As a Chemistry major in college I learned how to assess and analyze data using the Scientific method. What I learned is that there are many ways of crunching numbers and presenting facts which often makes the truth hard to find. Yet, the truth is still out there. What I’ve also learned, is that the ability to decipher and assess information seems to be a dying art. Wherever I turn to nowadays, be it the television, tabloids, newspapers or the internet, it seems like arguments are being made on nothing but hyperbole, rhetoric, emotions and just plain old bad logic. An example, I have such a hard time believing that there are people out there, who still believe that President Obama is not a US Citizen.
I was prompted to blog about this after watching a video of an AARP meeting gone bad.
There are several things to take away from this video:
- I am always suspect when a video is edited as it creates suspicion on my part as to what was left out. I appreciate the need to edit a clip to make a point, and also to keep down bandwidth on the internet, however… what was left out of the video?
- The AARP representatives need more training. If you are going to speak in public, especially about a divisive topic like health care, you better be prepared. These representatives were not prepared.
- The audience was on a mission. I don’t know if the audience was organized or not, but… it seems odd that they were emotionally charged from the beginning. I can only surmise that the emotions came from listening to talk show hosts, reading tabloids or not doing their homework. There is a good article in the Chicago Tribune on health care reform myths that are scaring seniors.
- The people in the meeting were mixing politics/emotions with the discussion at hand, which should have been health care reform. One gentleman stated he was concerned because he feared that the proposed health care legislation would cause a loss of his freedoms. While I understand the concern of big government, this does not solve the underlying problem which is that health care costs are increasing at a fast rate. In addition, he gave no good reason for feeling this way. What freedoms will he be losing? If he’s worried about the federal deficit, perhaps he may have a point. But, this is a different fight to fight. With the country already $10 Trillion in debt, the question really becomes how much debt can America maintain, and still be sound economically? If he’s worried about his freedoms, he should be asking why the Federal Reserve can print money at an astounding rate, without any oversight rather than fighting health care legislation.
I realize I just blogged about this last week, but think that rational thinking regarding health care reform is a must. We cannot continue along the path we are currently on, and just hope that everything will work out.
As a leader, I encourage you to do your homework, be prepared and discuss things rationally.
All the best,
All the time,
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