Yesterday the entire conservative blogosphere and Internet were abuzz with links to this page from WhiteHouse.gov, with the following alarming excerpt:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.
Yikes! (...and yes that "yikes" is the G-rated version of what I'm really thinking.) Encouraging Americans to report on each other for committing thoughtcrimes is pretty freaking scary if you ask me, the kind of thing that the Soviet Union did, or Nazi Germany, or the totalitarian government in Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Honest "liberals" should be outraged at this- as a chief aspect of their political platform and worldview is tolerance for disagreement and freedom of thought and expression. I want to hear some outraged Democrats speak up against this horrifying precedent (could our White House be dipping its toe into the waters of police statism as a test to see how Americans would react?).
Or could the White House just be that dumb? Could they just be using this as a means of gathering information so they can put together more lame, transparently deceptive rebuttals (like the video on the page I linked to above) of people's chain e-mails and blog websites? If that's the case, I've got a suggestion for Rahm Emmanuel:
It's called Google! USE IT! You can find out all you need to know about what people are saying through the power of the Internet, which is far more appropriate than asking Americans to report on each other's opinions to the government.
Patriots, I've got a suggestion for you too: Let's e-mail bomb firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message:
Asking Americans to report on each other's behavior and opinions to the government is a startling precedent to say the least. This is not the kind of change we wanted or voted for in 2008. Your promises of hope, transparency, and open-mindedness will crumble into cynicism, secrecy, and unchallenged dogmatism if your administration continues these policies.
I believe that a public option will necessarily push out private competition because it will have the advantage of taxpayer subsidies, which will also mean higher taxes for hard-working Americans. Given your past statements, I also believe that you and the Democrats in Congress understand this and hope to ultimately fashion a single-payer system.
If this be thoughtcrime, make the most of it!