As Americans become more and more aware of the disastrous details surrounding ObamaCare, the phenomenon of the low-information voter comes to mind. Arguably, one of the worst cases of low information Americana was observed by former FBI director, Louis J. Freeh. In 1966, Freeh, then a teenager, attended a church camp in the Appalachian Mountains. One of the camp activities was to visit with some of the local people down in the hollows and learn about their lives.
To Freeh’s amazement, he found locals who did not know the name of the country in which they were living. Some locals knew the name of their state. When asked the name of the current president, a few thought the president was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Mind you, this was in 1966 and FDR had been dead since April, 1945. Young Louis Freeh and his fellow campers stumbled into one of those pockets of rural America without electricity and without access to any form of information from the world outside.
In the early 1980s, when this writer taught political science and history at Nebraska Wesleyan University, I armed my students with a simple two-question survey and sent them to the nearby Gateway Mall to apply the survey to anyone who looked old enough to vote. The first question asked the interviewee to name the current U.S. President. The second question asked the name of the interviewee’s congressperson. Although Ronald Reagan was president at the time, about half of those interviewed offered names such as: Eisenhower or Kennedy or Nixon or Carter. Very few knew the names of those representing them in Congress.
The students would return from those shopping-mall surveys saddened by the revelation that so many of their fellow Americans knew so little about government and politics. That revelation, of course, laid the foundation for the real point of the shopping mall exercise which was for the students to see that so many Americans could live happy and productive lives without much knowledge of or concern about their government. Well, that was the case back in the early 1980s.
Now, spring forward to 2013 and that is no longer so. Today, with the Obama Administration trying to take over 20-percent of the U.S. economy in the guise of ObamaCare, the low-information voter is being shocked to learn that the glossy claims made by President Obama to sell ObamaCare are simply not true. As Vladimir Lenin famously said, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
But there is more at stake today than the hollow promises that you can keep your current health-insurance plan, that you can keep your own doctor, that your premiums will drop by $2,500-per-year, and that ObamaCare will reduce the cost of health care. Vladimir Lenin also said, “Medicine is the keystone of the arch of socialism.” What is really at stake here is whether America becomes an out-and-out socialist welfare state or whether America continues to be the bastion of free-market capitalism and the home of individual choice and freedom.
So, was the disastrous roll-out of the ObamaCare web pages an accidental train wreck? Or, is ObamaCare a Machiavellian scheme designed to frustrate Americans into a government-run, single-payer, socialized-medicine system of which Vladimir Lenin would be proud? You decide.
Nationally syndicated columnist and retired military officer, William Hamilton, was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.