An outright lie

Now, Papa John’s, the pizza company, has come out against Health Care Reform, or as the conservatives call it, Obamacare.  Never mind that Obamacare is a dumbed-down version of Romneycare.  The truth is inconsequential to conservatives.  But, after coming out against this, there are liberals across America who are saying that we have to boycott them.  Another useless and completely symbolic act, because it won’t go anywhere past symbolism.  Conservatives will come and eat there, just to give the figurative finger to the liberals.  It isn’t going to hurt Papa John’s bottom line in any significant way.

Man, what is with this?  Why are the corporations choosing to get involved in this now?  What’s next?  Is Target going to come out and say that they are against pre-marital sex?  Is Coke going to say that they are against the use of dildos?

This should really get people’s attention, because here’s a neat reality – the corporations aren’t stupid.  They see the writing on the wall as well as everyone else.  The writing here is that when a corporation comes out and takes a position against or for something, they get business.  When Oreo did it, people who are pro-gay bought Oreos.  When Chick-fil-A did it, they got an entire day to celebrate their bigotry and get the bigots of America to stuff their faces with as much of their food as they could take.  It was documented to be their best day of sales ever.  Now, Papa John’s is going to get a huge influx of business from people who solely went to give their opinion about Health Care Reform as well.

There is a belief that conservative America has.  It is the belief that corporations are people.  And you know what, more and more, they are able to conduct themselves like people.  Corporations are voicing opinions, and they have a pedestal to talk from.  The corporate media is happy to feed this, because it helps their bottom line.  The corporations get brand recognition because of it, which if you think about it, that’s the really nefarious part of this.  People are going to be for these corporations.  They are going to stand with them, and after a while, they aren’t even going to remember why.  They just will, because it is what they remember that they were for.  They will support people who are bigots, and they won’t even know why.

The other worst part about this is that this is, once again, our fault.  Americans, we did this.  We lost our minds over this, and they got brand recognition.  They got loyalty.  They got followers.  They got everything that they wanted.  They are getting huge sales, and all because we had to make this a big issue.  We tried to lash out against them.  Appeal to decency and empathy.  But once-again, that didn’t work.

Just as appealing to decency and compassion hasn’t work with Wall Street, as the Occupy movement has found out.  Just as appealing to decency has done nothing to change the conservative tune in this country.  Something the liberals need to figure out is that there are a LOT of scummy people out there.  And these people don’t get dissuaded by information, by facts, by goodness and by kindness.  They are tied to their bigotry, and that doesn’t change.  Liberals, and socialists like me care about kindness, and doing the best thing for everybody.  These people, on the other hand, only care about themselves, only care about their own opinions, and getting more for themselves.  They don’t want to have to sacrifice.  They don’t want to have to be without, or to include the unfavorable.  That is against their views.  It is all about greed.  That’s the name of the game.

Corporations have gotten a new status as people – opinions.  They have now realized that opinion gives them power over the consumer, and they are going to use that power.  That power will come from everybody.  Especially here in America, where being an evil person gets you far.  Chick-fil-A comes out against gay marriage, they get their best sales EVER.  What does that say?  What does that say about America?  Nothing good.

Now look, my last post railed about this, and a reaction I got was that I didn’t care.  I do care.  It quite frankly pisses me off that an entire corporation can represent the worst of what this country has to offer.  It is the worst thing that these companies have realized what is a fantastic marketing strategy is to play to our bigotry.  But here’s the thing – what people need to keep in mind most is that this is all a trick.  Just like in the 2004 Presidential Election.  A big reason John Kerry lost in that election was that Karl Rove brought gay marriage to the front in states that it was never going to pass, just to get conservatives to the polls.  Just like the constant battle against women’s reproductive rights in this country.  These rights aren’t going anywhere.  The Tea Party was created to do this.  It’s a smokescreen for what they are actually trying to accomplish.

The worst part is that it works.  The conservatives in this country have realized that the liberals will fight tooth and claw against something totally pointless, and will not even notice another rug being torn out from under them.  This has got to change!  And fast, too, because the most stuff like this works, the more that corporate America will truly have control over us.

And that is the worst thing of all.

Obamacare Lives, and CNN and Fox News FAIL

Yeah, there are a lot of things to talk about, and we thought we would break it down one by one.  The first part is that the Health Care Reform Act, aka. Obamacare, passed.  In a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the law.  One of the big names who was not expected to vote for the side of this bill was the swing vote they needed.  Justice John Roberts, a man who all the conservatives were sure was going to be against this, since he is a very conservative man, voted in favor of the Health Care Reform Act.  He chose to look at the law for what it is, and be impartial.  As one can imagine, the conservatives are up in arms about that.

Now, there are some issues that I personally have with the Health Care Reform Act. For one thing, the insurance mandate part is totally useless without a public option.  In fact, I do think that it does harm.  But, for what I have to look at, I will say, the liberal community should feel some pride.  I think we should have universal health care, but this is at least a step in the right direction, which is more than Obama has been able to do for the bulk of his presidency.  Of course, if he had actually fought for it, we might have the public option, but that is neither here nor there.

However, when the news broke about the ruling, there was a bit of a mix-up of information, and the source is a couple that you might not expect.  Fox News and CNN, when this ruling news broke, reported it wrong.  They reported that a 5-4 vote was in favor of it not passing.  That they ruled against it.  That’s a HUGE gaff for a news company to make.

Source Fed, a news organization who is both fun and informative about some oddball issues and some very hard news, had a very good point to make about this.  While this most certainly makes Fox News and CNN look stupid and like bad journalists, the problem of this does come from our culture of immediacy.  Granted, one can be quick and be thorough, which NBC poked fun at in a response from their PR person.  But when people want the information right then, at that moment, and not have to wait, there is a good point to be made that mistakes are going to be made.

The field of journalism is trying to find a place to exist in this new world, but perhaps the public does have some accountability to be had in regards to massive mistakes like this being made.

This is a huge issue, and a lot of people are celebrating, as they should be.  But this isn’t over.  This Reform Act is not good enough.  There needs to be more battle with this culture for universal health care.  Since I have no faith in the corrupt and bureaucratic politicians who could give a damn about the public, we have to push for this as a community.  Liberals must end their timidity and stand tall, demanding universal health care, something that will save America money, along with families money.

But given how absolutely dumb this country’s culture is, that might be dreaming a little bit beyond my ken.

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