Healthcare is not a Hashtag

Healthcare is not a Hashtag

By Jeff Kirkpatrick

June 19, 2017


On August 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton tweeted: “How does your student loan debt make you feel? Tell us in 3 emojis or less.”[1]. It’s a pretty well-known fact that this tweet was a low moment for the Democratic Party. “The stunt was a way to promote Clinton’s newly announced college affordability plan,” Issie Lapowsky pointed out in WIRED.

It didn’t work out very well. It alienated the people it was intended to help. It sent the message that Hillary Clinton was so out of touch with debt and money issues because no one in their right mind would ask people to describe how they feel about a complex and anxiety-producing subject like student loan debt in three fucking emojis. But, you know. The Democrats wanted to be cool.

I wish that I could be like the cool kids cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids
I wish that I could be like the cool kids cuz all the cool kids, they seem to get it
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids

– Echosmith – Cool Kids

The general pushback was something like, “Are you out of your mind? How out of touch are you with millennials? Do you even have any idea what it feels like to know that you’ll be in debt that’s way over your head – for decades?”

Well, the brilliant people behind the messaging campaign have struck again – this time with healthcare. They want us to tell them how you feel about Trumpcare, or healthcare in general and why it’s so goddam important to you. You know … because if you have cancer, you will die without healthcare.

Earlier today they uploaded a video on YouTube, “#AmericaSpeaksOut on Trumpcare — Share Your Own Health Care Story” YouTube (2:40) published by SenateDemocrats on June 19, 2017. Accompanying this brilliant work were uploads of a number of related videos of actual people talking about why they need good healthcare and what would happen if they couldn’t get it. You can find them HERE.

It’s a smashing success: the first video, at the time of this writing, has about 100 views, and all the others have around 20 views or less. But the best part is that they ask you to speak out – and the comment sections of the videos are disabled. So you can’t speak out there. No.

They want you to use a hashtag on Twitter: #AmericaSpeaksOut

Why? Because they have their collective head up their collective asses, that’s why. Healthcare is not a hashtag.

If Republicans get this legislation passed, 23 million people will lose health insurance. Trumpcare version 2.0 is kind of like version 1.0 as far as the public knows, except it’s even worse. That’s based on what little we know from leaks that are happening because a small select group of Republicans (old white men, to be exact) are in a closed committee where they will not (openly) discuss or share any of the details of the proposed legislation.

I wrote about Trumpcare 1.0 and Trump’s (first) Budget proposal here, “Trump’s Budget and Healthcare Plan are Economic Terrorism.” Since nothing’s really changed (and it’s even reportedly gotten worse), what I said then still applies.

When Trumpcare version 1.0 came out, I said “If this doesn’t prove Republicans are shit-eating sociopathic scumbags, I don’t know what will.” Yeah, as it turns out, I wasn’t a big fan. I mean, shit. People are going to die if these proposals go through; certainly if Trumpcare passes.

But don’t worry, it’s all for a good cause: the top 1% will get massive tax breaks. The Walton family (Wal-Mart) will get a $58 billion tax break, for example.

This should kind of be a hint to Trump devotees that when Republicans say, “This will benefit the American people” – they aren’t talking about YOU. They are never talking about YOU. You are not the American people – to them. The “American people” to Republicans refers only to their true base, the top 1% of the wealthiest Americans. Everyone else can die for all they care. Trumpcare is proof.

But in the end, this isn’t about Republicans – it’s about the impotent leadership from the Democratic Party. MSNBC reported the other day that Democrats are running television ads in only four states about Trumpcare. They showed one of those ads, and it REALLY SUCKED.

I need to point out that on all those videos that were posted today, not a single one has the phone numbers of the Senate switchboard so you can call your Senators, Democrat or Republican, and just tell them to vote NO. For fuck’s sake: this is a major oversight. Democrats have a very serious messaging problem. It doesn’t matter if they are right (which they are) if they can’t get the messaging right and to EVERY voter, not just a select few. Who is really going to watch those videos anyway? The only people who might are people who already know about what’s going on in the first place [2].

This is a major, major failure of the Democratic Party.

The Republicans hope to shove this legislation down America’s throat soon. They want to vote on it by July 4, 2017. So call your Senators NOW and tell them to vote NO on Trumpcare. This is the number for the Senate switchboard which will connect you to your Senator’s office:



You can also find their phone numbers here, “Call your senator: Phone numbers for every office of every U.S. senator,” by David Nir, Daily Kos; February 2, 2017

The Democrats have to stop trying to be the “cool kids” and expect voters to use a hashtag to tell them they don’t want to die because of Trumpcare. Healthcare isn’t a hashtag. Even Trump finally realized that healthcare was complicated.


[1]. “Hillary Clinton’s attempt to use emoji backfires,” by Brian Walsh, MSNBC; August 12, 2015

Hillary’s Foray into Emoji Politics didn’t Go So Well,” by Issie Lapowsky, WIRED; August 12, 2015

[2]. “Are you living in a social media bubble?” by Michael Andor Brodeur, Boston Globe; December 5, 2016

How social media filter bubbles and algorithms influence the election,” by Alex Hern, The Guardian; May 22, 2017

Your Echo Chamber is Destroying Democracy,” by Mostafa M. El-Bermawy, WIRED; November 18, 2016

The Reason Your Feed Became an Echo Chamber – And What to Do about It,” by NPR Staff, All Tech Considered, NPR; July 24, 2016


Echosmith – Cool Kids [Official Music Video]” YouTube (3:53) published by Echosmith on September 12, 2014


Tweet the shit out this. And make sure you use the hashtag, #AmericaSpeaksOut


I wish that I could be like the cool kids cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids
I wish that I could be like the cool kids cuz all the cool kids, they seem to get it
I wish that I could be like the cool kids, like the cool kids

Obamacare isn’t Dying, Truth is

Coming soon – ‘Trumpcare 3.0: Return of the Sociopaths’

Trumpcare 2.0: People will die

Senate Trumpcare v2.0

Trumpcare: The Sociopath’s Guide to Healthcare

Trump’s Budget and Healthcare Plan are Economic Terrorism



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