Friday, August 15, 2008

When In Doubt, Trash The Other Guy

When it comes to politics or public policy issues, it seems that these days the most common strategy employed to achieve a goal is to attack and if possible destroy any credibility on the other side of the issue. Whatever happened to gathering support by promoting the positives of your position?

God knows we’re seeing this in the current presidential campaign. All we’re getting from the McCain side is “Vote for me because the other guy is a celebrity.” Oh, puh-LEEZE! The electorate -- and that means all of us -- deserves a helluva lot better than that.

This shallow tactic – divert and distract -- has been around for 15-20 years and, most unfortunately, it seems to be spilling over into non-political community issues.

For instance, here on Maui there is a vociferous group on the west side of the island that wants to have a full-service hospital built closer to where they live.

That’s all well and good, but to accomplish that goal, their strategy seems to be based on bashing Maui Memorial Medical Center, the island’s existing hospital which is, by all objective accounts, quite a good facility.

This organized campaign is being waged in part with letters-to-the-editor that are all highly critical of MMMC. One that appeared recently said West Maui should get a new hospital because Maui Memorial provides “third-world medicine.”

Ridiculous. And ironic, too, because many so-called third world countries have quite a long list of health statistics that are better than ours in the U.S. … in obesity, longevity, infant mortality, cancer rate, etc., etc. Not to mention the cost of health care.

Think that’s not so? Well, as Casey Stengel famously said, “You could look it up!”

1 comment:

Mike said...

People talk trash 'cause it works. Witness the success of Fox News.