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Health Care, Hatred and Lies

4 1039 2042
26.10.2018

Until recently, it looked as if the midterm elections might be defined largely by an argument about health care. Over the past few days, however, the headlines have been dominated instead by hatred — hysteria over a caravan of migrants a thousand miles from the U.S. border, and now the attempted assassination of multiple prominent Democrats.

But whoever sent the bombs and why, the caravan hysteria is no accident: creating a climate of hatred is how Republicans avoid talking about health care. What we’re seeing in this election is a kind of culmination of the strategy the right has been using for decades: distract working-class voters from policies that hurt them by promoting culture war and, above all, racial antagonism.

When it comes to substance, the modern conservative policy agenda, which centers on cutting taxes and tearing up the social safety net, is consistently unpopular. By large margins, voters want to raise, not lower, taxes on corporations and the wealthy. They overwhelmingly oppose cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Even self-identified Republicans favor preventing insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing medical conditions — something Obamacare does, but Republican health proposals wouldn’t.

So how do Republicans manage to win elections? Partly........

© The New York Times