"Don't think of a sick child" outlines the President's desire to shift the debate on this issue from the health of sick children to the fine print of insurance policies, nuances of health coverage, and other facets of our current "profit-run" healthcare system.
Lakoff and Smith note:
Bush and his conservative allies don't want us to see sick children, just as they don't want us to see those bodies in bags coming back from Iraq. They're in the habit of sweeping our human casualties under the rug.Despite the White House's attempts to distract the American people, the bottom-line is the President and his Republican allies rejected a bill that would have provided health insurance to 4 million children that currently have none.
But Americans are a compassionate people. We do care about sick children. We do care about our dead and wounded vets and their families. We do care about victims of Hurricane Katrina. Empathy and compassion are what this country is about. America is about caring for one another, about being in the same boat, about being a national family. It is not about profiting from someone else's suffering, especially if that someone else is a child.
Government in America has a sacred moral mission to protect us, its citizens. Protection means more than the military and the police. It means worker protection, consumer protection, environmental protection and Social Security. And it means health security.
The President apparently thinks that's a good idea. I disagree.
Lakoff and Smith's colleagues at the Rockridge Institute have also produced a powerful web commercial highlighting "the cruel choice forced upon Americans by today's profit-first health care system."