The #1 economy in the world has shut down because a group of extremists has infected what used to be a Grand Old Party. But the core of the Grand Old Party is not by any definition blameless. Let’s not forget that Grand Old Partiers welcomed these “teaholics” with wide open arms and eyes tightly shut, in order to push their anti-Obama agenda.

In this one-track minded agenda to destroy Barack Obama’s presidency, the GOP has honed in on The Affordable Care Act.  They have twisted themselves out of shape trying to destroy it before it became law, and to repeal it once it did. They mounted an effective PR/communication campaign starting with combining “Obama” and “care” into a negative label.

We, Democrats, who are sadly lagging behind the Republicans when it comes to political spin and communication, failed to understand that the term “Obamacare” was handed to us on a silver platter. We ran away from it. We didn’t explain what the law stood for adequately, and so we arrive at the point where Jimmy Kimmel, a late-night comedian, shows us how serious our communication failure was:

Keep in mind that these interviews were conducted on Hollywood Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California. Now, ask yourself, if we are getting these answers from people in one of our country’s most liberal states, what does it mean for the rest of the country?

But as much as I blame the Democratic leadership for this obvious failure of communication, I have to admit that I was floored by the lack of knowledge ignorance of those interviewed on camera. I realize that not everyone is as passionate about politics as I am. I realize that we lead busy lives and we may not always be able to keep abreast of everything that is happening in our country.

However, a democracy is only as effective as the people who are part of it. We the people have a responsibility to keep informed of what affects us as individuals, especially when it’s something as vital as healthcare. We need to be able to identify the politicians and the policies that are working for us, for the greater good, and for the betterment of our nation. If we do not fulfill this basic responsibility as citizens of one of the leading democracies of the world, we will be manipulated, duped, and eventually robbed of our power to choose those who will best represent our will, the will of the majority of Americans.

This has never been more true than at this moment in our nation’s history, when one of our two political parties, the GOP, is doing its very best to destroy democracy through obstruction, distortion, voter suppression, gerrymandering, and a myriad of tactics that we are not yet, and may never be, aware of.

If we want to save our democracy, we need to look in the mirror. We are the answer—starting with knowing the answer on whether the ACA and Obamacare are one and the same.


Author’s Note: It is very possible that I’m overreacting to all of this. ThinkProgress is reporting that “Obamacare enrollment is beating expectations.”  My overreaction can be attributed to my tendency to take politics very seriously, and to my current stress level. The Urban Dictionary defines stress as, ” The confusion caused when one’s mind overrides the body’s natural desire to choke the living shit out of some [Republican] asshole [s] that desperately needs it.” [Brackets are my own].