By Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD
As a magazine and Web site publisher, all manner of articles and press releases show up in my inbox on a daily basis. Although some of them are carefully targeted to the markets I serve, most are widespread missives that are sent to every publisher with a pulse, regardless of their beat or focus.
Leading up to the historical – some would say, infamous – healthcare vote in the US house earlier this year, I received an increased number of press releases against the bill. Since I wasn’t interested in using any of them, I quickly scanned them while pressing delete; I do not recall any that were in favor of the bill.
Also appearing in my inbox were numerous “op-ed” submissions decrying either the bill or the process. Even though I’ve never published an op-ed piece and never plan to, the submissions continued to arrive. What amazed me was that, for the most part, there was no effort to present a thoughtful discourse or an elegant argument; the submissions were all filled with polarized perspectives and emotionally laden rhetoric. While I might have agreed with their general point, I was repelled by their tenor, tone, and tack.
Even after the bill was passed and signed by President Obama, I have continued to receive press releases and op-ed pieces in opposition to what had happened – and fear of what might happen. A new element was added – announcements of lawsuits being filed.
It would seem that the vote approving the bill and its subsequent signing into law will not end the debate; it will merely shift to a new venue.