Yesterday, I wrote an expletive-filled rant calling out Representative Tom Emmer by name after he went on National Public Radio and just flat-out lied with respect to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Filling my rant with expletives probably didn’t help my argument. On the other hand, I’m just so tired of the other side going out there and filling the airwaves, or social media, with lies. Statements that are provably and demonstrably false.
So, this morning I am calling out someone else, but this time I’m going to leave the expletives out of it. The guy I’m calling out is someone named John Abrahamsen. I’ve never met this man, and he appears to be a fellow musician (which is in his favor, in my book). His remarks (below) were a response to a Facebook posting that a friend of mine wrote about the shame of the Republicans setting the state for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Here’s what Mr. Abrahamsen had to say in response:
|John Abrahamsen: Obamacare will devastate people if it’s allowed to continue. Trump will stop this, and replace it with actual health care reform which obamacare was not.
Trump will restore energy production in this country, which was slated for a 20 to 30 percent reduction under Obama. This, if done, will destroy the economy. Trump will stop that planned disaster.
Trump will appoint Supreme Court Justices who will uphold our Bill of Rights, unlike the radicals previously appointed.
Trump will be the resistance to the globalist NWO. Trump is the counter coup against the globalists who have infiltrated our government for decades. Basically, since the JFK assassination. Hopefully, you will see this as time goes on.
Trump will establish good relations with other countries, and hopefully move us off the track towards world war 3 with Russia that Obama is on. Hopefully, nothing terrible will happen in the next 7 days. The troops on the Russian border have me very nervous.
So, this posting by Mr. Abrahamsen is obviously a mix of fact and opinion. He’s entitled to his opinions, but he’s not entitled to his false facts. Let’s see how his facts stack up with reality:
- Obamacare will “devastate” people if allowed to continue. I’m not sure exactly how Mr. Abrahamsen thinks it will “devastate” people, but the fact of the matter is that Obamacare, through the state exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid, has allowed approximately 20 million Americans who did not have health insurance to obtain it. Republican claims that Obamacare is hurting people usually focus on one of two propositions: (1) that Obamacare has hurt small business, and (2) that it has caused premiums to increase. With respect to the first issue, I’m personally in favor of “single payer,” which would take the burden of providing for health insurance off of our employers, where it shouldn’t be. But that notwithstanding, there is little evidence that Obamacare has “devastated” small businesses, especially since the core of Obamacare is the individual mandate, and not about employer-provided health insurance. With respect to the second issue, the fact is that average health insurance premiums fell in the United States since Obamacare has taken effect. This is not to say that there have not been some distortions in particular markets, such as (apparently) parts of Arizona. So, it should be noted, emphatically, that Obamacare is not perfect legislation. Not by a long shot. There are plenty of things that should be corrected or fixed, and that could have happened over the last six years of the Republicans had been willing to provide Obama with any kind of cooperation, instead of simply voting to repeal about 60 times.
- Energy production has been increasing, not falling under Obama. Once again, Mr. Abrahamsen is just flat out wrong on this issue, so his argument is moot. And just for the record, by virtually any economic metric, the economy is doing better under Obama than it had been doing under George W. Bush.
- With respect to the appointment of Justices, I’m not sure who Mr. Abrahamsen is talking about, but the Supreme Court has not been an activist court since the days of the “Warren Court,” which ended in 1969. The “Bill of Rights” is, of course, the first Ten Amendments to the United State Constitution – I have no reason to believe that Mr. Abrahamsen actually knows that – and the Conservative justices that he so favors have actually been detrimental to the Bill of Rights, especially on issues like search and seizure and voting rights. The rest of his statement is mostly a matter of uninformed opinion. Maybe he is upset about the Obergefell decision, which was decided by Justice Kennedy, who happens to be a moderate swing justice, not a radical of any stripe.
- Abrahamsen may or may not be correct that Trump will lead the resistance to “globalism.” His rhetoric has certainly been anti-Globalist, but Trump has also outsourced most of his manufacturing, as has his daughter Ivanka. It remains to be seen if Trump is all talk and no action. Beyond that, globalism has actually been good for the United States as a whole, although not necessarily for everybody in the United States. Yes, there are specific regions and industries that have not benefitted from globalism, but reasserting a kind of tariff-based protectionism is not likely to help these industries and regions. Where manufacturing is returning to the United States it is generally in companies with a lot of robotics, and few workers. This is another “red herring” that right wing populists like to trot out.
- The notion that Trump will establish “good relations” with our countries is the most lunatic of all of all of Mr. Abrahamsen’s professed assertions. Anybody who has read biographies of Donald Trump – and I’ve read two of them – knows that the Donald eventually gets into a feud with just about everyone he’s ever done business with. The Donald has already feuded with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and you can bet your mortgage that those will only intensify over the next four years. The only countries we are likely to have good relations with under Trump are Russia, maybe Taiwan, and the Philippines under Rodrigo Duterte. Things with Russia will deteriorate the moment that Putin comes calling with one of his Trump cards – “golden showers,” anyone? – and Trump realizes he’s been played for a fool. It’s exactly the risk of World War III that had conservative members of the military and intelligence community warning against a Trump Presidency. How Mr. Abrahamsen thinks that Obama has us on track for World War III will have to remain a mystery.
Now, in calling out Mr. Abrahamsen, I obviously don’t think I’m going to change his mind. Whatever news sources he has been relying upon – Fox News, Breitbart, Alex Jones? – have him convinced of beliefs that I cannot change. That’s not the point. He’s one of literally hundreds of thousands of right wing blowhards spreading misinformation across the Internet. The truth is that I just feel like calling him out because he happened to come across my Facebook feed. I feel like picking a fight with him, because I’m tired of our side lying down and letting all of this crap go unanswered. I’ll probably be calling out other individuals over the next four years, because I’m just tired of letting them go unchallenged.
Eventually, however, we all have to get in dialogue with each other and see if we can find a better way. Today just isn’t the day for that. Not yet.
 Not that I’m not still thinking them inside my own head.
 Also, Obergefell was decided under the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment, not under the Bill of Rights. But I’m sure Mr. Abrahamsen already knew that.