Talk dumb to me, Obama

Posted on 03. Sep, 2009 by in Uncategorized

Okay, maybe not this dumb. But close.

Okay, maybe not this dumb. But close.

President Obama needs to end the public confusion about his health care plan when he addresses a joint session of Congress next week. He needs to dumb it down.

The fate of Obama’s plan may be determined by this prime time address or it may not — it’s hard to point out exact moments in the process of a bill. But the fate of his public opinion on the matter seems much more directly tied to his performance.

You see, I am an average American, neither significantly smarter nor dumber than the rest when it comes to politics. And I can confidently say I know jack shit about Obama’s health care reform plan. According to a recent CBS News poll, I’m not alone. Only 31% of the people questioned from August 27-31 say they have an “understanding” of health care reform ideas.

Why? I can speak for myself: I’m busy and unnecessarily consumed with my own meager life. I haven’t put in the appropriate/required time researching this proposal. And the media coverage hasn’t helped much, the bits and pieces I consume operating on the assumption that I’ve been following along since day one and tracking every change since.

Many Americans are busy just like me. Lots of us work through lunch breaks and go to sleep at night with to-do lists longer than when we woke in the morning. It’s not that we don’t want to understand Obama’s plan, but in this world of easily accessible information and waning attention spans, we want things laid out for us. Give us the elevator pitch.

So when I read that “the content of Obama’s presentation is still being debated in the West Wing” and that “aides have discussed whether to stick to broad principles, or to send specific legislative language to Capitol Hill” I was disheartened and a little annoyed.

Maybe “specific legislative language to Capitol Hill” is what passes the bill, but we as citizens also need to be addressed and informed. What drew me to Obama at this time last year was his earnest, straight-forward manner of speaking. He talked in an unpretentious way that I related to. We were peers in language, Barack and I, and for once I felt included in the political thought process that had always cast me the outsider before. It was like getting a seat at the adult table at Thanksgiving: “Oh, so this is what it’s like.”

Yet during the course of this health care reform debate, I’ve somehow been relegated back to fold-up card table in the next room with the freckled cousins and throwaway table cloth.

Come September 9, Obama needs to bring me and the rest of the unsure Americans back into “the know” on the shape of his latest health care deal. Otherwise I’ll turn my attention elsewhere (football season is upon us and that’s a language I speak fluently), at least until the next election.

Talk to us like we’re dumb, Obama. We deserve that much.

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One Response to “Talk dumb to me, Obama”

  1. nicholas.martinez

    03. Sep, 2009

    Who’s picture is that? That’s very funny!