What Liberals Should Say

How to respond to the unwitting who advance the divisive framing of today’s issues.

The Basic Boilerplates

If you’re in a hurry, this section is all you need to read.

  1. “We are already paying for it.”
  2. “That’s a characterization. Let’s talk about values | actions | behaviors.”
  3. “That’s not really a question. It’s a statement of an extremist position, with a question mark at the end.”
  4. “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to the most divisive possible framing of the issue.”
  5. “That’s exactly the sort of false choice between two unrealistic extremes that makes everyone hate politics so much they’d rather have a jerk running the country than a politician.”
  6. “Virtually all of America’s problems are already solved somewhere… often right in America.”

More Detailed Phrasings

“That’s a characterization. Let’s talk about behaviors or values. How can we fix our laws to restore a healthy balance of power between the Wallstreet economy and the Walmart economy.”

“We are already paying for it, and everyone knows it. Americans know we are already paying a higher price for both healthcare and health insurance than every industrialized nation on Earth. The father that takes his daughter for an MRI knows that he’s paying for HMO executives to live in mansions. The mother who takes her son for an earache knows she’s paying for more administrative workers than in any other country. Getting rid of those costs is the only way out.”

“That’s exactly the sort of false choice between two unrealistic extremes that makes everyone hate politics so much they’d rather have a jerk running the country than a politician. And the fake political arguing happens while real financial troubles of working Americans go on and on.”

“Virtually all of America’s problems are already solved somewhere… often right in America. Healthcare is solved in countries all over the globe. Is it perfect? No. But is our system perfect? Of course not. And gun violence is solved in virtually every country but the US. Even the difficult problem of police getting along with minorities is solved right here in the US… after a violent police assassination, Las Vegas, Nevada has instituted a program that dramatically reduced instances of conflict escalation.”

Examples

Can you guarantee that Medicare for all will be as good as private insurance? “That’s exactly the sort of false choice between two unrealistic extremes that makes everyone hate politics so much they’d rather have a jerk running the country than a politician.”

Are you a capitalist? “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to the most divisive possible framing of the issue. I believe that what has made the American economy the strongest in history is free enterprise, free markets, and private ownership of the means of production, so I’m absolutely a capitalist.”

Will your plan cost $30 gazillion dollars? Americans know we are already paying a higher price for both healthcare and health insurance than every industrialized nation on Earth…

How will you pay for all these giveaways? Americans know we are already paying a higher price for both healthcare and health insurance than every industrialized nation on Earth.

Will your plan raise taxes on the middle class? “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to the most divisive possible framing of the issue.”

Are you in favor of decriminalizing illegal border crossings? “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to the most divisive possible framing of the issue. We could solve the problem in 6 months if we were honest about it… honest enough to hold accountable the people who benefit from immigration instead of the least powerful people, the immigrants fleeing violence. If we really cared about too much immigration — and we don’t — we’d simply institute a “three-strikes-and-you’re-out” policy for hiring people without a Social Security number: if you don’t have a Social Security number on hand, you’re first fined half the annual salary of one of your legal employees; then the full salary; then you lose your business license for a year.

Are you in favor of healthcare for illegal immigrants? only one sales pitch of the autocrat

Will you take our beloved AK-47’s and AR-15’s away? “That’s not really a question. It’s a statement of an extremist position, with a question mark at the end. It’s a statement of those who would have us believe that the only way to reduce gun violence is to undo the 2nd Amendment.

Will your plan take away private insurance? Thank you for giving me an opportunity to respond to the most divisive possible framing of the issue. No matter what improvements are made to public options for healthcare, we will always have a free enterprise system where private insurance can be purchased. What we’re proposing is that the incentive system that connects healthcare to employers — and also burdens employers with that complexity and cost — is ended so that costs can finally be controlled.

What do you say to Trump voters who prioritize the economy over his bigotry? That’s exactly the sort of false choice between two unrealistic extremes that makes everyone hate politics so much they’d rather have a jerk running the country than a politician. The sad fact for those who support Trump AND more generally Republican policies, is that Democratic presidents consistently create more economic benefit for working Americans. For the last 9 administrations, jobs increased every time when the reins of power changed from Republicans to Democrats. This is the great irony of blue collar workers’ preference for the conservative agenda.