Caravan vs Healthcare

the caravan hysteria is no accident: creating a climate of hatred is how Republicans avoid talking about health care. What we’re seeing in this election is a kind of culmination of the strategy the right has been using for decades: distract working-class voters from policies that hurt them by promoting culture war….

The caravan is the last thing I fret about these days but I like to stay informed, so I went on Fox News yesterday on purpose to see how the caravan was covered.

It’s true that Fox covers it relentlessly, obsessively, and hysterically. It’s also obvious that it’s a ploy to rile up the voters before the midterm. But that’s not the whole truth. What Krugman says in the quote above is either uninformed or dishonest, and I believe it’s the latter since I found out what’s really going on by simply switching the channel.

The caravan is being discussed on Fox News first and foremost in terms of what it (and similar movements) represents for healthcare. The question that is being asked regarding the caravan, obsessively and relentlessly, is what a massive influx of illegal immigrants will do to Medicaid and how it’s possible even to begin to talk about single-payer when you haven’t decided who is entitled to free medical care. Only citizens? And then what, you just stare at people who are sick and let them die? That doesn’t sound like a great idea. Everybody? And who’s going to pay for that exactly?

One could argue that the Fox reporters don’t care a blip about healthcare for illegal immigrants, and I’m sure one would be right. But that’s beyond the point. Those who pretend that these questions don’t exist or don’t matter can just as easily be accused of distracting voters from relevant questions surrounding healthcare.

P.S. And I just found a good article on the caravan on – of all places – The National Review.

21 thoughts on “Caravan vs Healthcare

  1. “I like to stay informed, so I went on Fox News.”

    You’re right, nowadays if you want to get any cable TV news that isn’t distorted to cast the worst possible light on Trump and the Republicans, you have to go to Fox (which distorts it toward the opposite partisan viewpoint). News that can’t be presented as reflecting badly on Trump (like Turkey’s recent release of the American pastor) simply isn’t mentioned on MSNBC or CNN.

    Fox actually has several prominent hosts (Shepard Smith, Chris Wallace, Neil Cavuto) who openly criticize Trump. The other two cable news channels are all anti-Trump, all the time.

    CNN used to be fairly neutral in its news presentations, but in an apparent effort to get out of the ratings toilet (Fox News is #1, MSNBC is a distant #2, and CNN isn’t even in the top 10 cable channels), CNN has turned into a mini-MSNBC, running non-stop Trump hatred.

    All of Paul Krugman’s articles for the past two years are essentially identical: “Despair ye readers, for Trumpian doomsday is at hand.”


        1. The echo-chamber in the comments section doesn’t help matters either.

          Every so often somebody suggests listening to conservatives, but the top voted comment is always something along the lines of how they are some combination of ignorant, bigoted, evil or brainwashed by Fox news and clearly have nothing to say worth listening to.

          Trump may not have any answers, but he did show that he knows how to listen.


          1. Absolutely. And the intolerance towards the slightest bit of difference on the Left has become ridiculous. Look at me, I’m a college professor in the Humanities. This means I’m more liberal than 99,9% of the population. Yet I started getting labeled as all kinds of bigot because of a very mild questioning of the ruling leftist dogma. As a result, I now read American Conservative, National Review, etc because at least there nobody yells at me, threatens me, or labels me. And I discovered that people there and on Fox News are not unrelenting bigots and freaks as I was always told. They actually have a logical, reasoned point of view. I can disagree but I now know that there is a conservative position that isn’t meaningless and idiotic. It’s kind of bizarre to discover this at my age, but that’s the environment I’ve spent my adult life in.


            1. // They actually have a logical, reasoned point of view. I can disagree but I now know that there is a conservative position that isn’t meaningless and idiotic. It’s kind of bizarre to discover this at my age, but

              May you write a post summarizing what you have found and which things you (dis)agree with?

              Some readers are even outside USA and may find it interesting to find out what’s going on. 🙂


              1. One example is gay marriage. I’m completely pro-gay marriage, it’s a large part of my belief system, and it’s never going to change. But I discovered that the opposition to gay marriage among some religious people doesn’t necessarily stem from bigotry and hatred. There is a solid theology behind it that can be accompanied by a profound understanding of the evils of homophobia. Again, this is not my theology. I don’t share it or endorse it. But my understanding of the world has been enriched by finding out that it exists.

                Or the fear of immigrant caravans. Again, I don’t even remotely share it. But I now know that it’s not always motivated by racism. There are non-bigoted reasons to feel it, which have to do with the erosion of the nation-state that we’ve discussed so much.

                I think it’s not productive or enriching to see a different point of view as coming from nothing but complete derangement and bigotry. I got so tired of the endless loop of “bigots, bigots, bigots” that I started wondering if it might be reductive and simply wrong. So I decided to find out for myself. And I discovered interesting things that didn’t change my mind about key issues but helped me gain a fuller understanding of the world. I wish more people did the same regardless of their personal beliefs.


  2. For the past two days, most of the “news” repeated over and over and over again on MSNBC and CNN is that “Trump needs to apologize and accept responsibility for the bomb packages mailed to the Democrats.” Virtually every program host has said this, and then all of their guests have dutifully repeated it like parrots.

    Whatever you think of Trump, he isn’t about to be that stupid! His apologizing would be a great victory for the Trump bashers, the equivalent of his successfully goading Elizabeth Warren into giving him her DNA report. Not going to happen.


    1. Why should he apologize if he had nothing to do with mailing them? Did Bernie have to apologize to a crazy supporter who actually did bodily harm to people?


      1. Sanders Of Supporter And Alleged Shooter: ‘Violence Of Any Kind Is Unacceptable

        Sen. Bernie Sanders, who led a progressive, left-wing populist effort that very nearly won him the Democratic presidential nomination, condemned the shooting Wednesday at a congressional baseball practice — and acknowledged the suspect was apparently a supporter of his campaign.

        “I have just been informed that the alleged shooter at the Republican baseball practice is someone who apparently volunteered on my presidential campaign,” the Vermont independent said in brief remarks on the Senate floor. “I am sickened by this despicable act. Let me be as clear as I can be — violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society, and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms. Real change can only come about through nonviolent action, and anything else runs counter to our most deeply held American values.”

        Also, and this is important, Sanders didn’t spend months egging on people to physically attack Republicans or his opponents in the Democratic primary.


        1. Trump condemned, too. Which is the right thing to do.

          As to egging on and promoting violence, Sanders isn’t guilty but there’s a bunch of Democrats who are. Obviously if somebody decides to listen and attack a person, it will not be the fault of the people who talk crap.

          It’s like that lady in Georgia who got the death penalty for asking her boyfriend to kill somebody. I still don’t get how she can be guilty of anything.


  3. Tucker Carlson covers it incessantly but doesn’t mention healthcare, as far as I’m aware. He’s worried about the issue of rapidly changing demographics, which some people view as anti-Hispanic, racist rhetoric.


    1. That’s one I didn’t watch. The guy looks like he’s permanently suffering from a severe constipation. I can’t see him without experiencing stomach trouble.


      1. You’re right again, Carlson has a permanent scowl on his face. In past years, he hosted shows on CNN, PBS, and even MSNBC, and didn’t develop his current affected expression until he moved to Fox.


        1. The ones I always end up watching are the moon-faced fellow called Sean, I think. The one with “the opening monologue” and Laura Ingram. There is also Sharon Bream but I can’t stand her little girl act. When do the other ones air? I want to sample a wider variety.


          1. The Fox moderates who openly criticize Trump on occasion are “Shepard Smith Reporting” at 3 pm ET, “Your World with Neil Cavuto” (mostly business news) at 4 pm ET, and “Special Report with Bret Baier” at 6 pm ET.

            They lean conservative, of course, but they’re all more balanced in their reporting than anyone still commenting on CNN or MSNBC. I haven’t watched NPR lately.


            1. I don’t necessarily look for criticism of Trump because that can be found in abundance everywhere else. I want to understand the conservative worldview from the those who hold it and not from the critics who only ridicule it.


              1. My point is that these Fox hosts give an honest, balanced opinion on the news — they’re not blatantly one-sided in either direction.

                There is isn’t a single host left on CNN and MSNBC who isn’t 100% anti-ALL Republican positions all the time, unless they’re interviewing a lame-duck like Jeff Flake who is clearly disgusted with Trump. (If I’m wrong about any host on those two networks, please provide me with his/her name.)


              2. I agree completely. I’m so tired of hearing nothing but unhinged propaganda that I’m looking for at least some source that would provide relief from this. It’s all “Trump said today is Friday. That bastard! He wants to discriminate against Thursdays!” I can’t take it anymore.


              3. So I did watch Tucker Carson tonight. And! My new favorite journalist Brendan O’Neill from Spiked was interviewed on the show! I’m so happy I watched. He’s a lot younger than I thought. And very idealistic, heavily into the Enlightenment. This was an unexpected gift.

                There was also a caravan supporter interviewed who was so stupid that I think he was fake. Like an actor. To make caravan supporters look idiotic.


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