On the air for government health care

With Congressional Republicans and President Obama putting on a meeting that could make Bill Lumbergh ask you to go ahead and drop hemlock in his coffee, Organizing for America is pushing its supporters to talk radio to advocate the expanded government control of health care.

OFA’s radio site gives users everything they need to be good soldiers  the government health care army.   The site provides a link so advocates can listen into various programs and phone numbers to call in.  If they are having trouble getting through, the advocates can click through to another show’s information quickly.  A “Calling Tips” section prepares them for what to expect and how to deal with hosts that challenge their views; and a clear list of talking points helps them stay on message.

The site – and the tactic of calling in to radio shows – will likely not change a single person’s mind about government health care.  After all, most of the folks  listening to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or even news radio probably have their mind made up.  But there are two important possible results that could come of this:

  1. It’s important for any side in a political debate to have voices that come from outside of Washington.  If Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama are the voices of government health care, it is hard for the average voter to identify with their side.  It’s much easier to identify with someone who calls into a news show; for government health care advocates, injecting their views into the debate through the grassroots is vital.
  2. Making the case for personal ownership of health care is not hard, but it’s much more difficult to make that case to someone who has a personal story to tell.  Further, a bombastic conservative talk radio host – with no electorate to answer to in pursuing the goal of entertaining radio – may slip up and insult an opposing caller.  Whether a conservative host is flummoxed by a personal testimonial or overly aggressive, it’s a clip of a voice from the right sounding stupid on health care.  Enough of those clips can indeed change people’s minds.

The key to the site’s success is the “Report your Call” function – something which allows OFA to at once track progress and people.  Remember, the next campaign is just around the corner.

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